The International Cospas-Sarsat Programme Agreement establishes a Council and a Secretariat. The Council oversees the implementation of the Agreement and co-ordinates the activities of the Parties. The Secretariat, the permanent administrative organ of the Programme, takes direction from the Council and assists the Council in the implementation of its functions. The Council has established a subsidiary organ, the Cospas-Sarsat Joint Committee, which is composed of an Operations Working Group (OWG) and a Technical Working Group (TWG).
States non-Party to the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme Agreement can participate in the System by notifying one of the Depositaries of the Agreement (the Secretary-General of International Maritime Organization or the Secretary General of International Civil Aviation Organization) of their association with the Programme either as Ground Segment Providers or as User-States. Ground Segment Providers and User-States are invited to participate in Cospas-Sarsat Programme meetings.