Exception and Special Items

Some purchases require special considerations, including prior approvals or other requirements. An Exceptions List along with the following information has been created to assist with your purchasing decisions. Tip! You may want to bookmark this page for future reference.

It is the policy of Procurement Services that all orders should be placed through Workday, via Requisition. Supplier Invoice Request (known as Non-PO Invoice in Ariba) is not allowed for these purchases as the approval process is not built-in.

The provision of accurate information and responses is critical to ensuring the University of Washington’s continued compliance with state and federal law, awarding agency policy, and accreditation requirements.

In Workday

Exception items can be ordered through requisitions by a Requisition Requester in Workday. Use the appropriate spend category for the commodity being purchased. Some spend categories are provided in the chart below. Some items will require an additional To-Do task after the requisition has been submitted. That questionnaire will need to be completed before the requisition can move forward with approval. 

The exception approval process and the requisition approval process are separate functions within Workday, if your order is over $10k, you will see a buyer approving the order twice. Orders under $10k will go to the Supplier after the exception approval is complete.

Some capital purchases are triggering the Exception Review process. If this happens with your requisition, add a comment stating that the item is not an exception item. Buying staff will review and confirm.

  • The following spend categories will include Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) on the approval flow of a requisition in Workday:
    • Radioactive Materials (SC2070)
    • Biological Safety Cabinets (SC1731)
  • List of spend categories that will require an additional To-Do task after the Requisition Requester submits the requisition. 
  • Laser purchases do not currently have an approval flow in Workday, please reach out to EH&S via email for approval: radsaf@uw.edu
  • For equipment maintenance or service contracts, Spend Category SC1264 Maintenance Contracts is recommended
  • OAW has requested notification of purchases of eggs and larvae


Topics Covered Below:

Exception List:


Additional Notes


Purchases of artwork may require preapproval: Administrative Policy Statement chapter 205,

Executive Order 37,

Public Art Commission

Biological Safety Cabinets

See UW EH&S Information.  Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) has published guidance regarding purchases of biological safety cabinets and standards.

Spend Category: Biological Safety Cabinets SC1731

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.


While not an exception item, campus is advised to familiarize themselves with the state's guidance regarding the operation of drones. 


Household and Laboratory and Office Moves

See the Moving Expenses page.

For local office or lab moves within the UW Seattle Campus, contact UW Moving Service

Human Blood, Human Blood Serum, Human Cell Lines, and Human Platelets

See UW EH&S Biological Use for additional information on blood borne pathogens, biohazards, and required biological use forms.

The following will be needed in order to complete your order:

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Cadavers, Organs, and Other Human Tissue

See UW EH&S Biological Use for additional information. Purchase of cadavers and/or human body parts for research must be in compliance with all legal, public health, and ethical standards.

The following will be needed in order to complete your order:

  1. Research only: Biological Use Authorization Application approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Biological Use Authorization Application
  2. Certifying that the UW Willed Body Program does not have human remains appropriate for your needs. http://wbp.biostr.washington.edu/
  3. Any Material Transfer Agreements ( MTAs) required by the supplier.
  4. Confirmation that you have made arrangements for disposal of any human remains purchases that are consistent with the individual making an anatomical gift’s requirements and the requirements of RCW Chapter68.50

Spend Category: Cadavers, Organs and Other Human Tissue SC1732

Note: BUA is not required for specimens being used in teaching. Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Card  Services and EquipmentDepartments must receive approval from Merchant Services before contracting for any payment card acceptance related equipment or services. This requirement applies to orders for any dollar amount. Contact pcihelp@uw.edu (Reference: APS 35.1)

Aircraft, Boat, and Bus charters see: Charters / Transportation (aircraft insurance limits increased 4-21-2022)

Spend Category: Charters SC1733

Construction and Building Alteration, Modification, and Repairs

UW Owned Space:

Leased Space:

  • Contact UW Real Estate regarding building alterations and construction

Spend Category: Outside Repair, Maintenance, And Alteration Services SC1056

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services-RepresentationThe National Defense Authorization Act passed in 2020 restricts the purchase and use of telecommunications equipment from specific restricted companies. These restrictions are applicable to all federal awards and have been incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (52.204-25) for Contracts and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (200.216 & 200.471) for Grants and Cooperative Agreements on federally funded orders. More information is available on the Post Award Fiscal Compliance (PAFC) webpage. You can also contact your procurement service Buyer.
Firearms, Ammunition, and Explosives

Prohibited: Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instruments on the university campus, except for authorized university purposes, unless prior written approval has been obtained from the UW Police Department, or any other person designated by the president of the university;

All weapons, firearms, and permanently attached accessories such as rifles, pistols, flare guns, net guns, tasers, rifle scopes, signal guns, line-throwing equipment, and animal control devices must be tagged and inventoried regardless of cost.

Please see EIO's webpages for more information on tagging and inventory procedures.

Spend Category: Trackable-Capital Weapons, Firearms, Signal Guns, and Accessories SC1178

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Fume Hoods

See UW EH&S Fume Hoods.  Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) has published guidance regarding purchases of approved fume hoods, design standards, approved manufacturers, and best practices.

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Lead, metallic

Lead containing materials

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) has published guidance regarding post-purchase requirements for lead handling on their websites. Please reach out to them for any questions post purchase.
Live Animals / Custom Animal Work / Non-Preserved Animal Organs and Tissue

Live Animals- Must be ordered via the Department of Comparative Medicine, please see their website on Animal Purchasing

Live Animal Eggs or Larvae- OAW has requested notification of purchases in order to remind purchasers of any regulatory requirements

Spend Category: Live Animals SC1103

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Custom Animal Work- examples: custom antibody production, studies utilizing animals, production of surgically modified animals, and creation of genetically modified animals.

Please see the Office of Animal Welfare’s website for more information.

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category unless prior approval from Department of Animal Welfare.

Non-Preserved Animal Organs & Tissue- See the Purchasing Non-Preserved Animal Organs & Tissue Guide.

If you have never purchased the following:

  • Sheep, Goat, or Cattle Placentas
  • Cow Eyeballs

Please contact Research Occupational Health before placing your order.

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Personal Data

Additional Notes:

Before procuring good or services, the UW unit is responsible for:

After the order is placed or contract signed, the UW unit is responsible for:

Radioactive Chemicals / Materials / Equipment

See Radiation Safety.

Tips: ​

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Resale ItemsReseller's Permit is required and may be obtained from the Tax Office.
UW Logo and/or Trademark Usage and Purchases that include UW logosSee UW Trademarks and Licensing for policies on use of any UW logo.  Promotional branded products, regardless of cost, must be purchased from a University approved contract supplier listed on UW Trademarks website.
VehiclesContact Fleet Services prior to making a vehicle purchase. Fleet can assist with the licensing and may be able to purchase the vehicle on your behalf.
X-Ray / Lasers

Contact Radiation Safety 206-543-0463 for procurement policies.

Spend Category: X-Ray Film and Supplies SC1090

Reach out to Radiation Safety for email approval of laser purchases

Note: Supplier Invoice Request and ProCard are not allowed for this category.

Looking for something not on this list?

If in doubt, please contact Procurement Services Customer Service

Items No Longer Listed


Additional Notes

AED (Automated External Defibrillators) 

Removed from exceptions list June 9,2017

Review UW Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) guidance for information about these purchases.

Lab Refrigerators / Lab Freezers

See UW EH&S Refrigerators / Freezers for information on purchasing and required safety stickers.

Note: Some ultra-low freezer purchases may qualify for a rebate from Seattle City Light

Ethyl Alcohol


Additional Notes

Ethyl AlcoholOnly authorized users may place alcohol (ethanol) orders. If your purchase will be tax-exempt, please purchase from Fisher Scientific. If the order is taxable, use the supplier of your choice. See the Ethyl Alcohol website for information on ordering, storage, and record-keeping.