By: Chairs for CNCF Governing Board & Technical Oversight Committee
CNCF is in the process of improving its Code of Conduct (CoC) processes to be more transparent, include community voices and representation, and achieve a balance that combines project self-governance with foundation support. The improvements will be rolled out in several phases over the next 6-12 months. Keep reading to learn more.
Step 1: We are replacing the existing staff-only CoC response team with a new temporary interim CNCF CoC Committee that will include at least two (2) community member representatives from the TOC in addition to CNCF staff. The interim committee members will be announced shortly, as soon as they are confirmed. This interim committee will be temporary, and will operate until a more permanent structure – designed collaboratively by the broader community – is established, per Steps 2 and 3 described below.
Step 2: We are launching a Code of Conduct Update Working Group. This working group (WG) will be composed of representatives from a broad cross-section of the CNCF Community, foundation staff members, and external consultants and advisors for support as needed.
The intended output of the WG is an updated CoC incident resolution structure and updated set of policy documents including:
- Charter for a new CNCF CoC Committee (will include size, composition, eligibility requirements, term lengths, election procedures, and decision-making processes)
- Improvements to the existing CNCF Code of Conduct
- Updated policies regarding communication, transparency, and confidentiality
- Updated conflict of interest policy
- Written policy outlining who has jurisdiction of which incidents (LF Events, CNCF CoC Committee, or project-level CoC Committee)
- Document explaining escalation procedures
Although CNCF has already been operating in accordance with policies and procedures of the types listed above, we want to update and better document them through a collaborative community process.
It will likely take 4-6 months for the Working Group to complete all of the deliverables outlined above. Then the deliverables will be submitted to the appropriate governing body for final approval. Updates to the Code of Conduct itself must be approved by the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (CNCF Charter §13), whereas creation of the new CoC Committee must be approved by the CNCF Governing Board (CNCF Charter §5(d)(vii)).
Why 4-6 months? CoC work is really important, and we want to get this right. We also want to be inclusive and collaborative, which takes time. Throughout the process, the WG will be actively soliciting feedback from the broader community and multiple CNCF governing bodies and groups (e.g., governing board, TOC, TAGs, steering committees). Anyone in the community (not just WG members) will be invited to submit proposals for consideration, so we’re building multiple Calls for Proposals into the WG timeline.
With that said, the WG will be working very hard to have at least an MVP proposal ready to present at KubeCon North America 2022.
Stay tuned. The structure, composition, and proposed timeline for the WG, as well as the process for submitting proposals, will be announced within the next few weeks.
Step 3: Based on the output of the Working Group, we’ll launch a new CNCF Code of Conduct Committee that will handle resolution of future Code of Conduct incidents for the CNCF Community, in collaboration with LF Events and any projects that have their own CoC committees (e.g., k8s).
Step 4: We will check in on a periodic basis to see if further improvements or refinements to the process need to be made, or if the new CNCF CoC Committee needs additional support.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we’re excited to bring together so many community members and staff to make CNCF even better.