Code of Ethics

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums

Ethics and museum professionals’ exemplary practices are essential for ICOM.

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums
was adopted in 1986 and revised in 2004. It establishes the values and principles shared by ICOM and the international museum community. It is a reference tool translated to 37 languages and it sets minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff.

By joining ICOM, each member commits to respect this code.

ICOM Statutes

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ICOM's Statutes are an essential document for the organisation. ICOM's rules clarify and complete these Statutes.

The Statutes are the foundations of the organisation and its functioning. They specify the objectives, the mission and the organisation of the structure.

The new version of this essential document was adopted in 2007 during the 21st General Conference in Vienna (Austria).

Article 11 - 11. Executive Council

Section 1. Organisation
The Executive Council is the decision making body of ICOM. It consists of not less than nine (9) and not more than fifteen (15) elected members, as well as the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee as an ex-officio member.


The members of the Executive Council are elected by the Ordinary General Assembly and serve a three (3)-year term of office. Members of the Executive Council Bureau and At-large (ordinary) members may serve two (2) consecutive terms, if elected. An At-large (ordinary) Member of the Council may subsequently be elected as an officer of the Council. No person may serve more than four consecutive terms as a member of the Executive Council.

The President chairs the Executive Council. When the President is unable to fulfil his or her elected term, the Executive Council will select one of the Vice-Presidents by a simple majority to act as President until the next election. When a Vice-President is unable to complete his or her term, the Executive Council will select one of the At-Large (ordinary) members by a simple majority to act as Vice-President until the next election. The time spent as Vice-President by an At-large (ordinary) member shall not count against his or her time as an elected officer. If an at-large (ordinary) member is unable to complete his or her term, the position shall remain vacant until the next election.

Persons elected to the Executive Council shall not hold additional offices within ICOM unless authorised to do so by the Executive Council.


Section 2. Meetings
The Council shall meet in ordinary session at least twice a year. One of these meetings shall be held on the occasion of the annual Ordinary General Assembly, at the same time and place.


Section 3. Duties of the Council
The Executive Council ensures the good management of ICOM.

It oversees the various resources of ICOM (financial, human, intellectual and technical) and their development.

It safeguards ICOM’s reputation, international esteem and public regard.

It recommends an amount for the membership fees to be approved by the General Assembly.


Section 4. Quorum and Majority
The quorum for a meeting of the Council shall be a simple majority of the members.

The Executive Council takes its decisions by a simple majority.


Section 5. Committees
The President, with the approval of the Executive Council, may appoint standing committees, task forces, and working groups, and define their duties.

Unless re-appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Council, membership in committees, task forces, and working groups ceases in the year following the triennial elections of the Executive Council.