Policy Staging OU - Organizing Your AWS Environment Using Multiple Accounts

Policy Staging OU

The Policy Staging OU is intended to help teams that manage overall policies for your AWS environment to safely test potentially broadly impacting policy changes before applying them to the intended OUs and/or accounts. For example, SCPs and tag policies should be tested prior to applying them to the intended OUs or accounts.

Similarly, broadly applicable account baseline IAM roles and policies should also be tested using the Policy Staging OU.

Workload-specific policies

Development and testing of workload-specific IAM roles and policies do not need to use the Policy Staging OU. Rather, workload owning teams typically develop and test these resources alongside other workload-specific resources in development and test accounts within your Security, Infrastructure, and Workloads OUs.

Once you have tested changes in the Policy Staging OU, we recommend that you temporarily associate the policy changes to a single account in the intended OU. If the changes are ultimately targeting an OU, apply the changes to the intended OU and remove the changes from the account only after you have validated that the changes are working as intended.

This approach enables you to validate the changes in production before more broadly applying them.

Example structure

In this example, a set of child OUs mirrors an overall OU structure. At least one test account is included under each child OU.

In support of testing SCPs and tag policies that are intended to be applied at the OU level, your teams should first apply them to one of the test child OUs. SCPs and tag policies that are applied to a specific account require creation of a test account under the appropriate test child OU.


          This image shows an example structure of a policy staging OU.

Example structure of Policy Staging OU