GA4GH membership and/or participation in GA4GH virtual and in-person meetings, conferences, and events (including Connect and 11th Plenary) constitutes an agreement to adhere to the GA4GH Code of Ethics and Community Conduct.

To ensure a safe, welcoming environment for you and others, please review the expectations listed in the code, as well as in the associated “Guidelines for respectful community engagement.”


Reporting a concern

Any GA4GH participant, such as a Work Stream contributor or event attendee, may report a harmful behaviour or potential violation of the code via the reporting form or to the external Safe GA4GH Officer, Paula Brantner of Accountability Ignited. The reporting party’s identity will be kept confidential if they so wish. 

They may also contact the Safe GA4GH Committee, a group of staff and contributors who have volunteered to investigate reports following the process outlined in the code. The committee consists of Justina Chung (GA4GH Operations Lead), Karen Cranston (University Health Network, GA4GH Driver Project Champion for CanDIG), Susan Fairley (GA4GH Chief Standards Officer), Connor Graham (GA4GH Communications Specialist), Angela Page (GA4GH Director of Strategy and Engagement), Jimmy Payyappilly (GA4GH Technical Lead), Heidi Rehm (Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, GA4GH Vice-Chair), and Rosalyn Ryan (Healthful US Inc., GA4GH Contributor). 


Expected and prohibited behaviours

Expectations include that participants will:

  • adhere to GA4GH’s mission and policies
  • act to uphold the interests and reputation of the GA4GH;
  • commit to the highest standards of objectivity and transparency;
  • treat all members, participants, attendees, staff, and vendors with respect, empathy, consideration, and professionalism;
  • give others fair, inclusive, and equitable consideration;
  • communicate openly with respect for others;
  • think of others’ needs from their point of view and work to eliminate your own biases;
  • acknowledge the contributions of your peers;
  • respect the rules and policies of all meeting/event venues.

Prohibited behaviours include:

  • harassment in any form;
  • physical abuse, intimidation, disregard for another’s safety, as well as intentional, unwelcome physical behaviours;
  • verbal or written abuse, intimidation (in-person or remotely), use of coded language, or deliberate outing of an aspect of someone’s identity;
  • violating previously communicated (verbally or nonverbally) physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries;
  • displaying or distributing of images or recordings involving provocative behaviour;
  • threatening (implied or real) physical, emotional, professional, or financial harm;
  • photographing, recording, or video-taping of others;
  • engaging in the following prohibited behaviours related to communications:
    • disrespectful communication that does not support the communication and discussion of the topic at hand;
    • directly reproducing visual materials (e.g. no posting of photos of slides or posters) unless permission is obtained from the presenter or if they have already made this information freely available in an open-source forum;
    • copying or taking screenshots of session recordings, Q&A, or session chat activity taking place in the virtual space where the presenter has stated that the information should be kept confidential (otherwise, all materials are considered free to be shared);
    • sharing presentations, postings, and messages which contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or a solicitation for services that have not been expressly approved through a partnership agreement;
    • sustained disruption of discussion or repeatedly asking disingenuous questions under a guise of sincerity;
  • accepting inappropriate favours;
  • violating any ethics policy identified in section III as applicable to the GA4GH community;
  • retaliating during or after the reporting process;
  • inciting, encouraging, or condoning prohibited behaviour;
  • any other behaviours that may reasonably be assumed to have the effect of creating, contributing to, or maintaining an environment that is hostile toward or damaging to a person or group.