The Carpentries Committee Policy


Committees are an integral part of The Carpentries community. This policy will ensure sustainability, reduce burnout, and establish clear lines of communication and appropriate transparency for all Carpentries committees.

Committee operations

To ensure sustainability, accountability and effective communication for our committees, we propose the following guidelines. Each committee should:


  • Hold regular meetings, at least 4 per year

  • Post meetings on the community calendar. Note that meetings do not necessarily need to be public. For example, for the Code of Conduct Committee, only business meetings are public, not incident meetings

  • Host at least one community discussion per year


  • Appoint a committee chair, and optionally a co-chair, with a description of their responsibilities

  • Identify term limits and succession plan for chair/co-chair

  • Provide a “roles and responsibilities” document for the committee

  • Identify processes for onboarding new members

  • Identify a process for offboarding members

  • Include a process for recruiting and selecting new members

  • Appoint a Core Team member liaison


  • Post meeting notes or minutes in a consistent location. Minutes should be public, but can be private if the work of the committee requires it

  • Utilise The Carpentries communication pathways

  • Send written updates to the Executive Council every 6 months

Public Documentation

Each committee shall have a public page with the following information:

  • Committee Name

  • A short description of what the committee does

  • Contact information for the committee

  • Link to roles and responsibilities

  • Link to committee materials: (e.g. the committee’s GitHub repo, and/or section of the handbook)

  • Information for when meetings are held

  • Link to public meeting notes (current and past)

  • Names of current members including their roles

  • Name of the Core Team Liaison

  • Past committee members including their roles

  • Information for how to join the committee

The committee chair is responsible for updating this information at least yearly.

Internal Documentation

The committee should also have an documentation for the committee members that includes:

  • Onboarding information

  • Offboarding information

  • How the chair and other roles are selected

  • Information on recruiting or selecting committee members: e.g. language, rubric

Committee Formation

Committees are formed by creating the public documentation described above and submitting it for approval to the Executive Council. Upon approval, the committee is listed at the Carpentries Website with a link to this public documentation.

Committee termination

The Executive Council may terminate a Committee at any time.

Committee Actions Requiring Executive Council Approval

The committee will not undertake any of the following actions without obtaining approval of the Executive Council:

  • Creation of a supplementary Code of Conduct

  • Creation and/or release of position statements

  • Host branded events

  • Create and/or use a logo

  • Launch their own fundraising campaign

Note that the above list is not exhaustive. Committees should consult with the Executive Council if there is any question about whether or not what they are doing requires approval.

Update log:

Approved 2020-07-06 by the Executive Council