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

Agreements