IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures
RFC 2418

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (September 1998; Errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1603
Last updated 2013-10-17
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Network Working Group                                         S. Bradner
Request for Comments: 2418                                        Editor
Obsoletes: 1603                                       Harvard University
BCP: 25                                                   September 1998
Category: Best Current Practice

                           IETF Working Group
                       Guidelines and Procedures

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has responsibility for
   developing and reviewing specifications intended as Internet
   Standards. IETF activities are organized into working groups (WGs).
   This document describes the guidelines and procedures for formation
   and operation of IETF working groups. It also describes the formal
   relationship between IETF participants WG and the Internet
   Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and the basic duties of IETF
   participants, including WG Chairs, WG participants, and IETF Area
   Directors.

Table of Contents

   Abstract .........................................................  1
   1. Introduction ..................................................  2
     1.1. IETF approach to standardization ..........................  4
     1.2. Roles within a Working Group ..............................  4
   2. Working group formation .......................................  4
     2.1. Criteria for formation ....................................  4
     2.2. Charter ...................................................  6
     2.3. Charter review & approval .................................  8
     2.4. Birds of a feather (BOF) ..................................  9
   3. Working Group Operation ....................................... 10
     3.1. Session planning .......................................... 11
     3.2. Session venue ............................................. 11
     3.3. Session management ........................................ 13
     3.4. Contention and appeals .................................... 15

Bradner                  Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 2418                Working Group Guidelines          September 1998

   4. Working Group Termination ..................................... 15
   5. Rechartering a Working Group .................................. 15
   6. Staff Roles ................................................... 16
     6.1. WG Chair .................................................. 16
     6.2. WG Secretary .............................................. 18
     6.3. Document Editor ........................................... 18
     6.4. WG Facilitator ............................................ 18
     6.5. Design teams .............................................. 19
     6.6. Working Group Consultant .................................. 19
     6.7. Area Director ............................................. 19
   7. Working Group Documents ....................................... 19
     7.1. Session documents ......................................... 19
     7.2. Internet-Drafts (I-D) ..................................... 19
     7.3. Request For Comments (RFC) ................................ 20
     7.4. Working Group Last-Call ................................... 20
     7.5. Submission of documents ................................... 21
   8. Review of documents ........................................... 21
   9. Security Considerations ....................................... 22
   10. Acknowledgments .............................................. 23
   11. References ................................................... 23
   12. Editor's Address ............................................. 23
   Appendix:  Sample Working Group Charter .......................... 24
   Full Copyright Statement ......................................... 26

1. Introduction

   The Internet, a loosely-organized international collaboration of
   autonomous, interconnected networks, supports host-to-host
   communication through voluntary adherence to open protocols and
   procedures defined by Internet Standards.  There are also many
   isolated interconnected networks, which are not connected to the
   global Internet but use the Internet Standards. Internet Standards
   are developed in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  This
   document defines guidelines and procedures for IETF working groups.
   The Internet Standards Process of the IETF is defined in [1]. The
   organizations involved in the IETF Standards Process are described in
   [2] as are the roles of specific individuals.

   The IETF is a large, open community of network designers, operators,
   vendors, users, and researchers concerned with the Internet and the
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