Governance Principles

  • AST’s leaders make decisions based on AST’s ethics, AST’s brand integrity, and value for AST members while being mindful of the potential for conflicts of interest for our members, volunteers, and staff.
  • AST strives toward making the organization self-sustaining through means other then strictly volunteerism.
  • AST finances its mission through products and services consistent with its nonprofit status, code of ethics, its seven guiding principles, and its high values of quality, relevance, and integrity.

Corporate Documents

  • AST Bylaws [pdf]
  • AST Articles of Incorporation [pdf]
  • IRS 501(c)(3) exemption [pdf]

AST Adopted Policies

September 2006

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Code of Ethics

In September 2006, AST resolved to adopt the “Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Code of Ethics” policy as follows:

  1. The Association for Software Testing has adopted the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Code of Ethics, as passed by the ACM Council on October 16, 1992, as a series of principles to guide and govern practice among its membership.
  2. Upon membership renewal each member of the AST shall confirm explicitly his or her acceptance of the ACM Code of Ethics. Members shall explicitly agree that:

    As an Association for Software Testing member I will ….

    • Uphold and promote the principles of the ACM Code of Ethics.
    • Treat violations of this code as inconsistent with membership in the AST.
  3. A copy of the ACM Code of Ethics is reproduced on the Association for Software Testing Web Site.
  4. The Association for Software Testing Board shall appoint a review committee responsible for reviewing cases of noncompliance to the Code of Ethics. Such a review shall be conducted in confidence.
  5. The AST may take disciplinary action against a member for violation of the Code of Ethics, including termination of membership.
  6. A member of AST may elect permanent expulsion from AST in lieu of any other disciplinary action for violation of the Code of Ethics.

July 31, 2007

Guidelines for Supporting Projects or Initiatives of Value to Software Testers

On July 31, 2007, AST resolved to adopt the “Guidelines for Supporting Projects or Initiatives of Value to Software Testers” policy as follows:

AST will consider providing support to projects or programs meeting the following criteria:

  • The project must not be directly or indirectly driven by profit
  • The project must be accessible and valuable, or potentially valuable, to all software testers
  • Both the project and the leaders of the project must explicitly comply with and/or agree to the AST and ACM Code of Ethics
  • At least one of the project organizers be a member in good standing of AST

Any project or initiative meeting these criteria may apply for support from the AST who will provide support based on the type of support requested as compared to the resources that AST has available to provide.

March 6, 2007

Equal Opportunity Employment Policy

On March 6, 2007, AST resolved to adopt the “Equal Opportunity Employment” policy as follows:

  1. AST is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EEO). Accordingly, we promote equal opportunity in the areas of recruitment, employment, training, development, transfer, and promotion. Our employment practices are without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, disability or medical condition, national origin, and veteran status, and all other categories protected by federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws.
  2. The Executive Director of the AST, serves as the EEO Officer to facilitate Equal Employment Opportunity under the direction of the President and Board of Directors. Questions concerning Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity should be directed to the Executive Director.

Anti-Discrimination Policy

On March 6, 2007, AST resolved to adopt the “Anti-Discrimination” policy as follows:

  1. AST shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, approval of membership, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and provision of services.
  2. Definitions of Harassment:
    • a. Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:
      • i. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment
      • ii. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
      • iii. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

      Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, catcalls or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures (including through e-mail); and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature. Sex-based harassment – that is, harassment not involving sexual activity or language (e.g., male manager yells only at female employees and not males) – may also constitute discrimination if it is severe and pervasive and directed at employees because of their sex.

    • b. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that:
      • i. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
      • ii. has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or
      • iii. otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
    • c. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through e-mail).

August 2013


On August 25, 2013, AST resolved to adopt the “Sponsorship” policy as follows:

  • Organizations in alignment with AST’s mission, purpose, objectives and Code of Ethics in their public positions, products and marketing tools are welcome to sponsor AST or AST events.
  • Named sponsorships of AST must be approved by the executive committee by vote.

August 2015

Board Vacancy

On August 17, 2015, AST resolved to adopt the “Filling Unplanned Vacancies between the Election of the Board and the Installation of the New Board” policy as follows:

In order to maintain consistent numbers on the Board to be able to share responsibilities and properly conduct the business of AST without placing an undue burden on the members of the Board of Directors, this Policy is enacted:

  • In the event a Member of the Board of Directors vacates their seat during the period between the conclusion of the General Election and the installation of the Directors-elect, the Nominations and Elections Committee will use the following process to fill the unplanned vacancies to the Board.
  • The candidate with the next highest votes will be contacted to fill the new, unplanned vacancy. If that candidate accepts the position that candidate will immediately become a Director Elect and be installed into office according to the By-Laws. The candidate will hold this Director position to complete the vacating Directors term. If that Candidate does not accept the position, the next candidate in line will be approached. This will continue until all vacancies are filled or all candidates have been exhausted.