A glance at the Requests for Adminship page will show that there are no official requirements for becoming a Wikipedia administrator. Anybody can apply regardless of their Wikipedia experience. However this does not mean that there are no standards to be aware of.
The reality is that adminship is evaluated in terms of communal trust and confidence, not percentages and numbers, and each editor will have their own way to assess a candidate's readiness for the role. While anybody can apply, a review of failed RfAs will quickly show that members of the community have many unwritten expectations. Applications that are judged to have little chance of success are often closed early; such failed candidacies illustrate cases where expectations clearly are not being met.
Areas where many or most editors may have expectations include the breadth and duration of experience, stability and professionalism as a community member (quality of interaction), and understanding of the Wikipedia ethos and main policies. Other signs of helpfulness or work undertaken in the community are also looked on favorably. Whilst no specific numbers exist for any of these, it is often possible to identify areas where a number of editors will feel that sufficient experience has not yet been obtained.
In short, RfA is a process of discussion and assessment.
The purpose of the Admin Coaching Project is to help ensure that potential candidates are adequately prepared for adminship. Generally your admin coach will review your edits and provide insight as to areas where you should get more experience, or changing your editing style, before submitting an RfA. Your coach will help you to assess potential stumbling blocks and help prepare for your RfA.
Whilst it is possible that you will be accepted for coaching or pass an RfA despite not meeting the basic criteria below, if the quality of your work and your ability to get along with others merits it, in many cases editors who are very much below RfA standard should apply for adoption as a first stage, before applying for admin coaching.
|Description||Typical experience level for starting Admin Coaching||Perceptions at RfA|
|Total edits||1750||Candidates at RfA usually have upwards of 2000–3000 edits, showing an extensive history of activity on the project. If you are primarily a vandal fighter, you can easily double these numbers. If most of your work is automated (Twinkle, Anti-vandalism, and the like), be prepared to show a history of adding content to Wikipedia articles as well as patrolling others' actions. Note that above a certain number, edit count is far less important than edit quality; more (similar) edits do little to prepare for adminship.|
|Main space edits||200||Many users will take a view that someone who lacks experience in the main article space of the project is inherently less likely to be aware of core issues and values of the project. A number of RfAs succeed despite this, especially users who are honest about their focus on the project; such users generally have shown a broad and strong history of positive involvement outside mainspace to compensate for this area. For most editors, around 500 - 1000 mainspace edits (and a reasonable proportion of all edits) would be a typical minimum. A candidate with 10,000 edits, but negligible mainspace edits may find it hard to pass an RfA.|
|Content writing||Should have a history of editing/contributing articles.||A number of editors go further than wanting a mainspace history, and feel that a positive measurable contribution to content-writing is desirable, to clearly demonstrate that a candidate is content aware, not just process aware. Typical examples include DYKs and preferably a Good Article. Significant contribution to a featured article is seen very positively. It's also valuable to contribute to DYK and GA by reviewing nominated articles.|
|Participation in XfD's||Desired, but not required.||Deletion debates are a key way that an editor can show insight and perception in judging a specific matter. (RFC, 3O, and involvement in content-related noticeboards may be others). Significant involvement in processes that show judgment of a quasi-administrative nature are looked on favorably, and provide very good evidence to the community of your understanding of how policies and norms operate. Significant in this context would be anywhere from 30 to 100, but as usual, no hard figure exists.|
|Policies and guidelines||Prospective coachees should demonstrate an understanding of the basic policies and guidelines.||Prospective candidates should be able to research and find the appropriate policies and guidelines, and have a good working familiarity with the main policies and norms of the community. No user knows all of these, nor is RfA an examination of your knowledge of each one. A good working knowledge of norms and policies, and how they bear on situations you are likely to encounter is what is sought. If you do not know, then asking, or checking consensus, is a norm as well.
You will have to learn about the policies related to admin tools, which you will not have the chance to try out prior to RfA. You can do this by reading examples of cases discussed at WP:ANI, or tracking the comments to users listed at Category:Requests for unblock.
Further evidence of familiarity comes from contribution to debates such as XFD (above), answering questions and assisting others with their editing of articles. You are encouraged, when you feel ready, to contribute views on policy talk pages, at the village pump policy page, and at WP:ANI; if your comments are helpful and (ideally) insightful, you can earn the respect of other, experienced editors and administrators.
If you edit and comment as intelligently and responsibly as an admin, you will be given the respect of an admin.
|Number of active months on Wikipedia||3 months||Usually as with edit count, a significant history of active months is sought, typically a minimum of 6 - 8 months. Few editors will feel you can establish a track record in less than around 4-5 months of active editing.|
|History of incivility, vandalism or being blocked||An editor who is habitually or grossly uncivil or has been blocked, may need at least 3 months to put this in the past. Vandalism is more serious, implying a willful desire to disrupt, and may need 6-9 months without incident before it will be considered genuinely a historic matter||Incivility in editing is one of the quickest ways to fail an RfA. As an administrator you will represent Wikipedia to new editors. No matter what you have seen from others, adminship at this time requires a fairly high general standard of patience and civility, and a long track record of civil good quality conduct.
If you have been blocked, people will definitely consider that, but will be open to explanations, since a block can happen for many reasons. Evidence as to whether a block shows a problem will be sought, but the community is often willing to trust people who were in that past blocked for a reason that does not reflect on the future, when a block was valid and the candidate deserved the block. Valid reasons for actions that lead to blocks, or overturned blocks, can largely eliminate the need for period of time to have elapsed to demonstrate that the behavior is unlikely to recur.
Vandalism or other actions that involve deliberate intention to disrupt (puppetry, for example) by contrast is serious, and it will often be a year or more before other editors are willing trust you with admin tools, if at all. The more serious an offense, the more there must be evidence that you have acknowledged your mistake(s) and that your edits demonstrate a change of attitude.
|Breadth of exposure.||Should have involvement in to one to three different projects/tasks/etc.||User seeking RfA should have exposure to several projects/tasks/etc. This may be as few as 4 - 6, or "a wide breadth of exposure to many areas".|
- When matching candidates to coaches, preference will be given to those who meet most of the guidelines.
- Additionally, if your primary involvement on Wikipedia is Vandal Fighting, you should be tagging articles appropriately, posting notices on user pages, alerting AIV, etc. Editors should also be warned about editcountitis. The number of edits is ultimately less important than the quality of said edits.