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isirv is an open membership organization, run democratically, and based on the principle of being a scientific body independent of commercial, governmental or political ties, bringing together individual scientists, clinicians, public health experts, and others with a professional interest in influenza and other respiratory viruses.

isirv is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee (a format for not-for-profit organisations) and is also registered with the Charity Commission (Company number 6021083, Registered charity number 1118829.

Following the 2019 AGM isirv is operating under a new governance structure which will be reviewed in 2020. The new Council replaces the Board and maintains the functions of setting the strategy and strategic policies of isirv for the Executive Committee to oversee. The Executive Committee includes the Officers, the Chairs of Special Interest Groups and the Editor in Chief of the journal IRV.

Most isirv Council Members are elected by the society's membership with one third of the elected Council positions being subject to election each year. Thus Council members normally serve terms of three years (renewable) and attend around four Council meetings a year. In addition to the elected Council members, the Chairs of Special Interest Groups sit on the Council as ex-officio members. There is also provision for co-opted members and this has been regularly used to include on the Council a Treasurer with financial skills. The Officers of isirv (Chair, Deputy Chairs, Treasurer) are elected by the Council.

Since 2010 there has been provision in isirv's statutes for the creation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) through which interested members can pursue activities of a more specialist nature.

isirv’s activities are funded by annual membership subscriptions, surpluses from scientific meetings including Options, royalties from the journal IRV and interest on invested reserves.