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Terms of Reference of ICMI

Terms of Reference of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), a commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU)

(Adopted by the IMU Executive Committee by an electronic vote on December 31, 2009)


  1. ICMI shall be charged with the conduct of the activities of IMU bearing on mathematical or scientific education, and shall take the initiative in inaugurating appropriate programmes designed to further the sound development of mathematical education at all levels, and to secure public appreciation of its importance. In the pursuit of this objective, ICMI shall cooperate, to the extent it considers desirable, with groups, international, regional, topical or otherwise, formed within or outside its own structure.
  2. The Members of ICMI consist of
    1. those countries which are Members of IMU, and
    2. other countries which are co-opted, as specified in (8) below.
    The term “country" is to be understood as described in the Statutes of IMU.
    Non-attendance by a country at two consecutive meetings of the ICMI General Assembly, as described under (3) below, shall lead to an investigation by the ICMI Executive Committee into the appropriateness of continued membership, such action to be undertaken in conjunction with IMU.
  3. The General Assembly of ICMI consists of
    1. the members of the Executive Committee, as specified in (4) below, and
    2. the representative of each member country of ICMI, as described in (6) below, or a substitute duly certified to the Secretary-General of ICMI.
    The General Assembly of ICMI shall normally meet once in every four years, on the occasion of the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME). Only the representatives of countries that are Full Members of IMU have voting rights. No person shall represent more than one country at the General Assembly.
    ICMI Affiliate Organizations, as described in (9) below, have the right to participate in the ICMI General Assembly, but shall have no voting rights.
  4. The Executive Committee (EC) of ICMI consists of the following members. 
    1. Elected by the ICMI General Assembly: Nine members, including the four officers, namely, the President, the two Vice-Presidents, and the Secretary-General.  The President shall serve for one, non-renewable, term.
    2. Ex-officio members: The immediate Past President of ICMI, the President and the Secretary of IMU. The IMU President and Secretary may delegate their ICMI responsibilities to up to two other IMU EC members, the ICMI liaison persons.
    3. Co-opted member: In order to compensate for missing coverage or representation, the ICMI Executive Committee may exceptionally co-opt one additional member, in consultation with the IMU Executive Committee.
    Decisions of the ICMI Executive Committee are generally taken by consensus. In instances where a vote is required, all members of the Committee, including ex-officio members and the co-opted member, if any, shall have the right to vote.
    The election of the ICMI Executive Committee, including the formation of the ICMI Nominating Committee, is carried out according to the most recent version of the procedures for election, as adopted by the IMU General Assembly.
  5. In all other respects, ICMI shall make its own decisions as to its internal organization and rules of procedure.
  6. Each member country of ICMI shall appoint a representative to ICMI. This appointment is the responsibility of the IMU Adhering Organization, for those countries which are Full or Associate Members of IMU, and of the ICMI Adhering Organization, for the other countries co-opted under item (8) below. A representative should normally not serve for more than two consecutive four-year terms.
  7. Any Adhering Organization wishing to support or encourage the work of ICMI may create or recognize, in agreement with its Committee for Mathematics in the case of a Full or Associate Member of IMU, a Sub-Commission for ICMI to maintain liaison with ICMI in all matters pertinent to its affairs. The representative to ICMI should be a member of the said Sub-Commission, if created.
  8. ICMI may, with the approval of the Executive Committee of IMU, co-opt as Members of ICMI countries that are not Members of IMU, on an individual basis. Each such co-opted Member shall identify an Adhering Organization to ICMI. As soon as a country has been elected Associate Member of IMU, it automatically becomes a co-opted Member of ICMI.
  9. ICMI may approve, through its Executive Committee, the affiliation to ICMI of multi-national organizations that operate in ways consistent with its aims and values. ICMI and the Affiliate Organizations are independent, financially and otherwise. Affiliate Organizations shall produce quadrennial reports to be presented at the General Assembly of ICMI, and a brief annual report on their activities for the ICMI Bulletin. Affiliation may be terminated by decision of the ICMI Executive Committee, or by request of the Affiliate Organization.
  10. The budgetary requests of ICMI shall be submitted to the General Assembly of IMU at such times as may be determined by agreement between the Executive Committees of IMU and ICMI.
  11. ICMI shall file an annual financial report with the Executive Committee of IMU, and shall file a quadrennial report at each regular meeting of the General Assembly of IMU.
  12. ICMI shall file an annual report of its activities with the Executive Committee of IMU, and shall file a quadrennial report at each regular meeting of the General Assembly of IMU.
  13. At each regular meeting of the General Assembly of ICMI, the ICMI Executive Committee shall file a quadrennial report of ICMI’s financial situation and of its activities.


Guidelines for the ICMI Terms of Reference

(Adopted by the ICMI Executive Committee by an electronic vote on December 31, 2009)

Ad 4:
According to the clause of the ICMI procedures for election concerning changes in these procedures, the structure and formation of the ICMI Nominating Committee form part of the Terms of Reference of ICMI and are thus under the jurisdiction of the IMU General Assembly, while the election procedures themselves are part of the operating rules of ICMI, and, as such, are under the jurisdiction of the ICMI General Assembly.

Ad 6:
The limit of two consecutive terms for representatives to ICMI follows from the resolution adopted at the IMU General Assembly held in 1990 in Kobe, Japan.

Ad 9:
Affiliation of organizations to ICMI is approved for the purpose of facilitating jointly sponsored activities and jointly pursuing the objectives of ICMI.  These organizations may be: study groups focussing on a specific field of interest and study in mathematics education; multi-national mathematical education societies; or multi-national societies, mathematical or otherwise, which have a formal mathematical education subgroup.  Affiliate Organizations have the right to submit proposals for joint activities to the General Assembly or to the Executive Committee of ICMI.

ICMI shall look for ways to keep close relations with the Affiliate Organizations and ways to support and enhance mathematical education activities in their regions and fields of interest.  ICMI shall cooperate, to the extent possible, with the work of the Affiliate Organizations, for example by regularly publishing, when requested, information on their activities in the ICMI communications channels such as the ICMI Bulletin, ICMI News and on their web page within the ICMI website.  Affiliate Organizations shall be consulted by ICMI on all relevant ICMI activities.

In addition to producing annual and quadrennial reports, Affiliate Organizations shall inform ICMI of specific activities where appropriate.