Governing Bodies

The members of ICOM are professionals directly or indirectly involved with museums as well as museums, organisations and institutions which have similar activities. The National and International Committees are the base of the organisational structure of ICOM.

National Committees

Each National Committee represents a particular country and is made up of ICOM members in that country. The National Committees elect a Board of Directors with a fixed term of office. The Chairman of the Board represents the Committee at meetings of the ICOM Advisory Committee.

International Committees

These are composed of ICOM members with the same expertise, from different countries. These Committees deal with specialised issues and develop proposals for the promotion of specific areas of museological theory and practice. They elect a Board of Directors with a three-year term of office. All ICOM members may participate in International Committees, which are represented on the ICOM Advisory Committee by their Chairpersons.

General Assembly

It is the highest organ of ICOM and its decisions are not revocable. The General Assembly is open to all ICOM members. The Assembly is held every three years, in a different country, to set ICOM’s Strategic Programme of Action and to elect the Executive Council.

Executive Council

It consists of 10 members and is empowered by the General Assembly to exercise control, to ensure the implementation of the Programme of Action, the preparation of the annual budget, the implementation of the Statutes and the general management of ICOM.

Advisory Committee

Composed of the Chairs of the National and International Committees. The work of the Committee is to monitor the general policy of ICOM, to solve administrative problems, to make comments on the implementation of the Programme adopted by the General Assembly, to identify future activities and to discuss a variety of issues related to ICOM activities.


The ICOM Secretariat, the supreme executive body, implements the decisions of the Executive Council under the supervision of the Secretary General. It also provides its services to the members of ICOM, coordinates the activities of the National and International Commissions, monitors the progress of programmes and handles a variety of financial and administrative matters. It also cooperates with international organisations dealing with cultural heritage issues.

General Conference

It is one of the most important events of ICOM and has the character of an International Conference, with a different theme each time. It is held every three years in parallel with the General Assembly. It provides an opportunity for ICOM members to meet, learn about issues of interest to them and exchange views and experiences. Members of the National and International Committees meet in working groups and discuss various scientific topics relevant to their area of expertise.

Affiliated Organisations

These are international organisations with a specialised subject matter relevant to ICOM’s work. Many of their members are also members of ICOM. These organisations can, while always maintaining their autonomy, request cooperation within the framework of ICOM’s activities. These collaborations are constructive for both partners, broadening their horizons and contributing to the development of museums.