The role of Council is to govern the sport of athletics. It is responsible for all decisions related to the sport of athletics, as well as for the conduct and management of the sport and its disciplines.
Council consists of 26 elected members, including the President, four Vice-Presidents, six Area Presidents (elected by each Area Association), the Chair of the Athletes‘ Commission and one other member of the Athletes’ Commission (elected by members of the Athletes’ Commission) and thirteen Individual Council Members.
There cannot be more than one Council Member from any one Member Federation country. The Athletes’ Commission members on the Council are exempted from the one Member Federation rule.
There is a minimum gender requirement in the composition of Council. Of the total 26 members, there must be a minimum of:
- Seven of each gender for the elections in 2019
- 10 of each gender for the elections in 2023 (c. 40%)
- 13 of each gender for the elections in 2027 and thereafter (ie 50%). This target has been met four years earlier than the Constitution prescribed.
Council has the powers and responsibilities to develop the World Plan for athletics and approve and review the World Athletics Strategic Plan; adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations; decide all matters relating to the competition calendar and World Athletics competitions, world records, bidding procedures and selection of host cities; develop policies for training and appointing technical officials; review and monitor the global athletics development programme; appoint Commissions and Working Groups and make recommendations to Congress on membership of various independent panels and bodies of World Athletics.