Catching Up on Executive Council Policy Making

Here's an update from The Carpentries Executive Council about recent and ongoing work, and with links to relevant resources

The Carpentries Executive Council has spent a significant amount of time this year fleshing out, finalising, and approving a number of different governing documents and policies for the organisation that will allow us to proceed more efficiently in the future with the more exciting and engaging activities of “being” The Carpentries. This is an update to the community on what we have been working on and where you can find more information.


Bylaws for the merged Carpentries organisation were formally approved by the Executive Council on November 1, 2018. The full text of the By-Laws is available in the Governance section of the Carpentries Handbook. The Bylaws include a statement of our organisational Mission; descriptions of memberships for Lesson Programs, Organisations, and Individuals; information about the responsibilities, composition, and function of the Executive Council; election information; and other details related to officer roles, committees, and staff. Any future updates to the Bylaws will be reflected on this site along with notes about the updates.

Lesson Program Policy

At the merger of Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, the newly-formed The Carpentries project was conceived as an umbrella organisation that would oversee activities that are core to both Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, which we call Lesson Programs. Lesson Programs are collections of lessons comprising one or more Carpentries workshops, serving distinct goals and audience, and the leadership guiding their development and implementation. It was clear that as we moved forward we needed policies around Lesson Programs beyond what is included in the Bylaws, so that we can provide clarity on what constitutes a Lesson Program so that new groups – like Library Carpentry – could better understand the path forward to joining our ranks and becoming official Lesson Programs within The Carpentries. The Lesson Program Policy was formally approved by the Executive Council on November 2, 2018, and it is now available in The Carpentries Handbook. It spells out in detail what the roles and responsibilities of the Lesson Program are, as well as the roles and responsibilities of The Carpentries with respect to the Lesson Program. This policy will provide guidance for those groups who are interested in becoming official Lesson Programs within The Carpentries.

Executive Council Operational Transparency

To some in our community, the Executive Council may seem like a bit of a black box. What exactly are we doing? In order to provide more transparency and clarity around our activities and discussions during all those monthly Zoom calls, we’ve posted some general information for the community, in both the Handbook and in our public GitHub repository. In the process folder you’ll find information on on-boarding new members (and off-boarding outgoing ones), the roles and responsibilities of all Executive Council members, and the yearly schedule of all our recurring activities.

We would also like to draw your attention to minutes from our monthly meetings and the Code of Conduct transparency reports that are also publicly available in the same repository.

Dialogue & Discussion

Comments must follow our Code of Conduct.

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