Records Management Unit

Using scanned signatures appropriately

It has come to our attention that some staff are confused about the appropriate use of scanned signatures. If you use scanned signatures, please take the time to reacquaint yourself with the UTAS Use of Scanned Signatures Policy.

Scanned signatures are scanned and electronically recorded images of an individual's hand-written signature. They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as 'digital signatures', which are technically a form of encryption used to authenticate electronic documents. Although inserting scanned signatures into documents and correspondence can seem convenient, it can cause difficulties when it comes to authenticating documents and using them as evidence of assent. This is particularly the case with regard to the use of signatures other than one's own.

Therefore, the use of scanned signatures on official UTAS documents and correspondence is regulated under the Use of Scanned Signatures Policy. Scanned signatures should generally only be used when sending out bulk correspondence or providing general information on the University or its activities, or when there is a requirement for a senior UTAS officer to regularly authorise correspondence that would otherwise generate a large workload. There are some exceptions with regard to academic certification and purchase orders generated through the Financial Management Information System (FMIS), but these involve the use of specialised paper.

Scanned signatures must not be used on contracts or student forms.

Published on: 06 Jan 2012