The IOC Ocean Best Practices System was formally adopted as an IOC project (jointly sponsored by IODE and GOOS Programmes) in June 2019 under Decision IOC-XXX/7.2.1

The IOC Ocean Best Practices System is hosted at the Project Office of IODE of IOC-UNESCO in Oostende, Belgium and managed by a Steering Group representing major  Stakeholders: (i) Representatives from IOC Programmes (ii) Invited Experts from the full value chain of the ocean observing community (iii) Representatives of IODE and GOOS Secretariats. 

SG-Ocean Best Practices System Members (Co-Chairs: Rene Garello and George Petihakis; Project Manager: Pauline Simpson) :    MEMBERSHIP (to display in alpha name order click on column header  ‘Name’)

Work Packages

The work of the IOC Ocean Best Practices System Project is structured and implemented through Work Packages (WP). The work packages have been designed as separate activity areas but are not viewed as silos, since interaction between all WPs is essential. Each WP will have a lead (bold) and co-lead (italics) agreed by the Steering Group, with additional Steering Group members contributing to the activities. Leads will be the responsible first contact for WP. Brief descriptions of the WP follow. 

WP1: Project Management

Leads: Pauline Simpson, Rene Garello, George Petihakis

Oversees the management of the project including system administration, reporting and progress of the IOC OBPS project and be the responsibility of the IOC OBPS Project Manager. The management structure of the project, defined by project implementation plan, is managed under this WP. A Strategic Plan will be discussed at SG-OBPS-2 an a task team formed to deliver the plan .  The IODE/GOOS funding provides only an IOC OBPS operational budget. To introduce new technology developments and resource enhancements it is necessary to obtain additional funding from external sources outside of the IOC.   This may take the form of additional funding for a specific enhancement/or activity in OBPS or additional funding to OBPS from being a work partner in other externally funded projects from the NSF, EU, etc. The Resource Mobilization and Sustainability task within this WP will engage with external organizations to address funding to support the development and implementation of advanced technologies. This WP will monitor and support the OBPS contribution to external funded projects. In addition, reports including metrics will be provided to the SG when required for annual or progress reporting.

WP2: Operations (Repository)

Leads: Pauline Simpson, Arno Lambert

This WP is responsible for the efficient day-to-day management, administration and development of the Repository. The repository must have a comprehensive collection of best practices and the WP will provide the content support and metrics to promote and increase the BP content. Access to both the User Interface and the repository will be through the OBPS website The day to day technical support for the Search User Interface and Repository will be the responsibility of the Project Technical Manager who will be the prime liaison with any technology contractor/s. Liaising with WP 3, this work package also covers the introduction of new user-facing and back-end supporting functionality based on the Search User Interface as well as technology enhancements to the underlying Repository system funded through the Resource Mobilization task deliverable in WP1.

WP3: Advanced Technologies and Interoperability

Leads: Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Cristian Munoz Mas

Technology developments will be identified by this WP, informed by community inputs including recommendations, survey, workshops etc. These technology developments will rely on additional external funding being obtained (WP1). Working with external Technology Contractors, new technology developments will build on the present service and introduce automated processes to enhance the best practice creator and user experience. This work package will also involve creating or obtaining complete technical documentation of the advanced technology introduced to the system.

WP4: Publications, Convergence and Endorsement

Leads: Juliet Hermes

Key quality attributes to Best Practices and related documentations is universality, acceptance and trust in their content. Only through wide-spread and qualified discussion of draft documentation can the current state of knowledge be recorded, documented and synthesized. This in turn warrants adaptation and uptake by user communities. Roughly speaking the activities in this workpackage can be divided into three areas: One area addresses the IOC OBPS project peer review publication initiative which is linked to the Frontiers in Marine Science Research Topic “Best Practices in Ocean Observing”. The next area is around activities that support and guide synthesizing or converging fragmented SOP and manuals or updating existing BP documentation into community agreed Best Practices documentation that reflect that current state of practices. The final area is addressing the need of specific organizations or groups to label or “endorse” certain Best Practices documentation as the latest agreed on documents for operations.

WP5: Communication and Outreach

Leads: Rachel Przeslawski, Virginie Van Dongen-Vogels

This Work Package is key to the success of the IOC OBPS which needs Community commitment to sustain it. It will ensure visibility and relevance of the system through community engagement activities. It will be the responsibility of the WP leads, with extensive support from the whole SG and community contributors.

Activities will include the production and dissemination of promotional material of the OBPS to the community via the website, social media, conferences journal articles, and the monthly community newsletter Good, Better, Best.

WP6: User Communities

Leads: Mark Bushnell, Frank Muller-Karger

This Work Package will build and develop the interfaces between the IOC OBPS and global Ocean Developer and User Communities, using resources provided by other WP (especially WP5). By agreement, WP members will take responsibility to represent specific domain interests and to co-op domain experts as OBPS advocates.  A Community Forum will support this activity, and a community interaction log will be maintained.

WP7: Training and Capacity Development

Leads: Ana Carolina Peralta, Ana Carolina Mazzuco

This Work Package will focus on addressing OBP training needs and will explore synergies with any organizations developing and/or delivering training within this scope. The WP will thus build a portfolio of modules/courses available for the relevant audiences. The IOC/IODE OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) Project will be a preferred facilitator to deliver OBPS related training, thus capitalizing on the infrastructure developed by OTGA, including the use of the OceanTeacher e-Learning Platform (OT e-LP) as well as its network of Regional Training Centres and Specialised Training Centres, as needed. Special consideration will be given to the quality of the training delivered, following international standards and ultimately aiming at certification. The use of new tools and technologies will be explored (e.g. visual immersion techniques, three-dimensional computer-aided-design (CAD), opportunities to use hands-on sensor “models” created by 3D printing, using simulators for ‘hands-on’ training, etc.).

WP8:  OBPS Decade Coordination (see also

Lead: Rebecca Zitoun, Aileen Hwai Tan

This Work Package will focus on the management of the ‘Ocean Practices for the Decade(OceanPractices)  which is endorsed as one the UN Ocean Decade Programmes contributing to transformative Decade Actions

Task Teams  (click for listing)

Task Teams of specific duration operating within the OBPS Work Package structure (see above) and under the direction of the WP Lead, will support specific needs related to WP objectives. . The task teams leverage, but do not  duplicate, the ongoing work of other organizations considering methodology handling and best practice development.  

The teams  have well defined objectives, durations and outcomes in their Terms of Reference. Task Teams will be created when a topic is identified either from external sources or internal OBPS needs which require external volunteers.  

Partners and Projects 

The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange and the Global Ocean Observing System of the IOC have partnered to support the Ocean Best Practices System.

OBPS and Steering Group members participate in external projects (eg. CAPARDUS; EUROSEA; JERICO S3, ILIAD, Ocean Observation RCN, TechOceanS) to support their ocean observing requirements and user needs by implementing advanced technology functionality within OBPS. See our Project and Partners page for more information.

In addition, community partners contribute to the repository corpus of best practices content.