Expert groups

Guidance for chairs

Multi-annual working groups

​​Expert group meetings

  • Online meetings: Chairs are encouraged to set up and run online meetings themselves using their own institutional platforms and their own institutional IT support.​ If this is not ​possible, ICES Secretariat will set up an online connection.​
  • Hybrid meetings: For meetings held outside ICES Secretariat, we encourage that the online component of the meeting is also organised by the local host institute, as IT support for the meeting is easier to manage on-site from the host institute. To the extent possible all meetings should offer online attendance.

Slide deck for expert group meetings

  • This slide deck is for exp​​ert group chairs to use at the opening of their groups' meetings.  It outlines how members of ICES community are encouraged to work together and it covers ICES Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, and Conflict of Interest.
  • If all members of your group have seen the full set of slides in previous meetings, please show slides 27 and 9 as a minimum, when you open your meeting.

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

  • The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct outlines ICES principles, guidelines, and practices for key areas of organizational activity. It details ICES core values, good scientific practice, conflict of interest, conflict resolution and environmental responsibility. It applies to anyone partaking in any ICES activity—including staff, members, and participants. Meeting chairs are expected to set the tone for inclusive collaboration. The chair should be especially alert to any bias or discrimination exhibited against others and act to prevent it.


  • The WGCHAIRS Forum provides a way for expert group chairs to interact, as well as news on activities and materials to support your work. Alerts have been pre-set for all WG Chairs, which means that you will receive an email notification, when new posts or comments are made. ​
​​​​Expert group reporting and administration

  • The approved Terms of Reference (ToR) for expert groups will be uploaded to the relevant SharePoint folder for each group. Suggestions for revisions during the three-year term must be submitted via an annual E-eva​luation (see below).
  • Expert group meeting dates. Group's meeting dates must be planned well in advance of the meeting, especially for expert groups planning to meet January to March.
  • Membership. Chairs will receive the membership lists for their expert groups by email. Chairs may invite members to join the group in addition to members appointed by ICES national delegates. Chairs must send the names and contact details of 'Chair-invited members' to their secretariat officer as soon as they are known. Chairs are strongly encouraged to review the overall 'Chair-invited membership' (at least every 3 years) and inform the secretariat officer.
  • Expert group webpage: Chairs should keep their expert group's webpa​ge ​up to date with relevant information about the group. Chairs are encouraged to send an illustration of the group's subject matter to their ICES officer and to write or revise the summary text based on the guidance in the Guidelines for ICES Groups (Section 3.1.2).
  • The Guidelines for ICES Groups provides essential information for all chairs and explains how expert groups operate and interact with other parts of ICES. Please refer to the Guidelines frequently, as most operational details for chairing an expert group are provided in this document. If any questions arise that are not covered, please contact your ICES officer or your steering group chair directly for assistance.
  • Recommendations from groups for the attention of other groups in ICES can be submitted online via the ICES Recommendations Database. Each expert group can submit up to five recommendations (please read Guidelines for ICES Groups Section 3.8 before submitting your recommendations).

Reporting for working groups with multi-annual ToR

  • E-evaluations. All working groups with multi-annual ToR are asked to complete an e-evaluation within 10 days of the end of each working group meeting. There are two different versions for the e-evaluation form, one for groups in their first or second year and a final e-evaluation for groups in their third year.
  • List of participants. Chairs should record participation at each expert group meeting in the e-evaluation. If multiple meetings are held throughout the year, add one column per meeting to the list of participants' table at the bottom of the e-evaluation with the different meeting dates.

ICES Scientific Report series

  • Working groups with multi-annual ToR addressing an advice-related term of reference in any interim year must publish an “ICES Scientific Report" including, at least, the output linked to this term of reference (as this will form the background to the advice).
  • Working groups that are not addressing advice-related term of reference in an interim year have the option to write an interim report if they expect it to generate significant science content. Chairs must inform the designated ICES officer if their group wishes to submit an “ICES Scientific Report".
  • All expert groups are required to submit a final report in Year 3, so it is highly recommended chairs regularly document information on scientific progress throughout the expert group term.
  • ICES Scientific Reports must use the most recent report templateReports submitted on other old/last year's templates will not be accepted. Please read the guidance on reporting in the Guidelines for ICES Groups (Section 3.7) and inside the template before drafting the report, to ensure executive summaries and other material are in the correct format. Once chairs submit the report to the ICES officer, it will be checked, formatted, and published in ICES library ​with a DOI.
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Guidance for chairs

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