These are the proposed top level areas for the 2020 workplan, drawn from proposals crowdsourced in 2019. 

Approved by the REFEDS SC via e-vote on 11 February 2020.

REF20-1: REFEDS Coordination and Management

Lead: Nicole Harris


  • To progress REFEDS position as an important player within the access and identity management space internationally.  
  • To build on established relationships with GÉANT project and other federation-related activities around the world. 
REF20-1AREFEDS BOFS at appropriate meetings throughout the year (maximum of 2).Suggestions for where to target BOFs in 2020 welcomed.  Proposal for an "unconference" style REFEDS meeting has been circulated to the community for discussion.Nicole Harris 01/20 12/20
REF20-1BMaintain and develop the REFEDS blog, wiki and website.

As normal.

Nicole Harris 01/20 12/20

REF20-1CREFEDS annual meetings.TNC and Internet2 Technology Exchange Meeting.Nicole Harris 01/20 10/20

REF20-1DImplement 2020 REFEDS Survey.Annual REFEDS Survey to go out in September 2020.Nicole Harris 09/20 12/20
REF20-1EManage REFEDS contracts with third parties.These are contracts with external parties that support REFEDS such as Spherical Cow Consulting and RETI.Nicole Harris 01/20 07/20

REF20-1FManage REFEDS Sponsorships.Current sponsor list.Nicole Harris 12/18 01/20

REF20-1GREFEDS Distinguished Engineer Programme. Programme to bring 2 engineers from developing federations to TNC.Heather Flanagan02/2008/20

REF20-2: Specialist Working Groups

Lead: Heather Flanagan


  • To provide infrastructure and support for evolving ideas and areas in the REFEDS community. 

FOG: Federation Operators Group

Peter Schober with support from Nicole Harris01/202012/2020
REF20-2BSIRTFITom Barton with support from Nicole Harris01/202012/2020

REF20-2CAssuranceJule Ziegler with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020

Working group to consider how the REFEDS MFA Profile uses the authnContextClassRef in the SAMLRequest to signal that MFA should be used for authentication. Microsoft ADFS cannot handle this authnContextClassRef and returns a FatalProfileException during authentication.

Discussion notes from TechEx ACAMP session regarding REFEDS MFA in ADFS:

REF20-2DEntity Category SupportNicole Harris01/202012/2020


Federation Trust 2.0

Tom Barton and Judith Bush with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020

REF20-2FSPOG: SP Operators GroupLaura Paglione with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020
REF20-2GFederation Baseline Expectations Working GroupPål Axelsson and Alan Buxey with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020
REF20-2HBest Practice around Error HandlingFredrik Domeij with support from Heather Flanagan02/202012/2020

REF20-3: Promotion and Communication

Lead: Nicole Harris


  • To provide materials and support mechanisms to help federations promote effective approaches to IdPs and SPs.
  • To provide feedback on documents produced by other groups to support clarity of messages.
  • To reach out to target groups where specific messaging could be beneficial.
REF20-3APromotional material and support for entity categories

Nicole Harris


REFEDS Discovery Guide, Mark 2

Consent is used often within identity federations. While on a national level it may be clear what asking and giving consent entails, unfortunately consent does not mean the same thing in various countries as the legal grounds for consent vary. Also there are many ways to implement consent. What makes a good consent page and what does not? When is it (not)   user friendly, what should be shown to make it legally usable? What are the best practices around consent globally?

This activity investigates what it means to ask and give consent in various countries. In addition it describes recommendations for 'good' and 'bad' consent pages similar to the REFEDS Discovery Guide.

Include note on how hub and spoke federations manage discovery.

Heather Flanagan01/202008/2020

SP Engagement Plan

Develop/enhance an engagement plan for service providers. The goal is threefold: 1) to gain deeper insights about the needs of SPs within the community, 2) to better integrate SPs in general community engagement (conferences, working groups, discussions, etc), and 3) to develop a resource for gaining SP support, feedback, and contributions. (Follow up from the Technology Exchange ACAMP session, SPs Unite!:

Laura Paglione, Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020

REF20-4: Standards and Specifications

Lead: Heather Flanagan


  • To provide support for the development of standards and specifications under the REFEDS banner.
  • To pilot specification work to support implementation requirements.
  • To put in place structures to ensure specification and schema sustainability.

Schema management

Schema Editorial Board with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020
REF20-4BStandardize requirements for logos in metadataKeith Wessel with support from Heather Flanagan01/202012/2020
REF20-4CUpdate the Cloud Services Cookbook  (It would be very useful to devote some resources to updating SAML-specific recipes as well as add OIDC and protocol-agnostic recipes.)TBD02/202010/2020
REF20-4DExtensions to MDQTBD02/202010/2020

REF20-5: REFEDS Services

Lead: Nicole Harris


  • To continue using MET and enhance where possible.
  • To support the basic REFEDS infrastructure needs (website, wiki and mailing lists). 


Contract in place with GARR for central operations.  Development work to be contracted to RETI (Andrea).

New features added and delivered in Oct.

Contractor 01/2020 12/2020


Evaluate service and determine what, if any changes are required to maintain

Licia Florio01/202012/2020Outstanding decision on EOL.

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