The Carpentries Committee Guidelines

These guidelines provide the recommended process for creating committees to ensure transparency, accountability, and sustainability of committee activities.

Committee Proposal

A committee proposal should:

  • explain the need for or the context for the committee

  • explain why it should be an ongoing/longer-term committee

  • list the aims and objectives of the committee

Committee proposals can be submitted by creating an issue in the committees repository in The Carpentries GitHub or by emailing the proposal to the Core Team.

Committee Formation

Committee proposals do not require formal approval, though the Community Team should be informed of committee formation. Active committees are listed on The Carpentries website with a link to public documentation.

Committee Operations

The following are recommended guidelines for committees. Each committee should:

  • Create an official committee charter, including the committee’s roles and responsibilities

  • Appoint a committee chair and, optionally, a co-chair and identify term limits for chair/co-chair/members

  • Request a Core Team member liaison to serve as a point of contact and (optionally) attend the committee meetings

  • Create a public space for the committee, including:

    • The committee’s charter

    • Contact information for the committee

    • Other public materials (if available)

    • Information on when committee meetings are held

    • Meeting notes (if appropriate)

    • Names of the current and past members, including their roles

    • Name of the Core Team liaison (if applicable)

    • Information on how to join the committee

  • Create internal documentation for operational procedures (which may also be made public), including:

    • Process for recruiting and/or selecting new members

    • Process for on-boarding new members

    • Process for off-boarding members

    • Succession plan for chair/co-chair

    • Decision-making process

  • Maintain internal and public-facing communication:

    • Organise committee meetings (at least twice a year) and post meeting notes in a consistent location (meeting notes should be public unless the work of the committee requires them to remain private)

    • Post meetings in the community calendar. Note that meetings do not necessarily need to be open to public to attend even though they are added to the calendar - for example, the Code of Conduct Committee’s business meetings are public, but incident response meetings are not.

    • Aim to host at least one community discussion per year to share about the committee’s activities

    • Utilise other The Carpentries community communication pathways to engage with the community as needed

Templates for creating committee documentation are available from the committees repository.

Committee Termination

A committee may naturally cease to function upon fulfilling its goals, in which case the Core Team should be notified.

Past & Current Committees

Update Log

  • 2024-01-25: Renamed Committee Policy to Committee Guidelines, including recommendations and removing requirements for committees.

  • Approved on 2022-12-02 by the Executive Council.

  • Approved on 2020-09-23 by the Executive Council.