Standards and recommended practices

Standards and recommended practices

WMO is the international standardization organization in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, climatology and related environmental disciplines. 

WMO Technical Regulations, an international framework for standardization and interoperability, consist of standard and recommended practices and procedures adopted by World Meteorological Congress for universal application by all Members. These regulatory provisions make it possible to operate the 24/7/365 global systems for observations, data exchange and management, forecasting and provision of authoritative scientific assessments and standardized service products to a variety of users in each WMO Member State and Member Territory. WMO Technical Regulations are based on requirements and designed to bring efficiency and interoperability and to support policy and decision-making in many areas – disaster risk management, agriculture, aviation, shipping, water management, health, etc.

WMO Technical Regulations currently include three Volumes and a number of Annexes to these Volumes, called Manuals. Manuals, published separately, contain detailed thematic regulatory material having the same status as the main Volumes.

The WMO Technical Regulations comprise:

  • Standard practices and procedures (using the verb “shall” in their formulation) - regulatory provisions that have the status of requirement which is necessary for Members to follow or implement;
  • Recommended practices and procedures (using the verb “should” in their formulation) - regulatory provisions that have the status of recommendation for Members which is they are urged to comply.

In addition to the Technical Regulations, appropriate Guides are published by the Organization. They describe practices, procedures and specifications which Members are invited to follow or implement in order to achieve compliance.

WMO Technical Commissions are the intergovernmental constituent bodies of the Organizations with the main responsibility for maintaining the Technical Regulations framework with timely updates reflecting the progress of science and technology with the help of a vast Expert Network comprising experts nominated by Members and partner international organizations.

Basic Documents

Technical Regulations

Manuals (annexes to Technical Regulations)

Guidelines on the Preparation and Promulgation of the WMO Technical Regulations

Guidelines on the Role, Operation and Management of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services


Organizational policies

Resolutions and decisions of Congress and the Executive Council Expressing continuing policies of the Organization not reflected elsewhere 

Administrative matters

Resolution 21 (EC-XXXV) – WMO Staff Pension Committee (1983) 

Resolution 27 (EC-73) - Rules governing payment of travel expenses and subsistence allowances in respect of non-staff members of WMO (2021) 


Resolution 34 (EC-70) – WMO Code of Conduct for officers of the Organization and members of the Executive Council including its committees and for delegates at constituent body meetings (2018) 

Financial matters

Resolution 31 (Cg-X) - Incentive scheme for early payment of contributions (1987) 

Resolution 37 (Cg-XI) - Suspension of Members for failure to meet financial obligations (1991) 

Resolution 35 (Cg-XII) - Settlement of long-outstanding contributions (1995) 

Resolution 39 (Cg-XV) - Financial Advisory Committee (2007) 

Resolution 41 (Cg-XV) - Settlement of long-outstanding contributions (2007) 

Resolution 20 (EC-64) – WMO Programme Support Cost Policy (2012) 

Resolution 74 (Cg-17) - Short-term borrowing authority (2015) 

Gender equality

Resolution 59 (Cg-17) - Gender equality and empowerment of women (2015) 

High-level policy statements and commitments

Resolution 4 (EC-XL) – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1988) 

Resolution 15 (EC-XLIV) – Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) 

Resolution 29 (Cg-XV) - Evolution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and WMO (2007) 

Resolution 1 (EC-68) – WMO support to the Paris Agreement (2016) 

Decision 70 (EC-68) – WMO contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2016) 

Decision 83 (EC-68) – Role and operation of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (2016) 

Decision 7 (EC-69) WMO support to implementation of the Paris Agreement (2017) 

Decision 6 (EC-70) – Implementation of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change activities (2018) 

Resolution 67 (Cg-18) - WMO scientific and technological support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and climate policy (2019) 

Resolution 79 (Cg-18) - Open consultative platform “Partnership and Innovation for the Next Generation of Weather and Climate Intelligence” (2019) 

Resolution 80 (Cg-18) - Geneva Declaration – 2019: Building Community for Weather, Climate and Water Actions (2019) 

Resolution 6 (Cg-Ext(2021)) - WMO Water Declaration and Water and Climate Coalition (2021) 

Human resources matters

Resolution 30 (Cg-IX) - Recruitment of field project professional staff (1983) 

Organizational identify

Resolution 45 (Cg-XV) - Emblem and flag of the World Meteorological Organization (2007) 


Resolution 23 (EC-64) – Policy on Disclosure of Internal Audit Reports (2012) 

Resolution 17 (EC-72) – Terms of reference and membership of the Audit and Oversight Committee (2020) 

Procedural matters

Resolution 3 (Cg-III) - Implementation of amendments to the Convention (1959) 

Resolution 4 (Cg-III) - Submission of proposals for amending the Convention by the Executive Committee (1959) 

Publishing and communication

Resolution 6 (EC-XII) – Annual World Meteorological Day (1960) 

Resolution 24 (Cg-XIV) - A subtitle for WMO (2003) 

Resolution 24 (EC-64) – Guidelines on the planning and production of WMO publications (2012) 

Risk and quality management

Resolution 22 (EC-66) – Implementation of risk management (2014) 

Decision 76 (EC-68) WMO Quality Management Framework – Organization-wide approach (2016) 

Decision 12 (EC-73) - Risk Management and Risk Appetite Statements (2021) 

Working arrangements and coordination with other organizations

Resolution 2 (EC-IV) – Consultative status of non-governmental international organizations (1953) 

Resolution 6 (Cg-V) - Relations with the United Nations and other international organizations 

Resolution 6 (Cg-XIV) - WMO Consultative Meetings on High-level Policy on Satellite Matters (2003) 

Resolution 8 (EC-LXI) – Procedures to be followed in proposing common WMO/ISO Technical Standards (2009) 

Decision 71 (EC-68) – Review of cooperation agreements (2016) 

Decision 72 (EC-68) – Recognition of partner organizations (2016) 

Decision 74 (EC-68) – WMO positioning in Future Earth (2016) 

Decision 75 (EC-68) WMO–Group on Earth Observations key collaboration areas (2016) 

Resolution 14 (EC-73) - Collaboration with IATA on the Development of the AMDAR Programme (WICAP) (2021)