Standard-Setting Process

The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) regularly updates its international standards in accordance with new scientific information and technological advances, following its established transparent and democratic adoption procedures. The only pathway for adoption of a standard is via approval by the World Assembly of Delegates at the WOAH General Assembly in May each year. After adoption, these standards are published and updated in the respective volumes of the Codes and Manuals.

The standard-setting process is used to update our international standards. It is an inclusive process that includes the participation of our Members and partner international organisations. This process also involves the Specialist Commissions, ad hoc Groups and Working Groups. Please, watch the video below to understand better how International Standards are developed.

Specialists Commissions

The relevant Specialist Commission consider requests to develop new standards or review existing standards received from a range of stakeholders including from Members, partner international organisations, and its scientific network. These requests are reviewed, prioritised and included on its respective work plans.

Calendar of the upcoming Specialist Commission meetings

Commissions*February 2023September 2023February 2024
Terrestrial Code Commission7-175-146-16
Biological Standards Commission6-104-85-9
Scientific Commission13-1711-1512-16
Aquatic Animals Commission15-2213-2014-21
*Projected dates of the next meetings of the four Specialist Commissions

Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission


Biological Standards Commission


Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases


Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission


Ad hoc Groups and Working Groups

The ad hoc Groups and Working Groups may be requested to address specific topics to ensure that new or revised standards are based on the latest scientific evidence and knowledge. The views of the Members and partner international organisations are routinely sought through the circulation of draft and revised texts in the relevant Specialist Commission report.

Ad hoc Groups


Working Groups


The only pathway for adoption of a new or revised standard is by approval of the World Assembly of Delegates at the annual General Session in May. The newly adopted standards, then, enter into force.

These standards are published in a revised edition of the Aquatic Code or Terrestrial Code; as well as the two Diagnostic Manuals.