Guidelines for Proposal Authors

Becoming a policy proposal author

Anyone can propose a change to APNIC policy. It might be based on something that affects you directly, or because you see something could be better for the whole community. It might help you get the resources you need to build your network, or stop something happening that isn’t good for other community members. If the community reaches consensus on your proposal, it will be implemented by APNIC and become part of the rules for Internet Resource Management in the Asia Pacific region.

This guide explains what happens when you become a proposal author.


Before each APNIC Conference, the Policy SIG Chair(s) posts a proposal deadline to the mailing list. The deadline is normally 4-5 weeks before the meeting.

Proposals are discussed on the SIG mailing list for at least four weeks before the Open Policy Meeting (OPM). The OPM is held as part of the Policy SIG meeting at each APNIC Conference.

You can send your proposal using the text template to the APNIC Secretariat’s policy email account, or use the online form. The only section that must be completed is the ‘Problem Statement‘.

Acceptance & Publication

The Chair(s) will check that your proposal is within the scope of the Policy SIG Charter and sufficiently developed to be the basis for a useful discussion.

Once accepted for discussion, the Secretariat will assign it a proposal number in the format [prop-nnn] where ‘nnn’ is a sequential number indicating the order proposals are accepted by the Chair(s). The text of the proposal will be posted to the mailing list and on the APNIC website.

A status page is created for each proposal. These pages form a public record and archive of all proposals that are discussed and decided by the APNIC Community under the PDP.

Mailing List Discussion

Make sure you are subscribed to the mailing list so you can respond to questions about the proposal.

If there is not much discussion about your proposal you need to encourage people to share their view. The Chair(s) include mailing list feedback in their evaluation of the community consensus.

Authors are welcome, but not required, to submit changes to their proposal at any time, including during the OPM itself.


These should be sent to the Secretariat policy email address, so the administrative work of updating the APNIC website can be done for access and transparency.


At the Policy SIG Meeting

If you are not able to attend the Policy SIG meeting in person, you may ask the Secretariat to organize remote participation for you.

If you can’t participate in person or even remotely, your proposal will still be discussed. You can either ask for a volunteer to present your proposal, or the SIG Chair(s) will appoint somebody.


The agenda for the next Policy SIG session will allocate time for your proposal to be presented, discussed, and decided.

There is a standard template for proposal presentations, but you can present your proposal in any way you like. The community has developed guidelines for presenters which you may find helpful.

Your presentation should be short, many participants will have already read your proposal. The agenda will allow around 30-45 minutes for your proposal, so the remaining time will be devoted to questions and comments on your idea.


Following the discussion, the SIG Chair(s) will decide if the community has reached consensus. They will consider the opinions and discussion on the mailing list and at the SIG meeting. They will also consider input from remote participants.

The Chair(s) may request a “show of hands” and/or they may use APNIC’s Confer (CONsensus FEedback in Realtime) system to electronically gauge consensus among all those participating in the SIG meeting.

To be clear, neither a show of hands nor the Confer system are a vote. Authors should not draw any conclusions from a count of those for or against their proposal.


Understanding the meaning of consensus at APNIC is sometimes a challenge for new SIG participants as the decision of the Chair(s) can seem to be in conflict with the perceived level of support or opposition. This is because the Chair(s) must also consider the weight of responses, not merely the number of responses.

The APNIC SIG Guidelines outlines the basic steps in the consensus decision-making process, in particular you should consider the section on minor and major objections.

If your Proposal does not reach Consensus

If your proposal does not reach consensus at both the Policy SIG and Member meetings, it cannot proceed in the PDP and will need to be considered again at the next SIG meeting (in around 6 months time).

It is not unusual for a significant change in policy to take more than one meeting to reach consensus.

If you wish to continue with your proposal, you may want to consider submitting a revised draft that incorporates feedback and attempts to resolve the objections that were raised by other community members.

The Chair(s) will consider if the proposal has enough merit and support to continue discussion. If there is no support for your idea, or little chance of reaching consensus, the SIG Chair(s) may recommend the community should abandon the proposal.

AMM Consensus

Proposals that reach consensus at the Policy SIG, must also reach consensus among the APNIC Membership in order to proceed in the PDP.

During the AMM/AGM, the Policy SIG Chair will report the outcomes of the SIG to the APNIC Members present. In particular, the report will include those proposals that have reached consensus.

The Chair of the AMM/AGM will then present the proposals passed by the Policy SIG and seek consensus on them for a second time.


This important step in the PDP is an opportunity for the financial Members of APNIC to review the decisions made at the SIG level.

Comment Period

If your proposal reaches consensus at the APNIC Conference, the Chair(s) will post the approved version back to the Policy SIG Mailing List for a final call. This Comment Period may be from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the complexity of the issues involved and/or the level of discussion.

If there are still concerns about your proposal, you may need to continue to answer questions and explanations on the mailing list.

At the end of this period the SIG Chair(s) will decide if the consensus reached at the APNIC Conference is maintained. If so, the Chair(s) will request the EC to endorse the decision.

Executive Council endorsement

The APNIC Executive Council has a range of responsibilities to safeguard the continued operation of APNIC and must review proposals to ensure they have reached consensus under the PDP, fulfil fiduciary responsibilities, and to consider broad Internet policy issues.

If your proposal is endorsed by the APNIC Executive Council the Secretariat will begin implementation.

Editorial Process

Implementation is in two parts. The policy document must be changed and the Secretariat systems and procedures must be updated.

Change to the policy documents is governed by the APNIC Document Editorial Policy. This means substantive changes to official APNIC [numbered] documents are made available for review prior to being finalized.

The beginning of the draft review period will be announced on the Policy SIG mailing list.

You should review the policy documentation drafts to make sure the changes reflect the wording and intent of the consensus proposal.


Once you have reviewed the text of the draft Policy documents, you should submit any comments or feedback according to the instructions given on the draft documents page.


Depending on the nature and urgency of the change, it may be possible to implement immediately upon endorsement by the APNIC EC.

Most likely though, the implementation will require staff training, procedural changes, reprogramming of APNIC’s resource management systems and website updates.

Complex changes may take as much as 6 months after APNIC EC endorsement before they can be safely implemented.

The Secretariat will make announcements regarding the implementation of the proposal soon after the APNIC EC makes its decision and at the time of implementation.

The Secretariat and other sources of help

At any time during this process, you may contact the APNIC Secretariat and request assistance, advice, interpretation, information on operational practice, or other data. Staff will endeavor to provide any support possible.

The Policy SIG Chair(s) and other community members can also provide advice and information to proposal authors, or to other stakeholders participating in the discussion.