Expert groups

Guidance for groups

Multi-annual working groups producing business reports

​​​​​​​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-evalu​ation (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 webp​age ​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.
  • 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.
    • Interim e-evaluation form for groups in their first or second year. This document helps the Secretariat and steering group chairs review the working group's progress, learn about science highlights, and identify and rectify any issues
    • Final e-evaluation form for groups in their third year. Groups in their third year are asked to submit a self-evaluation through a questionnaire that identifies and show-cases their achievements against original goals and science highlights. If the group is willing to continue for another 3-year term, a new draft resolution should be submitted, along with the e-evaluation.
  • 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 Business Report series

  • An ICES Business Report template​ is used for reporting by groups addressing ICES internal processes, co-ordinating the work of groups in the ICES system or proposing changes and developments for ICES working procedures and structures. Business Reports are formatted in a standard way and made widely available through the ICES website and library. Reports of the main ICES bodies such as Council and the Science Committee are also published as “Business Reports". The cases when a “Business Reports" template should be used by an expert group are indicated on the approved resolution for the group, and the Secretariat will then provide the relevant template.
  • Multi-annual groups that do not produce advice are not required to produce interim reports (in Year 1 and 2), but may choose to do so. All multi-annual working groups must publish their final report (in Year 3). Chairs must inform the designated ICES officer if their group wishes to submit an ICES Business Group Report. Please use this template
  • To ensure executive summaries and other material are in the correct format, please read the guidance on reporting in the Guidelines for ICES Groups (Section 3.7, 3.7.1 and 3.7.3) before drafting the report. Once chairs submit the report to ICES officer, it will be checked, formatted, and published in ICES library​ with a DOI.
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Guidance for groups

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