Study groups provide a flexible and less formal form of cooperation within the ILA than the committees. They are established to survey the suitability of topics for further study by a committee, to allow quick responses to urgent questions, or to tackle issues that are less suitable for consideration by a committee. Study groups consist of a small group of recognised experts and do not aim to produce a formal outcome for adoption by the ILA.
A study group is established, and its chair and the rapporteur(s) are appointed by the Executive Council on the recommendation of the Director of Studies. The membership of a study group is usually limited to ten to twelve people selected by the chair.
The results of the work of a study group (for example reports, recommendations, principles, declarations) can be published under the auspices of the ILA on its website. Although study groups may hold workshops at the biennial conferences (and indeed are encouraged to do so), their reports or other output are not to be formally adopted by ILA Conferences. The study groups should provide opportunities for younger members to be involved in the work of the Association.
The normal length of mandate for a study group is three years and may be renewed.