WG Policies and Procedures

IEEE 802.1 operates under the hierarchy of rules defined in the IEEE 802 Procedural Documents.  The most relevant of these are:

It should be noted that IEEE 802.1 does not maintain a set of rules or operating manual in addition to these. However, the Working Group chair maintains a set of IEEE 802.1 Chair’s membership guidelines to record common approaches in regards to voting membership.  These are emailed periodically with revised voting membership lists.  In addition, there are also ballot guidelines to record common approaches in regards to Task Group and Working Gtoup balloting that are contained in the preamble to all emailed ballots.  These are both repeated below.

802.1 WG voting membership guidelines

The following reflects current (and historical) practice within 802.1 with regard to achieving, maintaining, and losing voting membership, and is consistent with  7.2 of the IEEE 802 Working Group Policies and Procedures

  • 802.1 holds two kinds of working sessions; Plenary sessions (in conjunction with the Plenary sessions of  802 as a whole), in March, July, and November of each year, and Interim sessions, scheduled as needed, usually one held between adjacent Plenary sessions.
  • Each working session consists of a number of meetings; a meeting is a contiguous period of time during which the working group (or its task groups) meet to do business. Typically a meeting consists of a morning or an afternoon during a Plenary or Interim session; there are therefore typically between 4 and 9 meetings held during a session.
  • Participants in 802.1 working sessions can claim attendance credit by signing in using the on-line attendance system that is available during each meeting. By signing in, you are indicating that, by the end of that morning or afternoon meeting, you will have been present for the majority of the time allocated for that meeting. (This last point is significant, as it is not legitimate to claim attendanceat a meeting of two different working groups that occupy the same time period. However, the online attendance software system makes this very difficult to achieve.) In this context, “…the majority of time…” is taken to mean 75% or more of the working time available for that morning or afternoon meeting.
  • A participant that claims attendance credit for 75% or more of the meetings scheduled for an 802.1 session and declares their affiliation on the on-line system will be credited with qualifying attendance at that session.
  • A participant that has qualifying attendance at two out of the last four Plenary sessions of 802.1 becomes a voting member at the first meeting they attend during the next Plenary session they attend, PROVIDED THAT they have emailed the WG Chair, indicating that they have the intention to become a voting member of the working group. Qualifying attendance at one properly constituted 802.1 Interim session that occurred within the span of the last four Plenary sessions can be substituted for one of the two qualifying Plenary session attendances.
  • Voting membership is maintained by achieving qualifying attendance at two out of the last four Plenary sessions of 802.1, and by responding to 2 out of the last 3 Working Group ballots. “Respond” in this context is defined as returning a ballot indicating “Approve”, “Disapprove”, or “Abstain due to lack of technical expertise”. Again, qualifying attendance at one properly constituted 802.1 Interim session that occurred during the span of the last four Plenary sessions can be substituted for one of the two qualifying Plenary session attendances.
  • Voting membership, and all attendance credit achieved up to that date, can be lost by a participant failing to meet their financial obligations to IEEE 802 or to the sponsors of an Interim meeting, i.e., by failing to pay any attendance fees or dues that may be owing to IEEE 802 or to a meeting sponsor.

If you are planning to gain voting rights in 802.1, please bear in mind that you should properly regard voting membership as an obligation, rather than a privilege. By gaining voting rights, you are taking on the responsibility of active participation in the work of the WG, and in particular, active participation in WG ballots. If you do not feel able to commit to doing that work, please reconsider whether it is appropriate to become a voter. In order for our work to progress, we are required to gain a 50% voter response rate in WG ballots, so the last thing we need is voting members that cannot or will not carry out their obligations.

802.1 WG ballot guidelines

For a full Working Group ballot, only 802.1 voting members and ex-officio members are entitled to vote. However, any non-voting participants in the activities of 802.1 may submit a “Comment Only” ballot on the draft. In accordance with established practice in 802 and the IEEE, all comments received, whether from voters or non-voters, are given due consideration during the Ballot resolution process.

NOTE: As this is a formal WG ballot, if you vote “Approve” you are stating that, in your professional opinion, you consider the document to be technically complete, and ready for Sponsor ballot. Hence, sending in an “approve” ballot response within a small number of minutes of the ballot start time cannot possibly mean that the voter has given the document the level of professional consideration necessary to make such a judgment.


It should be noted that the ongoing retention of 802.1 voting rights is predicated on active participation in Working Group ballots. Active participation is defined to be returning ballot responses in two out of the last three Working Group ballots. The 802 WG Rules allow abstention for any cause other than “lack of technical expertise” to be treated as though it were a failure to respond to a ballot.