The Consultative Committees (CCs) operate under the authority of the CIPM. The CIPM appoints the President of each CC, who is expected to chair each CC meeting and report to the CIPM. The President is normally chosen amongst the members of the CIPM.
With the exception of the CCU, which has different membership criteria, membership of the CCs is decided by the CIPM in accordance with the following established criteria.
Membership of a Consultative Committee is open to institutions of Member States of the BIPM that are recognized internationally as most expert in the field. This normally requires that they:
- be national laboratories charged with establishing national standards in the field;
- be active in research and have a record of recent publications in research journals of international repute;
- have demonstrated competence by a record of participation in international comparisons organized either by the Consultative Committee, the BIPM or a regional metrology organization.
In addition the CCs may include as Members:
- relevant intergovernmental organizations, international bodies and scientific unions whose participation would advance the work of the CC;
- named individuals when their knowledge and competence are highly valuable to the CC, even if they come from an institute that does not fulfil the membership criteria.
- Any BIPM Member State NMI or designated institute with an interest in the particular scientific field may apply for membership by writing to the Director of the BIPM and presenting its case for membership. The Director will then normally consult the CC President who in turn may consult the CC. If deemed appropriate, at the next meeting of the CIPM the CC President, with the support of the Director of the BIPM, will ask the CIPM to approve Member status.
- Observer status on a CC may be granted to those institutes of Member States and to intergovernmental organizations, international bodies and scientific unions that actively participate in the activities organized under the auspices of the CC and its working groups but do not yet fulfil all the criteria for membership. Observer status is decided by the CIPM.
- The Director of the BIPM is a Member ex officio of each CC and there is usually at least one other BIPM staff member present at each meeting.
- Members and Observers are generally metrology laboratories and specialized institutes, or international organizations, each of which sends a delegate of their choice in response to the convocation issued by the Director of the BIPM on behalf of the CC President. Member institutions may also send technical experts to support their delegate. The number of such experts, typically one or two, is decided by the CC President and is printed on the convocation. The delegate of an Observer may not send an additional technical expert without the prior approval of the CC President.
- The President of a CC may invite other persons to attend a meeting of the CC as Guests. Guests have the same status as Observers for the meeting to which they are invited, but they are invited as a Guest on an individual, one-off basis.
- The CIPM will carry out a formal review of the membership of the CCs every four years in the year following a meeting of the CGPM although the CC President may propose changes at each CIPM meeting.
- The CIPM may decide to remove Member status, change Member status to Observer status, or remove Observer status.
- The list of CC Members and Observers is given in the CC pages on the BIPM website.