By the Chairs for CNCF Governing Board & Technical Oversight Committee

We’re pleased to announce the new initial structure for the Code of Conduct Update Working Group previously announced as Step 2 in Upcoming Code of Conduct Updates at CNCF.  Please also see today’s other blog post announcing the Interim Code of Conduct Committee members.

We previously announced a Working Group structure to several CNCF mailing lists.  We received feedback asking for flexibility to include more people who are interested in participating.  We went back to the drawing board and created a new structure driven by the suggestions and feedback we received.  Keep reading to learn about the new structure.

The Working Group now will be open to all interested attendees

Any community member may join the Code of Conduct (CoC) Working Group (WG) and attend WG meetings.  All work product of the WG will be developed in a public GitHub repository.  

Any community member may submit a proposal by opening a pull request. We will also create a mechanism for community members to submit proposals and feedback anonymously if they prefer to do so.  Community members are also welcome to share their suggestions directly with any of the Working Group Co-Chairs, Approvers, or Reviewers (keep reading for information about these roles). 

Review and approval process

We are structuring the review and approval process to ensure that we are making decisions based on consensus and that there is broad buy-in on any proposal that gets merged.  Initially, at least 3 Reviewers must review and support a PR for it to advance to the Approvers, and all 3 Approvers must approve in order for the pull request to be merged.  The number of Reviewers and Approvers needed to advance and approve a PR may be modified at a later date in response to Working Group feedback.

Additionally, updates to the Code of Conduct itself must be approved by the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee  (CNCF Charter §13), and creation of the new CoC Committee must be approved by the CNCF Governing Board (CNCF Charter §5(d)(vii)).

Seeking reviewers

We are seeking Reviewers from the following roles:

Additionally, the Linux Foundation Events team and CNCF will appoint staff members to serve as Reviewers.

There is no ceiling on the number of Reviewers.  In response to feedback from Approvers, existing Reviewers, and the broader Working Group, additional Reviewers may be added at a later time.

If you want to become a Reviewer

If you are an active Incubated or Graduated Maintainer or belong to one of the governing bodies listed above, and you would like to be a Reviewer, please notify Taylor Waggoner <> by July 11, 2022.  If you previously notified Taylor Waggoner that you would like to serve on the CoC Working Group, she will be reaching out to you via email to confirm whether you would like to be a Reviewer or participate as a regular Working Group member.


Initially, the Working Group will have 3 Approvers, who will also Co-Chair the Working Group.  The 3 initial Approvers will be:

*The elected community member Approver must be an active Incubating or Graduated Maintainer, and will be elected in the same manner as the Developer Representatives on the CNCF Governing Board, except that both Kubernetes and non-Kubernetes Maintainers will be voting together instead of separately.

The number of Approvers may be increased at a later time dependent upon the needs of the working group and consensus and approval following the working group’s processes.  Additionally, each of the Approvers (GB, TOC, and community member) may have one or more alternates designated who can step in when the primary Approver is unavailable.  The runner up in the election for the community member Approver will automatically be invited to serve as an alternate Approver, and may be invited to serve as a primary Approver at a later date if the number of primary Approvers is increased.

In all cases, each alternate shall be listed within the repo and designated as such.

If you are interested in being the community member Approver

If you are an active Incubating or Graduated Maintainer and would like to run for the elected community member Approver, please notify Taylor Waggoner by July 11, 2022.  After we have collected all nominations, we will announce the candidates and proceed with the election.

Next Steps

After the community member Approver and Co-Chair is elected, we will announce the names of all initial Co-Chairs, Approvers, and Reviewers, and we will schedule a kick-off meeting to discuss the proposed timeline, deliverables, and contribution guidelines.  So stay tuned for further updates as we move forward.