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IETF LLC Community Engagement Policy


Purpose of this Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC) community consultations and general community engagement are consistent, well structured and in line with the values of the IETF LLC.  This policy provides guidance to IETF LLC board, staff and contractors when they engage with the community in their IETF LLC role. This policy does not apply to the management of RFPs or contracts.


RFC 8711 section 4 sets out the scope and principles of the IETF LLC and in particular, notes that the LLC is the administrative support organisation to the IETF/IRTF/IAB and has no authority over the standards development activities.  The IETF LLC is expected to implement community requirements as specified in the form of BCPs and to take advice from the community as specified in informational RFCs and as provided in consultations.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the IETF LLC Code of Conduct and nothing here should be taken as overriding or amending that policy.

Community Feedback


Consultations are the most important means by which the IETF LLC seeks feedback from the community to inform its decision making and all consultations should be well structured and well managed to maximise the opportunity for the community to respond.

Well structured means each consultation should be based on some form of document or email and should have a defined finish date. The document should set out the context to the consultation and any specific questions on which the IETF LLC seeks feedback. Consultations should normally run for two weeks with a minimum time of 48 hours for urgent consultations.

Well managed means that all feedback is tracked and either incorporated or the reasons for non-incorporated are clearly noted. If the consultation is on specific text then new text may be produced during the consultation to respond to the feedback as it is raised.

When a consultation is complete and a decision made on the feedback received, then the community will be informed of this.

Engagement Mechanisms


The IETF LLC regularly conducts surveys of the community to inform its decision making and to support the decision making of other parts of the IETF/IRTF/IAB.  

Only data that is voluntarily provided by the respondents is to be collected and used.  Data should not be requested that identifies the respondent.

Survey results should generally be made public in the form of a report or data tables but with care taken to preserve the anonymity of respondents.  The results may be redacted if they contain material the IETF LLC thinks is inappropriate, such as advertising material or identifying people by name.

Published Documents

The IETF LLC sits outside of and supports the standards development process. The IETF LLC’s published documents may be long lived or may change both frequently and rapidly depending on the circumstance.  Consequently, the IETF LLC does not ordinarily use the Internet-Draft (I-D) format for its documents and does not publish RFCs but instead chooses a document format and publication mechanism that is appropriate to each class of document that it publishes. The one exception is where the IETF LLC may find it necessary to use the I-D format to input into a community-managed process (e.g. IETF Working Group).. 


The IETF LLC sends an announcement to ietf-announce, which may just include pointers rather than substantive content, for the following events:

  • For all important stages of a consultation, including  initiation, any reminders,  extension, closing and the final report.
  • For all important stages of a survey, including initiation, any reminders,  extension, closing and the final report.
  • When a new IETF LLC policy has been added or an existing policy amended or withdrawn.
  • For each new IETF LLC blog post.
  • In advance of each board meeting.
  • For all important IETF meeting related information.

A register of all IETF LLC announcements to ietf-announce is maintained as a page on the IETF website,

Other announcement lists may be used for more specific announcements.

Mailing Lists

Staff will, at a minimum, monitor the following lists for any discussions relevant to the IETF LLC:

  • (a new list)
  • attendees lists (e.g.
  • All lists associated with GEN area working groups, documents, and pre-working-group efforts.

The primary list for the discussion of LLC administrative issues is  and is used as the reply-to address for IETF LLC consultations.  While this list is only used by the LLC for administrative discussions, with the IESG continuing to use, it is named more generically to make it easier for newcomers to recognise its significance.

Approved: 12 November 2020