I'm looking for a word or phrase that means "to sign something to acknowledge that you have read and understand a document".

Examples (where the blank is the word or phrase I'm looking for)

John has read the rules for our club. He needs to sign his name to acknowledge that he has reviewed and understands the rules.

John has read and __________ the rules.

Each year, all employees must ____________ the privacy policy.

My doctor provide me with a HIPPA statement and I had to ____________ that I received it.

The closest I've seen is "sign off". I don't like sign off in this case because it has many different meanings and could be misunderstood by non-native speakers. For example:

John signs off on the rules.

Could mean that he reviewed and agrees to the rules. It could also mean that he approved the rules. This is a different concept, since John has no say in the rules and isn't part of the body that made and approved the rules, he's just confirming his assent to them.

Is there a word or phrase that conveys signing that you have reviewed and agree to a document?

  • 2
    If it is really important that the exact meaning is conveyed, don't try to be original. Just say what you mean exactly. Not that you correctly use reviewed and read, but someone must also have understood it (not understand) and they agree with it, or they have agreed. – oerkelens Aug 5 '16 at 12:52
  • I can't see a problem with accepted/accept // confirm for the blanks above. Note that You're asking for 'John has read and read, understood, and agreed to the rules' in your first example. And the third example is worse. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 5 '16 at 15:56
  • Accepted//reconfirm their acceptance of//provide written acknowledgement – Jim Sep 4 '16 at 23:27

Consent or Consented to would commonly be used in this situation.


to agree to do or allow something : to give permission for something to happen or be done

John has read and consented to (abide by) the rules.

The "abide by" would be implied here.

Which, as another option, using abide is also suitable.


to accept or bear (someone or something bad, unpleasant, etc.)


"Signs off" is more common in American English, in most cases you could simply say that John "signs" the privacy policy, ie he adds his signature to the document. Agreement or accordance with the document is implicit in that act of signature.

  • I agree that "signs off"' on the privacy policy would convey to be in agreement or accordance. – user15266 Aug 5 '16 at 21:17

The term acknowledge (which is already used by you in the question) summarises what you want neatly.

From M-W:

Legal Definition of acknowledge acknowledged acknowledging

2 a : to show by word or act that one has knowledge of and accepts responsibility for (a duty, obligation, or indebtedness)

3 : to make known to a sender or giver the receipt of (what has been sent or given) or the fact of (one's having received what has been sent or given)

Your examples with the substitution:

John has read and acknowledged the rules.

Each year, all employees must acknowledge the privacy policy.

My doctor provide me with a HIPPA statement and I had to acknowledge that I received it.

Accept (also suggested by @EdwinAshworth already in comments) is another term widely used in practice; however, it does not work well with the third example above.

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