Over the past decade, the world economy has grown tremendously. The reason behind such growth is the improved level of expertise, experience, and skills in the job market. In order to meet this growth cycle, students are urged to apply learning through internship opportunities. An internship program provides practical experience for students and beginners in their respective occupations. During the process of internship, the sponsor or the organization would want to share some confidential or proprietary information with the intern so that they could finish a specific job. Well, in such cases, it is important that you (the sponsor/employer) and the intern sign an Internship Confidentiality Agreement.
Understanding Internship Confidentiality Agreement
In its simplest definition, an Internship Confidentiality Agreement refers to an agreement form signed between an intern and a business partner/sponsor/mentor to keep confidential information private in every way possible. When one is employed as an intern, the chances are most likely that they will receive confidential information such as financial transactions, trade secrets, marketing strategies, list of clients, among others. The Internship Confidentiality Agreement, therefore, compels the interns to legally bound by the secret hence preventing any public disclosure. However, with this in mind, it’s not always advisable to jump into conclusion and let every intern sign the agreement. First, you need to test whether or not the intern won’t privy any confidential information.
Ask yourself, if your intern leaks the information to the public, will it has an impact on your normal operations? Well, if your answer is no, then the Internship Confidentiality Agreement won’t be necessary. However, if it’s a yes, then you should prepare to sign the agreement.
Also, note that if you have patent rights, copyrights, or trademarks, then an Internship Confidentiality Agreement would suffice. Usually, confidential information isn’t covered by a registration. So you need to look for other possible ways to prevent their leak to unauthorized or unwanted parties.
For many writing and Internship, the Confidentiality Agreement can be easier said than done. However, if you are planning to write one such agreement, ensure you include vital information that will make your intern know exactly what information is considered confidential. Bear in mind that an intern may be a student, graduate, or someone who isn’t well experienced. Therefore, the chances are that they may not know how well to treat sensitive information. As such, you can make good use of this opportunity to explain in detail the specifics of the company/business.
A permit to use the information
Since it is their first experience with such information, it is important that you explain how they should use or handle confidential information. Remember that if the interns don’t understand how to use the information, the chances are that the information will be mismanaged.
Methods of returning confidential information
One sure thing is that not all interns that work in your organization will be directly absorbed into your company. With this in mind, some interns will leave at one point in time. But what happens if they are accessed to sensitive information yet they are about to exhaust their intern period? Well, in such cases, you will have to device a method in which the interns return the proprietary information. In as much as it may be a challenge, especially with the digital world, you should play your role by making the returning methods clear and straightforward. Define the timeframe, method, or procedure that each intern should return the information when the time comes.
This section is meant to cover your proprietary interests as well as define conditions of the agreement. It is recommended that you go in-depth with your explanation on the terms and conditions of confidentiality. This section can be as long as one page or even more, depending on your Internship Confidentiality Agreement. Don’t forget to include the term after which the agreement expires.
The general provisions do depend from one organization to the other and are included at the right end of the agreement form. The main include the following: severability, integration, and waiver.
Usually, the last statement of an Internship Confidentiality Agreement is the ‘in witness whereof’ statement. In other words, the intern includes the date in which he or she appends their signature. By signing, both the intern and the business partner agrees to the terms and conditions of the agreement. Note that after signing, the agreement shall then be rendered effective.
If you are looking for a well-drafted Internship Confidentiality Agreement template, you are in the right place. You can download our templates here for free. The templates contain basic components needed for an Internship Confidentiality Agreement. Also, they are easily customizable to your own style and design.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your interns should complete an Internship Confidentiality Agreement if there are chances of them being accessed to private and confidential information. However, if the intern is assigned in a work area where little or no confidential information is shared, then there may be no need to go for the Internship Confidentiality Agreement.
Usually, the Internship Confidentiality Agreement typically enables you to use the confidential information without disclosing them to the public. The actual conduct of a project, however, is covered in a separate agreement.
When an intern fails to abide by the Internship Confidentiality Agreement, he or she faces the threat of being sued and could pay for all the financial damages caused by the violation.
Well, the consequences of violating the Internship Confidentiality Agreement can sometimes be severe. On rare occasions, you could face pricey lawsuits and sometimes face criminal penalties. Therefore, depending on the type of information disclosed, severe criminal charges such as serving a jail term may apply.
One thing that makes the non-disclosure agreement binding is the confidentiality or trade secret agreement. When bond parties involved agree to sign the agreement, it becomes a legal document. Hence both parties must adhere to the confidential practices highlighted in the document.