Code of Conduct Training

It’s not enough to adopt a code of conduct for your community or event, you must also enforce the code of conduct when people break it. Enforcing a code of conduct involves a lot of difficult questions without obvious answers, such as: Who enforces the code of conduct? How do you take a report? Should you ask for an apology? What do you do if someone is in physical danger? How much detail should you share with the community?

The specific scenarios and the background that Valerie gave that helped us understand context. I really appreciated how the workshop was tailored to our specific needs around dealing with conference harassment. — Bridget Hillyer, Strange Loop organizer

This workshop teaches both specific skills and general principles for gathering reports, deciding on a response quickly, and communicating effectively. You will learn to create a safe, inclusive, welcoming environment for your attendees, while minimizing negative attention and harassment of the victims and organizers. The workshop is 2 to 3 hours long with one break, with approximately 1.5 hours of lecture and the remainder of the time spent on group discussion of specific scenarios.

I very much liked the collaborative, exploratory approach. The group produced great insights and approaches, and the process of reaching them was at least as interesting and important as the results. — Anonymous attendee

The facilitator, Valerie Aurora, has been a lead organizer for ten conferences and as part of that role handled multiple code of conduct violations. She has also assisted the organizers of several thousand-plus attendee conferences in responding to incidents, both in-person and remotely. In most cases, the incidents were resolved to the satisfaction of the victims, the majority of the attendees, and occasionally even the perpetrators (!), without attracting significant negative attention for the victims of the incident or the conference itself. She is also the lead author of the most popular conference code of conduct, in use by thousands of tech-related conferences today.

The most valuable thing I got out of the workshop were frameworks and guidelines for thinking about situations that might arise in the future. — Anonymous attendee

We also provide real-time access to advice on handling incidents on a retainer basis. Contact us at to learn more about the workshop or setting up a retainer.

Slides (PDF) (PPT)
Responding to reports guide (PDF) (lead author: Mary Gardiner)