Code of Conduct

Approved 2023-04-07 by ARDC Board of Directors

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is committed to fostering a friendly, safe, fair, welcoming, and inclusive environment and community. Furthermore, ARDC encourages contributions from anyone who wishes to advance the art of amateur radio and digital communication. This Code of Conduct aims to ensure that we maintain inclusive spaces where people can work together productively.

These concepts are intended to make more explicit certain social norms that are normally implicit. They are designed to curtail specific behavior we’ve found to be destructive to a supportive, productive, and fun learning environment.1

This code of conduct is not exhaustive or complete. It is an ongoing effort to summarize our shared understanding. We understand that keeping a living document relevant and patched involves sustained effort. Should you have suggestions, please submit them to

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contribute to a positive environment for our community include:

  • Demonstrating empathy and kindness toward other people
  • Being respectful of differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences
  • Giving and gracefully accepting constructive feedback
  • Accepting responsibility and apologizing to those affected by mistakes, and learning from the experience
  • Focusing on what is best not just for us as individuals, but for the overall community

Examples of unacceptable behavior include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery, and sexual attention or advances of any kind
  • Trolling, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or email address, without their explicit permission2

About the Code

What is a Code of Conduct?

A “code of conduct” is a statement that specifically addresses the expected standards of behavior for a community. It is not intended to stifle healthy disagreements, but rather to allow productive conversation to proceed in an inclusive manner. We also believe it is important to create an explicit social contract to define our shared values, and — perhaps more importantly — describe what happens when those values are breached.

Our Values

At ARDC, we look to our values for guidance in how we conduct ourselves. These values are:

  • curiosity,
  • experimentalism,
  • respect,
  • accountability,
  • openness & transparency,
  • inclusiveness,
  • fairness, and
  • generosity & gratitude.

We commit to acting in accordance with these values, and we ask that all those who engage with us do the same.


This Code of Conduct applies to interactions with and between ARDC staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors while conducting ARDC business, as well as participants in ARDC-hosted events and platforms, including community meetings, mailing lists, and technology development projects.

Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by the Code of Conduct.

This Code of Conduct does NOT apply to events, projects or organizations that may have received grant funding from ARDC. Such events, projects, and organizations are independent from ARDC and subject to their own governance. For example, the M17 Project has received funding from ARDC, and they have their own Code of Conduct which applies to their events and activities:


This Code of Conduct has been created using the wisdom of many codes that have come before us, so some verbiage may seem familiar. ARDC would like to thank the following organizations for their leadership and allowing us to borrow language from their own codes of conduct.

In turn, we also grant permission for other organizations to use and modify the ARDC Code of Conduct for their own purposes.


The following procedure is laid out for addressing formal reports from individuals who have concerns regarding potential violations of this Code of Conduct. Formal reports are beneficial for documenting patterns of abuse and ongoing discussions of ethics and compliance that help protect and empower our community, as well as our decision-making for incident resolution.

  1. Incident reporting. Report the incident to the Conduct Review Committee at Please share any helpful information you can about the exchange, such as when and where the incident occurred, specifics of the nature of the violation, any screenshots or documentation, and any previous attempts to resolve the situation. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, this web form is also available. Please note that we will not be able to follow-up with you afterwards when submitting anonymously. Both the web form and the email go to the Conduct Review Committee Members. Please see the below section for more information about this committee, including current membership and the selection process.
  2. Incident review. The report and incident will be reviewed by the Conduct Review Committees, who will review any evidence related to the reported violation. If the documentation is unclear, they will meet with the parties involved (separately) and hear all sides.
  3. Incident resolution. Resolution will be dependent on the nature of the event. Whenever possible, this will include a plan to (a) keep behavior from happening again and (b) keep folks in the group. Parties involved will be notified of the result privately in writing, if contact information was provided. Possible resolutions may include:
    • Removal of posts containing hateful, hurtful, or exclusionary comments
    • Written warning
    • Temporary time-out or mute on a shared platform. This means the user will still be able to access and read, but their posting privileges will be temporarily removed.
    • Removal of current and/or future ARDC resources, such as IP assignments, mailing address membership, or eligibility for future grants. This action is taken very seriously and requires written approval from either the Executive Director or a member of ARDC’s Board of Directors who is not on the Conduct Review Committee.

    Sometimes complaints are made that do not point to an actual violation of this Code of Conduct. If this is true, then no disciplinary action may be required; only communication and clarification. If, however, it is found that a complaint does not point to an actual violation of this Code AND seems to be made with malicious intent or to otherwise undermine this Code (particularly if done repetitively), then the above disciplinary resolutions may apply to the complainant.

    Should any involved party strongly disagree with the prescribed resolution, they may email, which forwards to both the Conduct Review Committee as well as ARDC’s Board of Directors.

  4. Decision Appeal. In the event that there is disagreement about the incident resolution, it will be reviewed by the Executive Director and ARDC’s Board of Directors for a final determination. In the event that the Executive Director, a member of the Conduct Review Committee, or a Board Member are the subject of a complaint, the incident will be reviewed only by ARDC’s Board of Directors, in discussion with the other Conduct Review Committee members.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How will this code actually stop people from engaging in inappropriate behavior?3
Unfortunately, codes of conduct do not necessarily stop all poor behavior, in much the same way that establishing laws don’t necessarily stop people from breaking them. A code of conduct lays the ground rules and notifies both bad actors as well as the people at the receiving end of that behavior that there are consequences for those actions. A code of conduct helps by signaling that attendees can trust organizers or staff to respond appropriately should a report be made. While the ARDC Code of Conduct can’t stop all poor behavior, it provides a framework for ARDC platforms, meetings, etc. not to be used to enable such behavior.

What prompted the implementation of a code of conduct? Was there a serious incident?
ARDC decided to implement a code of conduct, not because of any incidents, but as a matter of good practice. We consulted many peer organizations and community members in order to develop this code so that should incidents occur we would be prepared to respond.

Isn’t this censorship?
Our Code of Conduct is designed to keep discussion as open as possible, while protecting the health of our community.

I’m worried because I was called out / I may have inadvertently done something in the past that would be considered a violation under this policy.
That happens. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes (that we often regret), but the important part is to apologize, learn, and be better next time. The goal isn’t to burden everyone with a bunch of annoying rules, or to give us a stick to bludgeon people with for “being bad.” Rather, these rules are designed to help all of us build a pleasant, productive, and fearless community. Just genuinely apologize and recognize the mistake, reflect for a second, and move on.

Report Form

To report an incident, please use the ARDC Code of Conduct Report Form.

To support anonymous reporting, name and contact information is optional. However, contact information may be helpful to confirm a report, and is required to receive a Report Response from the Conduct Review Committee after review and determination.

Should you need technical assistance, please contact Merideth Stroh, Operations Manager, with any questions at, or 858-477-9900.

Conduct Review Committee (CRC)


The objective of the Conduct Review Committee (CRC) is to ensure that ARDC spaces, defined above, are welcoming and productive places to work and collaborate. They keep their eyes out for Code of Conduct violations, field and evaluate complaints as they relate to the ARDC Code of Conduct, and determine resolutions. They may also make recommendations to ARDC’s Board of Directors for potential updates and changes to this Code.

Click here to learn more about the CRC.

Revising this Policy

Revisions to the policy must be approved by the ARDC Board of Directors. If you have a suggestion for a revision, please submit it to


  1. From TOR:
  2. From Contributor Covenant 2.1, with adjustment: Notably, the phrase “Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting” was removed from the list with examples of unacceptable behavior.
  3. From Ashe Dryden: