Code of Conduct services

Codes of conduct for conferences and communities are now a must-have, but implementing and enforcing them is complicated and risky. Frame Shift Consulting can help make your organization’s code of conduct a success with services including:

  • Customized code of conduct training
  • Code of conduct review and creation
  • On-call assistance for handling reports
  • Retainers for general code of conduct advice

For a free initial consultation, email us at, or start by looking at our free book and training video on codes of conduct.

Valerie advised us when creating the code of conduct in Wikimedia’s technical spaces. Her input was invaluable in navigating the challenge of creating a code of conduct that was co-created by our community. Her advice was practical, flexible, and informative, and empowered us to produce a code that represents our communities’ values, has a framework for updates and improvements, and continues to improve the experience of our technical contributors all over the world. —Moriel Schottlender, Senior Software Engineer, Wikimedia Foundation

A smiling middle-aged white woman with short bleached blonde hairOur code of conduct consultant, Valerie Aurora, has more than 10 years of real-world experience helping conferences, communities, venture capital firms, and non-profits adopt and implement code of conducts. She is lead author of a code of conduct in use by thousands of conferences and communities as well as the book “How to Respond to Code of Conduct Reports.” She has personally handled dozens of code of conduct reports.

Training classes

We offer customized in-depth training classes on several code of conduct-related topics:

  • Writing and adopting a code of conduct
  • Enforcing a code of conduct
  • Investigating and responding to reports
  • Educating organizational leadership on codes of conduct

For an example of our training style, watch our code of conduct first responder training video.

Our live code of conduct training classes are highly interactive, with group discussions and exercises using real-world examples. We teach both online and in person.

Val was a trusted adviser to us as we planned and practiced responses to Code of Conduct incidents that might arise at conferences or in our open source communities. Her advice was practical and paired with a diverse set of potential scenarios to build confidence, and with it we felt prepared to act in a responsible and orderly way. —Brandon Philips, co-founder and CTO of CoreOS

Code of Conduct book

Book cover with background image of seagulls on a beach

We literally wrote the book on codes of conduct! “How to Respond to Code of Conduct Reports,” written by Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner and edited by Annalee Flower Horne, is now available for free download. This comprehensive guide includes:

  • What to include in a code of conduct (and what to leave out)
  • How to prepare to enforce a code of conduct
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to respond to a report
  • In-depth discussion of relevant topics
  • Dozens of real-world examples of responding to reports

The book is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, allowing free reuse and modification of the materials as long as you credit the authors.

Download here (Kindle, EPUB, PDF)

I highly recommend Val Aurora’s new book on code of conduct enforcement. Until reading it I had no idea how unprepared I’d been to deal with a code of conduct violation at the Tech Intersections conference. It was also interesting to read. —Ellen Spertus, professor of computer science professor at Mills College

As part of co-chairing an international conference which did not have a code of conduct in its earlier editions, I have to write a principled and precise code of conduct as well as respond to reports. This book was an invaluable help, as I had no previous training in this area. This book is an important contribution to making academia a safer and more welcoming place. I recommended it to many of my colleagues. —Vincent Lostanlen, postdoctoral fellow at Cornell Lab of Ornithology

First responder training video

This 21 minute video teaches people how to be the first person to respond to code of conduct violations at a conference or in your community. It covers:

  • How to prepare to take reports
  • What to do when someone comes to you with a report
  • How to intervene in an on-going situation if necessary
  • Consent to report, drinking, powerful people, legal concerns, etc.

Slides (PDF) (transcript)
Report-taking checklist (PDF)

Valerie helped us write and adopt a code of conduct that could be a model for our industry as well as a guide for our firm. She is deeply experienced and gave nuanced, direct advice and we look forward to using her book to train our staff. —Samantha Wong, partner at Blackbird Ventures