University Compliance

Policy & SOP Resources

University policy documents, templates and additional resources.

Comprehensive Policy Review

The goal of the Comprehensive Policy Review (CPR) Project is to implement the Policy on Policies across the University by reviewing all policies over a phased, multi-year timeline. University policies will be updated, ensuring they are easy to find, read, and understand. They will be written in a consistent format and posted on the University Policy Website.

With oversight from the CPR Steering Committee, University Compliance will work with departments to make sure their policies clearly document the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of the Brown community, while simultaneously eliminating any redundant, conflicting, or outdated policies. This collaborative effort relies on Brown’s subject matter experts for policy content and review. 

Please contact University Compliance before developing or updating a policy, even if your department has not yet started the project. We are here to help.

Steps to Develop a Policy or SOP

Complete the following six steps to develop or update a policy or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) using the University's Policy & SOP System. For questions contact University Compliance.

Include in your email: (1) the email addresses of employees who need system access to develop the draft, and (2) the name of the policy or SOP being drafted. You will receive an email reply when the system is ready to use. A Job Aid will be attached to the email that details how to use the Policy & SOP System.
Draft the policy or SOP on the University approved template. Approved templates are integrated into the Policy & SOP System and are also available below. Policies requiring resources for implementation that the Responsible Office cannot support must be reviewed by the Policy Owner early in the process to facilitate resource assessments. See FAQs below for more information.
Coordinate the draft with relevant stakeholders, senior leaders and departments. University Compliance and the Office of General Counsel should also be consulted in this step to ensure compliance and legal inputs are incorporated early in the process; they can also recommend other relevant stakeholders.

Submit the draft for approval in the Policy & SOP System. The system routes the draft for University Compliance, Office of General Counsel and Approval Authority final review. If corrections are needed, the draft will be returned for edits.
Policies are automatically posted on the University Policy Website after approval; responsible offices must verify the policy is posted correctly and email policyonpolicies@brown.edu if any errors are noted. Approved SOPs are returned to the responsible office and may be posted on department websites or common drives as needed.
Responsible offices need to inform the University Community about the policy or SOP through relevant communication and/or education such as Today@Brown messages, Administrative Leadership Group Meetings, Academic & Administrative Information Meetings, or other University forums.

Policy & SOP Templates

Below are the University approved templates and supporting documents. These documents have been incorporated into the Policy & SOP System.

Policy Template* - Editable Policy Template with detailed instructions. 

Policy Cover Sheet*- Used to summarize a new policy or policy changes for the Approval Authority (required with all policies).

Policy Quality Check & Publishing Checklist - Used to quality check format and provide publishing information. 

*The Policy & SOP System incorporates these documents.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template* - Editable SOP Template with detailed instructions.

SOP Cover Sheet*- Used to summarize a new SOP or SOP changes for the Approval Authority (required when an SOP is submitted by itself for approval).

*The Policy & SOP System incorporates these documents.

Delegation of Policy Approval Form - Used by the President to delegate policy approval authority to a Cabinet member.

Please contact University Compliance for guidance if your department is considering recommending delegation to the President.

FAQs

Per the Policy on Policies, a Brown University Policy is a document that states the rights and responsibilities of members of the Brown community. A University Policy must:

  • have broad application throughout the University; or be required by regulation or documented industry standards;
  • help achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promote operational efficiencies, enhance the University’s mission, or reduce institutional risks;
  • mandate actions; and
  • require Corporation, President or delegated Cabinet member review and approval for policy issuance and major revisions, based on the subject matter.

Email University Compliance at policyonpolicies@brown.edu with the name of the policy, the text as it currently reads in the policy, and the text as it should read. University Compliance will confirm that the updates qualify as non-material (e.g., updating links or titles, correcting typos, etc.) and update the University Policy Website, normally within five business days of the non-material change being approved.

Email University Compliance at policyonpolicies@brown.edu with the name of the policy being updated and the individuals who will need access to the Policy & SOP Management System to make the edits. You will receive an email back when the system is ready and can then log in to work on the policy and submit it for approval. If you need the Microsoft Word document of the current version of the policy, University Compliance can provide it.

If the implementation of a policy will require additional funding, personnel/FTEs, new technology, or other resources that your office/department cannot currently support, you should present this to the Policy Owner (i.e., relevant Cabinet member) as soon as the issue is identified. This will allow a budget/resource analysis to be conducted in conjunction with the policy development. When presenting a resource issue to the Policy Owner, consider covering the following points:

  • Summary of why additional resources are required (e.g., to address a new regulatory requirement)
  • Relevant background information (e.g., any key statistics, peer benchmarking)
  • Options examined
  • Stakeholder engagement that has taken place
  • Proposed path forward and why
  • Resources required for path forward
  • Potential challenges or issues arising from proposed path
  • Deadlines/Critical path items impacting timing of needed decision

Policy Owners requiring additional resources should discuss potential options with the Provost or Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, as appropriate.

Once a policy has been drafted, completed stakeholder review, and been submitted to University Compliance, it will normally either be moved forward or returned with feedback within five business days. Once the policy has been reviewed by University Compliance, it will move on to the Office of the General Counsel for their review, and then to the final Policy Approver (i.e., Approval Authority) for their approval. 

The President is the approval authority for all policies that do not require Corporation approval. In some cases, a policy or group of policies may be delegated to a Cabinet member for approval. University Compliance will be able to advise if a delegation exists or assist if a delegation seems appropriate to initiate.

Once policies have gone through the Comprehensive Policy Review Project, they are reviewed every three years, unless a more frequent review schedule is required for your particular policy.

Posted University Policies

The University Policy Website contains over 160 University policies. However, all University policies are not listed on the website and users should search Brown.edu for applicable policies in addition to contacting appropriate offices with subject matter experts. In the future, the University will be combining all policies on the University Policy Website.

Frequently Searched Policies:

Code of Conduct

University Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

Conflict of Interest in Research Policy

University Policy on Policies