This is more of a discovery type question. I need to set up a policy and procedure library with policy acknowledgements. I need to be able to track who has completed the acknowledgement and I don't want someone to acknowledge without at least opening the document.

I tried setting up a circulation list for this but I am not happy with the fact that you can open the circulation item up and click confirm without opening the document. I think it will also be difficult to write a report to check to see who has not completed their acknowledgement. I am not a high level front end developer and I am trying to figure something out with Infopath.

This is a pretty common business requirement and I am wondering if anyone else got asked to do this and what was done.

One consulting firm said to turn on Audit and allow a windows service to monitor the Audit. Then you will know if the user opened the document and based on that you can enable a button or checkbox for the acknowledgement. That sounds like it could be tricky and it might not work.

We are using Sharepoint 2010. Any other ideas? Thanks.


This is always a challenge in SharePoint and even if they do "open" the document you never truly know if they actually "read" it. This is akin to signing a contract, or accepting pages and pages of ts and cs (like on the IPad). Most people just scroll through them and click "I agree".

Having said that - we develop a product called DocRead for SharePoint that does allow you to distribute docs to groups of employees. You can configure DocRead to make sure they at least click the "View Document" Link. There's also a load of reporting to help track who has and hasn't read what. To view more info about Docread: http://www.collaboris.com/products/policy-and-procedure-management-software

If you don't want to buy a 3rd party product - you could develop a workflow to distribute the requests to read when the document becomes approved or major'd, but you would still need to record this "somewhere" so that you can track and report over who read what and when. Versioning is also a challenge, as sometimes you may want to force everyone to read a newer version and sometimes you don't - depends.

  • Yes this is true. I worked in HR for years. You never know if someone looks at the email, document attached or even a piece of paper. I think that is why I would like to know if someone even clicked the document open. I am not a Sharepoint developer but I am all we have right now. So I thought maybe I could try to figure out a way with Infopath to set up the Policy and then have a child list which will get updated when the user clicks a check box. We are a small company and it would be enough if I can get it to work right. I looked at your product. It's possible we will look closer. Thanks. – Vikki McCormick Jul 23 '12 at 20:39

Completing the form should be sufficient. You could make them open the document, but that doesn't mean they read it or understood them. The basic point is that you want them to confirm compliance and completing the form or a task satisfies that.

  • Thanks for your reply. Trying something like that. I would just like to be sure they click the open doc link. – Vikki McCormick Jul 23 '12 at 21:08

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