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Operating Standards for ICANN Reviews: Recent Developments and Next Steps

Join the webinars on Operating Standards for Reviews and help contribute to this important process. On Tuesday 21 February at 15:00 UTC [local times] and 23:00 UTC [local times], ICANN will host webinars on the Review Operating Standards, which, once in place, centralize existing operational best practices and also address issues such as the selection of Review Teams (for Specific Reviews) and the question of how to amend/modify the Operating Standards.

The webinars will address key topics including an overview of the different issues it covers and a proposed way forward to assure community consultation. This will include a public comment period before the Operating Standards are finalized. In addition to providing an update on the latest developments, ICANN is seeking input on the Operating Standards from the multistakeholder community, including members of all Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Stakeholder Groups, and Constituencies, on this important project.

Please email: to obtain a calendar invite with an agenda, Adobe Connect links, and dial-in details. Please note, the webinars accommodate different time zones, the content presented during both session will be identical, and both sessions will be recorded.


The ICANN Bylaws call for the drafting of review Operating Standards that "shall be developed through community consultation" (see Section 4.6).

Operating Standards provide a system to conduct Specific and Organizational Reviews and tools to assist with the Review process. Specific Reviews (CCT Review, SSR Review, ATRT Review, and RDS/WHOIS Review) and Organizational Reviews (GNSO Review, At-Large Review, etc.) are mandated by the new Bylaws. These Reviews are very important to assess ICANN's performance with regard to its commitments. Review Operating Standards provide tools to bring consistent rules, clarity and transparency to the various Review processes.

What happened to-date?

In order to facilitate community consultation on Review Operating Standards, ICANN organized a community-wide session in Hyderabad, during which we presented [PDF, 555 KB] a draft that contained the main subject areas that Review Operating Standards ought to cover.

The feedback from that session was that ICANN should continue its work and present the community with an updated draft that pulls together the areas of the Operating Standards that rely on existing standards and best practices. Community members stipulated that those issues that create new rules and procedures, e.g. the selection process for Specific Reviews, should be postponed to a later stage in the drafting process.

Based on this feedback, ICANN has worked on an expanded Draft Operating Standards which aggregates existing best practices in all relevant subject areas but does not address substantive issues such as Review Team selection processes.

What happens after the webinar?

Based on the feedback during the webinar, we will update the draft and, depending on the feedback received, ICANN Org will contact Supporting Organizations / Advisory Committees and Stakeholder Groups / Constituencies with specific input questions regarding those parts of the Operating Standards that require new processes and guidelines, such as the selection process. There will be additional consultation during a public session at ICANN58 in Copenhagen.

These community consultations will inform the timing of next steps, including updates to the Draft Operating Standards and the subsequent Public Comment period.

How to Join?

To participate, please email: to obtain a calendar invite with dial-in details. The webinars accommodate different time zones; the content presented will be identical and both sessions will be recorded.

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