World Wide Web Consortium Process Document

14 October 2005

On 1 August 2014, W3C began a transition away from this document; see the current W3C Process Document.

This version:
Latest operative version:
Previous operative version:
Ian Jacobs, W3C

Please refer to the errata for this document, which may include some normative corrections.

This document is also available in these non-normative packages: single HTML file, self-contained gzipped tar archive, self-contained zip archive.

There may be translations of this document.


The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. The W3C Process Document describes the organizational structure of the W3C and the processes related to the responsibilities and functions they exercise to enable W3C to accomplish its mission. This document does not describe the internal workings of the Team or W3C's public communication mechanisms.

For more information about the W3C mission and the history of W3C, please refer to About W3C [PUB15].

Status of this Document

This is the 14 October 2005 version of the W3C Process Document. This document has been produced by the W3C Advisory Board and reviewed by the W3C Members and Team.

The list of changes to the public Process Document is available on the Web.

W3C, including all existing chartered groups, follows the most recent operative Process Document announced to the Membership.

Please send comments about this document to process-issues@w3.org (Member-only archive).

Additional Member-only information about the Process Document (e.g., issues lists, Member-only drafts, and changes to Member-only drafts) is available from the Process Plan page. General information about W3C is available on the Web, including information about becoming a W3C Member.

The terms MUST, MUST NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, REQUIRED, and MAY when highlighted (through style sheets, and in uppercase in the source) are used in accordance with RFC 2119 [RFC2119]. The term NOT REQUIRED (not defined in RFC 2119) indicates exemption.

Some terms have been capitalized in this document (and in other W3C materials) to indicate that they are entities with special relevance to the W3C Process. These terms are defined herein, and readers should be aware that the ordinary (English) definitions are incomplete for purposes of understanding this document.

Relation of Process Document to Patent Policy

W3C Members' attention is called to the fact that provisions of the Process Document are binding on Members per the Membership Agreement [PUB6]. The Patent Policy W3C Patent Policy [PUB33] is incorporated by normative reference as a part of the Process Document, and is thus equally binding.

The Patent Policy places additional obligations on Members, Team, and other participants in W3C. The Process Document does not restate those requirements but includes references to them. The Process Document and Patent Policy have been designed so that they may evolve independently.

In the Process Document, the term "participant" refers to an individual, not an organization.

Table of Contents

Expanded table of contents