In its previous form, it consisted of 117 member nations and three associate members, with any national Olympic Committee requesting to take part in an Olympic Games being invited to join the Council. An Olympic Upper Council also existed. However, this set-up fell out of use due to impracticalities and effectively was ignored from around 2006. A less formal organisation of the Olympics prevailed with a new Charter being ratified in January 2010 reviving a formal Olympic Council.
The current Council can be considered to have replaced the defunct version. Under the Olympic Charter passed on January 9, 2010, members are eligible to vote on hosting bids for future Olympic Games and on amendments to the Charter. The President of the Executive Committee is responsible for maintaining the official member list.