Policy Approval

Idea for a Policy Infographic

Step-by-Step Process

The policy on Development & Approval of University Policies requires the use of a template to provide for a standardized written format. In addition, the policy establishes an approval process for those who develop policy here at the University.

This approval process applies to University of Virginia academic and general faculty, classified staff, University Staff employees and/or students with policy issuance responsibilities. This Web site provides information on the steps that must be taken to promulgate new policy at the University of Virginia. Eventually, all policies will be linked from this Web site.

Policies developed for the University of Virginia Health System/Medical Center are not governed by this process. For policy information, please see the Health System Web site.

Instructions for Submitting a New Policy or a Revision

To ensure consistency, a standardized format for policies has been adopted. When a need for a policy or a policy revision has been identified, a draft of the policy should be submitted in the template format to the Policy Manager via email. The Policy Manager will review the draft and coordinate submission of the draft with the initiator and appropriate Vice President

Consider the information in the Equity Minded Decision Guide when drafting a University policy.

If you are currently developing a policy, revising an existing policy, or considering doing so, please carefully review the following steps. Each step in the draft, revision, and approval process should be completed. If you have questions regarding this process, please contact the University Policy Manager: (434) 924-4037, policy@virginia.edu.

Policy Process Flowchart

Steps in the Development and Approval of University Policies

Initiator Action
  1. Contact Office 1, or Oversight Executive (Responsible VP or equivalent officer 1), or other university member.
Identifies the need for a policy or policy revision in a specific functional area 2 and brings to attention of Policy Review Committee (PRC) through the Policy Manager.
  1. Contact Office, with assistance from Policy Manager, and approval of chair of Policy Review Committee 1 (PRC) and Oversight Executive or equivalent officer
Drafts an Impact Statement which includes the Reason for the Policy and the Impact on the University.
  1. Oversight Executive or equivalent officer
Leads discussion of the materials in Cabinet to obtain
  1. Suggestions for coordination and consultation,
  2. Preliminary approval from President (for academic management policy) or ExecVP/COO (for administrative policy) to proceed.3
  1. Contact Office and Policy Manager, with assistance from Chair of PRC
  1. Forms a small ad hoc policy task force 1 (PTF) that will review and help write the draft policy and procedures; chairs or names a chair for the PTF; and establishes a timeline,
  2. Identifies a resource within the office to draft the policy and procedures using the standard template,
  3. Decides which various constituencies should be consulted,
  4. Finalizes first draft; sends to chair of PRC.
  1. Chair of PRC, in consultation with Contact Office
  1. Reviews the first draft,
  2. Suggests additional consultation as appropriate,
  3. Sends the first draft to University General Counsel for legal review 4.
  1. University General Counsel
Reviews draft, provides comments to Chair of PRC and Contact Office.
  1. Contact Office in consultation with Chair of PTF and approval of Oversight Executive where appropriate.
Incorporate Counsel's comments as appropriate.
  1. Chair of PRC convenes PRC to meet with Contact Office and Chair of PTF
  1. Discuss the draft policy,
  2. Make modifications,
  3. Recommend final draft for approval to Oversight Executive.
  1. Oversight Executive or equivalent officer, in consultation with Contact Office and Policy Manager
  1. Reviews and approves the final draft including procedures,
  2. Distributes to cabinet for further comment as appropriate,
  3. Refers policy to President (for academic management policy) or ExecVP/COO (for administrative policy) recommending approval.
  1. President (for academic management policy) or ExecVP/COO (for administrative policy) assisted by Oversight Executive and Chair of PRC (as staff)
  1. Approves final draft of policy,
  2. Authorizes distribution.
  1. Policy Manager and Contact Office
  1. Places approved policy and related procedures on-line at the appropriate web site with appropriate links and provides hard copies as needed,
  2. Provides notification to users as appropriate.



  1. Contact Office is the functional office that is responsible for University units' compliance with the particular policy. Contact Office typically would administer and update the policy, provide training, and develop a plan for monitoring compliance and taking corrective action. The Contact Office is accountable for the accuracy of the subject matter.
  2. Oversight Executive (Responsible VP or equivalent officer) is the University officer to whom the Contact Office reports.
  3. Policy Review Committee (PRC) is a standing committee with representatives from major central administrative areas (typically the staff responsible for policy formulation) and policy users. Its charge is to evaluate draft policies to address clarity and implementation issues, and to ensure no contradiction or duplication with existing policies.
  4. Recommended Composition: Chair: VP for Finance, Director of Audit Office, Medical Center policy person, Faculty Senate representative and one designee from each Vice Presidential area. Human Resources, Management and Budget, Student Affairs, IT, Provost, External Affairs, Research and Public Service, VP and Chief Medical Officer, and Dean of School of Medicine. An ad hoc Policy Task Force (PTF) is formed for each policy being developed. It should consist of functional experts and representatives from affected departments. It also should include some PRC members to provide continuity. If the topic warrants it, University Counsel would be asked to participate.


  1. See Definitions section.
  2. If a revision is proposed, the PRC will decide which steps in the process should be followed.
  3. In urgent situations, interim policy is approved.
  4. This step may not be necessary if a representative from Counsel's Office served on the PTF.