Policy Development Process

We have developed a policy development process (PDP) which is designed to be bottom-up and consensus-driven. This means that any stakeholder can request a policy change and, if there is consensus among stakeholders, the policy change can be implemented.

Policy Advisory Committee (PAC)


The Board of the .IE setup a Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) in 2014. The PAC considers and provides advice on policy issues concerning Ireland’s Internet top-level domain, .ie. The PAC makes formal recommendations to the Board.

The work of the PAC follows a 10-step framework known as the .ie Policy Development Process (PDP). The PDP is designed to be bottom-up and consensus-driven. This means that anyone with an interest in the running of the .ie namespace can suggest a policy change. If there is agreement amongst stakeholders, the policy change can be implemented. Further information on the PDP is detailed in section 5 below.

The PAC has previously considered and recommended policy change requests relating to the release of:-

  • one / two letter domain names,
  • Internationalised domain names (IDNs),
  • the re-sale of the right to use a .ie domain name on a secondary market and
  • policy liberalisation (removal of the claim registration requirement).

All of these policy change requests were subsequently approved by the Board of the .IE and introduced.

The Terms of Reference for the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), including the PAC membership of eligible organisations, can be found here:

The work of the PAC is guided by it’s the Terms of Reference – which is the rule book for its operations.

The members of the PAC are nominated by eligible organisations with an interest in the running of the .ie namespace. Members are independent and offer their time and expertise voluntarily.

Is your organisation interested in joining?

Send us information about what your organisation does to policy@weare.ie. The PAC will then consider this request at its next meeting.

The Minutes and presentation slides from the PAC meetings can be found here:

PAC 27 – PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 15 April 2021 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 26 – PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 4 February 2021 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 25 – PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 3 September 2020 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 24 PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 11 June 2020 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 23 PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 20 February 2020 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 22 PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 5 December 2019 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 21 – PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 12 September 2019 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 20PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 4 July 2019 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 19PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 28 March 2019 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 18PAC Meeting Minutes, Wednesday 5 December 2018 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 17PAC Meeting Minutes, Monday 3 September 2018 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 16PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday 12 June 2018 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 15PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday 17 April 2018 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 14PAC Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 13PAC Meeting Minutes, Monday, 13 November, 2017 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 12PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, August 29, 2017 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 11PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, June 20, 2017 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 10PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday, April 27, 2017 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 9PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, January 17, 2017 and PAC Meeting Slides

PAC 8PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PAC 7PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, July 5, 2016

PAC 6PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday, February 25, 2016

PAC 5PAC Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

PAC 4PAC Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, September 23, 2015

PAC 3PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 7 July 2015

PAC 2PAC Meeting Minutes, Thursday 30 April 2015

PAC 1PAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday 3 February 2015


Policy Development Process


Internet registries around the world have a set of policies which explain how they operate and engage with the local interest community. The most important policies at .IE are known as the Registration and Naming Policy, Privacy Policy, WHOIS Policy, Dispute Resolution Policy and the Data and Document Retention Policy.

These are available on our dedicated policy page.

The diagram below sets out the 10-step Policy Development Process.


How it works


There are 10 steps to follow:-

  1. Fill out the Policy Change Request Form and send it to pdp@weare.ie.
  2. Your proposal will be reviewed by .IE and the PAC (Policy Advisory Committee). If your proposal is accepted, a Working Group will be formed by .IE and the PAC.
  3. Depending on the nature and complexity of the proposal, .IE and the PAC will determine if a public consultation is required.
  4. If necessary, the Working Group will prepare a questionnaire for the public consultation.
  5. The Working Group will prepare a report based on the results of the public consultation and/or the Working Group meetings and discussions.
  6. The report will be sent to the pdp@weare.ie mailing list in order to collect feedback and comments from the Stakeholders in order to reach a consensus.
  7. Consensus must be reached for the proposal to progress to Step 8*.
  8. Once consensus is reached, the proposal will be submitted to the PAC* who may recommend acceptance to the Board.
  9. If accepted by the Board, the policy change is approved for implementation.
  10. The policy change can now be implemented by .IE.

* Please note that for steps 7, 8 and 9, if consensus is not reached, or if there is an objection from the PAC or the Board, the proposal goes back to the Working Group. They will then review the proposal in order to make it acceptable. If consensus cannot be reached, the proposal may be abandoned.

All proposals, outcomes and Board decisions will be published here in due course.



In December 2010, .IE announced the formation of a Working Group with stakeholders. The objective of the group was to develop a formal Policy Development Process (PDP) for the .ie namespace.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the PAC were agreed in Q4 2008 and published on the Registrar Discussion Forum (RDF) in Q1 2009.

The ToR stated that the PAC will be a consultative and advisory body to .IE and would deal with questions and issues relating to the operation of the .ie ccTLD.  Other terms include:

  • The PAC may convey advisory views or submissions on policy matters to .IE. All advice given by the PAC will be objective and in the best interests of the Irish Internet community.
  • The PAC shall be autonomous in regard to its agenda and the subject matter of its policy advisory recommendations.
  • .IE may refer any policy issue to the PAC for its consideration. Recommendations of the PAC shall be of persuasive authority and .IE shall have due regard to them.
  • The PAC may regulate its activities as it sees fit in accordance with the ToR.

The Working Group met and created an initial draft proposal which was sent to the PDP Working Group mailing list in February 2011. The proposal was subsequently edited and refined over a number of iterations with stakeholder feedback. Following this detailed consultation process, the dedicated working group reached consensus on a new PDP, which went ‘live’ on 31 May 2011.

Please do not hesitate to contribute on the PDP mailing list. Send an email to policy-subscribe@weare.ie. When you receive our reply, you can then post your comments/suggestions/feedback to the entire mailing list at pdp@weare.ie.

Consultation Process pre-PDP


Since November 2002  .IE has consulted with the Local Internet Community on a number of important policy issues and other matters of procedure, process and practice. These consultations were informal in nature, but were designed to obtain stakeholders’ views on matters that impacted them, in the context of their roles within the Local Internet Community.

In late 2010, .IE launched a process to develop a formal Policy Development Process (PDP).

A representative sample of the topics of the early informal consultations, is set out below, in no particular order:

  1. API Introduction
  2. Registry Registrar Model (RRM) Consultation
  3. Revised T&C’s for New Resellers (and Termination of the VRS)
  4. Personal Domain Names.
  5. Transfer Policy v2
  6. WHOIS Service Enhancements
  7. Documentation Requirements:- Relaxations and Clarifications
  8. Poll on Reducing the Volume of Automated Emails from .IE
  9. Poll on .ie Zone Reload Frequency
  10. Reduction to 27 Days for an Application Ticket
  11. Conditional Acceptances Policy Amendment
  12. Proposal to Publish Registrar Names for New Registrations Statistics
  13. Poll on the Choice of a New Accredited Registrar Logo

Please note that the term “resellers” used above refers to .IE’s group of Accredited Registrars. This terminology was changed, by formal agreement, in 2010.

The .IE Policy Development Process is further detailed in this document.