Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Are ATIXA Model Policies and Procedures Considered Industry Standards? 

An ATIXA Tip of the Week by Brett A. Sokolow, J.D. 

What is 1P1P? 

On June 5, 2024, ATIXA released its One Policy, One Process (1P1P) Model for Title IX and civil rights compliance. 1P1P has gone through many iterations since we first introduced it a dozen years ago, but it has remained groundbreaking ever since. At the time, colleges and universities addressed sex discrimination and harassment through a patchwork of confusing, overlapping, and often vague policies. Some policies applied to staff. Some to faculty. Some to students. Some to unions. Some weren’t even clear as to whom they applied. Some addressed race and sex, others age, disability, or national origin. These policies had been implemented when laws protecting each class were enacted, but there was no strategy to them, and little thought to how they intersected in complaints involving mixed motives or campus constituencies, such as a faculty-on-student complaint. Who owned the resolution process? Did it depend on the type of discrimination alleged, or who the Complainant or Respondent was? As practitioners, we had many policies and little clarity. 

A Transformative Model 

1P1P embraced two transformative premises: First, there was value and risk management in consistency of the approach. 1P1P considered that race discrimination or harassment should not be treated vastly differently than allegations of religious discrimination or harassment, and that sex discrimination and national origin discrimination complaints should be resolved in the same ways. The second transformative premise is that we should not treat complaints involving faculty vastly differently than complaints involving staff, students, administrators, or other campus constituencies. Thus, 1P1P became a unifying model, in which all forms of protected class discrimination and harassment were resolved in the same way, regardless of whether the participants were faculty, students, or staff. We advocated for 1P1P not just on the value of consistency, but on the benefits of being streamlined and efficient, and of only having to train one team on one set of policies and procedures. 

1P1P Catches Fire 

And then, it took hold. Practitioners looked at it funny, at first, because they had not thought to do it this way before. The first unified model was disruptive, but when its merits started to manifest, colleges began to embrace it. The last version (actually called 1P2P [1]) was adopted by thousands of schools and colleges across the United States and remains the most commonly adopted model in the field, by far. 

1P1P was certainly unorthodox when we released it. First, it’s a document spanning about 30 pages of policy, 30 pages of procedures, and another 30 of optional appendices. So, at 60-70 printed pages on average, 1P1P is long. At first, we worried the length would be unwieldy, and that it was far longer than comparable policy documents. But, so were the regulations that prompted it. Despite our concerns, we decided to write the model we believed would best protect institutions, meet the floor of compliance, and aim for best practices. We implemented flowcharts and a companion brochure to chunk the information and make sure it was accessible. The result is a powerful tool, because it serves as both a user guide for administrators implementing it and a clear set of expectations for the parties with respect to policy and the resolution process. It’s user-friendly despite its bulk.

1P1P is User-Friendly 

Practitioners report that 1P1P’s step-by-step practicality and checklists make it less likely to skip important steps, and we know from caselaw that following our own policies and procedures is half the battle. We designed 1P1P to ensure it would be transparent, and that all important steps were not just defined but described. In its current iteration, the 2024 1P1P achieves the goals of user-friendliness, transparency, and the right formula to produce the highest possible quality complaint outcomes for users.

Defensible in Litigation 

Previous versions of ATIXA’s models have been attacked in litigation. And they have held up to those attacks every time, even earning compliments from judges along the way. As you think about whether to use a template, draft your own, or use ATIXA’s, we have a few things we want you to think about. 

Free for ATIXA Members 

ATIXA’s 1P1P and AMPP [2] models are free for members. There’s no cost unless you’re a non-member, though non-members are welcome to purchase ATIXA models.

Aligned to Industry Standards 

The 2024 Title IX Regulations lend themselves to a lot of decisions, customization, and discretion, especially compared to the very prescriptive 2020 Regulations. This means that while colleges will enjoy more flexibility with respect to policies and procedures, we’ll have more variability. ATIXA’s civil rights experts have testified in more than 150 federal Title IX lawsuits. When we serve as expert witnesses for the defense, our strongest statement is that the college’s policies, procedures, and practices are aligned with industry standards. If your approach is similar to the approach of the college down the street, that makes your approach more defensible. If you are very different in approach to your peer institutions, you’ll need to have a good reason why. Conformity to industry standard practices is what judges and juries are assessing. While we didn’t set out to create policies and procedures that were industry standards, their widespread adoption by thousands of schools means that they are exactly that.

You’re in Good Company! 

If your peer institutions use ATIXA models, and your policies and procedures are reflective of similar approaches, you’ll be able to assert your alignment with broadly accepted standards of practice in the industry. That’s critical to your defense. Can other models provide you with similar insulation? Sure, it’s not ATIXA’s way or the highway. But we know that ATIXA’s model ensures high-quality, defensible outcomes. Home-grown solutions are less likely to be as defensible. They tend to be more variable, less consistent with common practices, and more reflective of the quirks of campus culture, institutional history, and norms. You don’t want to be somewhat trapped in doing things the way you have always done, which can be fatal in court.  

So, the models are free for members, widely adopted, clear, transparent, user-friendly, easy to adapt, battle-tested by litigation, and defensible. We’ve taken the lessons of those 150 federal lawsuits we’ve worked on and baked them into our templates. We can’t think of everything, but we have thought of all the important things. If you can find a better option that does all that ATIXA’s models do, we hope you take it. But, how easy are other models to adopt? 


That’s where the ATIXA Policy & Procedure Builder comes into play. A resource for ATIXA Super Members, the P&P Builder is an online policy customization assistant. When you log into the ATIXA site, you can interact with the P&P Builder to quickly customize ATIXA’s models to your specific institutional needs and culture. By answering about 85 questions, the P&P Builder will incorporate answers to ensure that your template is specific to your needs and specifications. It takes about 2-3 hours on average to work through the simple interface, and the result is a tailored P&P template that is ready for you to share with stakeholders and implement on your campus.  

A Solution to Your Summer Workload Worries 

If you’re worried you might not be able to implement fully compliant Title IX policies and procedures before the August 1, 2024, implementation deadline, you can do it in about three hours when you’re an ATIXA Super Member. You’ll have a state-of-the-art, class-leading template from the industry experts. Your approach will align with your peers and give you the tools to achieve programmatic excellence. Our P&P Builder is so quick and easy that it might even leave you enough time to enjoy the summer a bit!  

ATIXA’s P&P Builder will be available soon for all Super Members. Not a member? Join today.

[1] 1P2P covered all forms of discrimination, but it provided a different process for addressing non-Title IX complaints. In addition to a regulations-compliant model (Process A), 1P2P offered a full alternative civil rights process for resolution outside of Section 106.45 (Process B). 

[2] ATIXA’s Model Policy & Procedure (AMPP) provides a streamlined Title IX-compliant process model, assuming users already have an alternative process for other civil rights complaints.