Instructor Trainers

Instructor Trainers (‘Trainers’) are certified to teach at all authorized Carpentries Instructor Training workshops, onboarding new Instructors who may in turn become certified to teach Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry workshops. Trainers also play a role in the Instructor ‘checkout’ process, evaluating trainees’ teaching demonstrations. The Trainer community plays a leading role in The Carpentries, maintaining our flagship Instructor Training Curriculum, contributing to relevant policies, and bringing instructional practices to bear in leadership roles across our local and global communities.

Trainers benefit from being part of a global community of pedagogically trained professionals with a shared interest in promoting robust teaching practices and propagating data skills worldwide. Trainers continually build on their own pedagogical and communication skills through co-instruction and monthly community discussions about Instructor training. Trainers have opportunities to influence what we teach, through curriculum maintenance, and to steer the progress of this community, through leadership roles. Trainers often play leadership roles in their home communities, mentoring local Instructors, and modeling best practices.

Trainer Agreement

Version 2.0.0 - Approved 2020-07-22

I agree to follow the Code of Conduct (CoC) in all communications and interactions with The Carpentries community and to promptly report any violations of the CoC that I become aware of.

I understand that the secondary learning outcomes of workshops are as important as their stated goals. I will:

  • Communicate The Carpentries community values to trainees and model that behaviour myself in how I teach

  • Provide a welcoming and supporting environment for trainees

  • Model our focus on active, participatory learning in Instructor Training

  • Connect the principles used in The Carpentries workshops with other teaching contexts

I understand that it is important to keep up to date and in touch with the Trainer community so that my teaching will reflect current practices and curriculum. To be an active Trainer, I agree to:

  • Engage in a minimum of 48 units of service to the Instructor Trainer community per calendar year. This service may include:

    • Teaching authorized Carpentries Instructor Training workshops, following The Carpentries Instructor Training Curriculum (16 units each; minimum 1 per calendar year)

    • Hosting Carpentries teaching demonstrations (1 unit each; recommended 4 per calendar year)

    • Teaching additional Instructor Training-related content (e.g. ‘bonus modules’; 1 unit per instructional hour)

    • Attending Trainer meetings (1 unit each)

    • Serving The Carpentries community in an elected, appointed, or designated leadership role (variable, as approved by Trainers leadership on a per-case basis, with 1 unit approximately equivalent to 1 hour commitment)

I understand that any Trainer commitments specified in a Membership Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) add to my responsibilities and do not count towards these 48 units unless otherwise stated. Commitments specified in the Membership Agreement or MOU may include, but are not limited to, teaching local Instructor Training events. The Carpentries is working towards making these agreements and MOUs available to Trainers upon request; I understand that I may initiate a request at any time by contacting

I understand that any scholarship-based training events that I may request on behalf of a community that I wish to serve may not count towards these 48 units. These expectations will be communicated on a per-case basis in the context of scholarship approval.

I understand that Instructor Training workshops are considered “workshops” with respect to The Carpentries requirements for maintenance of individual voting membership. It is not necessary to teach Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, or Software Carpentry technical workshops to maintain active status as a Trainer.

Additional responsibilities that do not count towards the 48 units of service include:

  • Reading minutes/notes from Trainer meetings when I am not able to attend

  • Reading emails sent to the Trainer listserv (Topicbox). I will keep my email address on Topicbox up to date to ensure that I receive all communications in a timely manner. Update requests may be sent to

  • Keeping up-to-date with the instructor training curriculum and related conversations on GitHub

  • Providing feedback to other Trainers and Carpentries Core Team about workshops and teaching demonstrations to help continue developing our offerings

I understand that The Carpentries Core Team needs an accurate understanding of Trainer availability in order to plan Instructor Training events. If at any point I am no longer able to serve as an active Trainer, I will let The Carpentries Core Team know by emailing I understand that only active Trainers are eligible to teach Carpentries Instructor Training workshops and vote in Trainer community elections, but that I will be able to re-activate my Trainer status at any time by making arrangements with the Core Team for re-onboarding per the guidelines in The Carpentries Handbook.

The Carpentries is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organisation based in California, USA.

Trainer Alumni Status

Active Trainers may elect to become inactive by requesting Trainer Alumni status at any time by contacting

Trainer Alumni will not be permitted to:

  • teach Carpentries Instructor Training workshops

  • host teaching demonstrations

  • vote in Trainer community elections
    Exceptions may be made at the discretion of The Carpentries Core Team. To request permission to teach or host a demo, contact

Trainer Alumni may select to:

  • continue to receive Topicbox Instructor Training emails & participate in conversations

  • continue to participate in the Slack private Trainers channel

  • receive an annual newsletter during agreement renewal with community updates and details on how to return to Active status.

A Trainer who wishes to return to Active status will have a different path depending on the amount of time they’ve been inactive:

  • less than 3 months: no requirements - contact to request reinstatement

  • 3-12 months: meet with Director of Instructor Training to catch up on latest news & discuss plans for re-activating

  • more than 12 months: review Trainer Training curriculum, observe part of an Instructor Training workshop, and meet with Director of Instructor Training to catch up and discuss plans, including re-introduction to the Trainer community via meetings or other arrangements.