Readability Project

The RIPE NCC is currently undertaking a project to make a number of key policy documents easier to understand, without changing the meaning of the content.

Find out more

RIPE Documents Search

Working Group Chair Job Description and Procedures

1. Introduction

The purpose of this document is to describe the role, responsibility and expectations associated with RIPE Working Group (WG) Chairs.


The document is divided into the following sections:

  • WG chairs and co-chairs

  • Creating WG charters

  • Updating WG charters

  • Policy Development Process (PDP) responsibilities

  • RIPE Meeting responsibilities


2. Working Group Chairs and Co-Chairs

WG chairs and co-chairs should always make it clear whether they speak on behalf of themselves, the organisations they work for or the WG for which they are chair or co-chair.

RIPE WGs have two different ways of dividing up the responsibilities of the WG chair(s): WG Chair Model and Equal Co-Chair Model. The model that is used depends upon the specific needs, history and set-up of a particular WG.


i) WG Chair Model

In this model, a WG chair has overall responsibility for the WG and can be supported by co-chairs. These co-chairs can assist with general WG support and can deputise for the WG chair if he/she is not able to attend a RIPE Meeting.


ii) Equal Co-Chair Model

In this model, the co-chairs share the responsibility for RIPE Policy Development Process (PDP) and RIPE Meeting activities. The co-chairs act together to make any formal statements (for example on policy development) that are relevant to their WG. For each RIPE Meeting, one of the co-chairs serves as the primary contact for the WG and for session organisational matters.


The number of chairs and co-chairs of each WG should not exceed three (3).


3. Creating Working Group Charters

i) Working Group created from a Task Force

A WG usually emerges from a Task Force. In this case, the procedure for creating the WG Charter is as follows:

The head of the Task Force creates the charter for the new WG in consultation with other members of the Task Force. Once this has been agreed, and approved by the RIPE Chair, the charter for the new WG is officially recognised.


ii) New Working Group Emerging from an Existing WG

If a new WG emerges from an existing WG, then the chairs and co-chairs of both the new and existing WG should draw up the charter for the new WG. Once this has been agreed, and approved by the RIPE Chair, the charter for the new WG is officially recognised.


4. Updating Working Group Charters

If a WG Chair needs to update the WG charter, he/she needs to have the text approved by the WG co-chairs before presenting the revised charter to the WG for their approval via the WG mailing list and/or at a RIPE Meeting.


5. Policy Development Process (PDP) Responsibilities

WG Chairs are expected to:

  • Stay up-to-date with all phases of a policy proposal relevant to their WG

  • Follow discussions on the relevant WG mailing list(s)

  • Guide mailing list discussions as appropriate

  • Take charge of PDP milestone decisions relevant to their WG

  • Ensure PDP milestone decisions keep to the timeframe as described in the document “Policy Development Process in RIPE” (ripe-500)

  • Make a collective, final decision supported by a reasonable level of awareness as to whether a particular policy proposal has received consensus

  • Inform the RIPE NCC when a policy proposal has received consensus and should become a RIPE Document

Note – In a WG with an equal co-chair model [see 2(i)], these responsibilities are shared between the co-chairs.


6. RIPE Meetings Responsibilities

i) General/Plenary

WG Chairs are expected to:

  • Attend RIPE Meetings or ensure that a co-chair attends the meeting

  • Lead a Plenary session as agreed in advance of the meeting and pass on any action points that are decided in this Plenary session to the relevant WG

Note – In a WG with an equal co-chair model [see 2(i)], these responsibilities are shared between the co-chairs.


ii) Working Group Specific

WG chairs are expected to:

  • Solicit relevant presentations for the WG session

  • Post a draft agenda for their WG session (at least 2-3 weeks before a RIPE Meeting where possible)

  • Lead the WG session and encourage active participation

  • Review and approve the minutes from their WG session (4-6 weeks)

  • Attend WG chair lunches during RIPE Meetings

  • Attend WG chair meetings between RIPE Meetings

  • Update the action list of their WG after the RIPE Meeting

  • Approach the RIPE Chair and the EOF Coordinator with any requests to fund a speaker’s attendance at a RIPE Meeting. If the request for funding is deemed appropriate by the RIPE Chair and the EOF Coordinator, the RIPE Chair will request funding from the RIPE NCC Managing Director. The RIPE NCC Managing Director may or may not approve such a request at his own discretion.

Note – In a WG with an equal co-chair model [see 2(i)], one co-chair takes overall responsibility for these activities at a particular RIPE Meeting.