Get SharePoint Online

The SharePoint On-Premise Service has now closed. If your unit has yet to begin using SharePoint online, here are some useful links, tips and resources to point you in the right direction. 

Before you can use SharePoint Online

  • You will need to identify the key roles required for use of the service. These are explained in full in the "Roles in SharePoint Online" help pages. You will need to nominate at least one Business Owner (BO) and one SharePoint Network Administrator (SNA) to oversee the use of SharePoint Online in your unit, college or department. Please also check the "Onboarding" section at the foot of this page.
  • We recommend developing a unit-wide strategy for your use of SharePoint Online keeping in mind the new site architecture model for SPO, based on a flat structure with no subsites or site hierarchies.
  • Once you are ready, you can submit site requests through the Oxford Self-Service Portal for approval by your SharePoint Network Administrator (See the section below on Site Provisioning for more details). 
  • Units can request Hub Sites to link together SPO sites with common access or purposes (though these are not essential). 
  • We also recommend undertaking the CoSY Training Modules if you are inexperienced with using SharePoint Online. There are three modules to choose from: 

The SharePoint Online Service Level Description

  • Please familiarise yourself with the SharePoint Online Service Level Description to check what the service offers, and the description of in scope / out of scope support available from IT Services.
  • The SLD will be regularly assessed and updated when any new features are added to the service, or any significant changes to the service are implemented. 

Help and Advice

  • The Help Pages at
  • The SharePoint Online Home Page is another good place to start when seeking support information and advice. The dedicated Help and Support section of the site will be regularly updated with information links, help pages and links to Microsoft resources when new features are added to SharePoint Online, or existing features change in any way.
  • The Nexus User Group (NUG) has several channels discussing SharePoint Online and other related services. Check the SharePoint Online channel for discussions relating to the service, or the Q & A Channel for more generic questions covering the whole of Nexus365. For more advanced users, there is also a channel for Power Automate for those introducing automation into their sites. 
  • Microsoft also have their own resources under the Microsoft Learn site. Note that some features may not be available in our service, always check or the help and support pages described above to double check the availability of features in SharePoint Online. 



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What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process by which a department, college of other equivalent part of the University first sets up their presence in SharePoint Online.

This process must be completed before anyone in your unit can create new sites in SharePoint Online.

Our plan is to improve the governance of SharePoint Online by requiring each unit to go through onboarding before creating new sites, rather than letting people create new standalone sites which could lead to issues with compliance and accountability.

Each unit will only onboard once.

Who should do onboarding?

This should be carried out by whoever will be your Site Network Administrator (SNA) or Business Owner.

What is the process of onboarding?

  1. Please fill in a form, which will ask you for:
    • The name of your unit, as per the University organisation structure
    • The email address for at least one Business Owner (you can provide more than one)
    • The email address for at least one Site Network Administrator (SNA) (you can provide more than one)
    • Please enter these as email addresses not names, as email addresses are unique at the University, but names are not
  2. Once submitted, your request will be reviewed by the Nexus team
  3. If approved, you will receive an automated email telling you that your unit has successfully been onboarded to SharePoint Online

Any future sites you would like should be requested via the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system, as per the site provisioning guidance below.


The onboarding and site provisioning processes are both based around the PRAS University organisation structure, which is the only organisational structure we can refer to for the University. The Nexus team cannot change this. If you cannot find your unit in the list, please contact the Nexus team directly.

What is site provisioning?

Site provisioning is the process by which new sites in SharePoint Online are created.

Once your department, college or equivalent part of the University has completed the onboarding process, as per the instructions above, you will be able to request hubs and sites via the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system. No provisioning of sites can be done before your unit has been through the onboarding process.

If you are unsure if your unit is already on SharePoint Online, you can check this list of onboarded units, which only includes those who have completed the onboarding process. If your unit is not on this list, then your unit has not yet got a presence on SharePoint Online and you won’t be able to create new sites. We suggest you contact your local IT support to find out what your unit’s plans are for onboarding with SharePoint Online. You might also want to consider using Teams as an alternative to SharePoint Online.

Who should do site provisioning?

Anyone who will own a SharePoint Online site, including SNAs.

What is the process for site provisioning?

  1. The Site Owner consults with their SNA to provide details on:
  2. The Site Owner, or SNA on behalf of Site owner, submits the request through IT self service (search 'SharePoint')
  3. The SNA (or the Business Owner, if there is no SNA) approves the request via an automated email
  4. The Nexus team receive the request from OSM and auto-generate a new site using the details provided
  5. The Site Owner receives a new site notification from the Nexus team
  6. The SNA links the new site to a Hub, if appropriate

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