University Compliance

Policy & SOP Resources

University policy documents, templates and additional resources.

Comprehensive Policy Review

The goal of the Comprehensive Policy Review (CPR) 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and expectations of the Brown community, while simultaneously eliminating any redundant, conflicting, or outdated policies.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 - 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). For questions, please see the FAQs below or contact University Compliance.

Email University Compliance with the name(s) of the policy/SOP(s) you are starting so we can support your work. We are available for questions, process refreshers, and policy/SOP training.
Draft the policy/SOP on the University approved templates. Within the template documents is additional detailed information about each section, as well as required standard language. 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 may also recommend other relevant stakeholders.
Submit the policy/SOP for approval by emailing with the final draft and completed cover sheet. University Compliance will manage the final approval process, which includes final reviews by the Office of General Counsel and the Approval Authority. If corrections are needed, the policy/SOP will be returned for edits.
After approval, policies are automatically posted on the University Policy Website. Responsible offices must verify the policy is posted correctly and email if any corrections are needed. Approved SOPs are returned to the responsible office to be published or distributed as needed.
Responsible offices are required to inform the Brown community about the policy/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.


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 application throughout the University, either in its entirety or within a defined cohort, 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; and
  • mandate actions.

Any document that meets these criteria constitutes a University Policy and will follow the process outlined above. 

Any edits that materially affect the substance of the policy and/or change the rights or what is expected of the individuals to whom the policy applies are considered material changes and must go through the same approval process as new policies, outlined in the Steps to Develop a Policy or SOP above. If you need the Microsoft Word document of the current version of the policy, University Compliance can provide it.

Edits that do not affect the substance of the policy and/or change the rights or what is expected of the individuals to whom the policy applies are considered non-material changes. Email University Compliance at 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.

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 General Counsel for their review, and then to the final Policy Approver (i.e., Approval Authority) for their approval.

The Policy Owner is the Cabinet member responsible for the policy's content, administration, dissemination, communication and training, compliance monitoring, and timely review and revision. The Policy Owner will also ensure that the policy's development is appropriately resourced. There may be other offices, not under the Policy Owner's purview, with additional responsibilities under the policy - these should be documented clearly in Section 5.0 of the policy. 

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.

The Policy Owner, with support from the Responsible Office, is responsible for ensuring the policy content remains current and compliant with laws, regulations, and other University policies. At a minimum, once policies have been approved through the Comprehensive Policy Review Project, they are reviewed every five years, unless a more frequent review schedule is required for your particular policy.

University Policy Website

Once a policy has been approved through the Comprehensive Policy Review Project, it will be published on the University Policy Website.


Policy Update Listserv

Join our listserv to receive quarterly reports of University policies approved or updated through the Comprehensive Policy Review. These three-month summaries are intended to supplement departments’ own communication plans for new and updated policies. 

Additionally, you may periodically receive other policy or compliance information relevant to the Brown community.  

Subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv.