CBOL consists of Member Organizations and Working Groups that share an interest in DNA barcoding and work together to promote its development. CBOL pursues this mission through a variety of activities that are overseen by the CBOL Executive Committee and are managed by a Secretariat Office. CBOL's Executive Committee has adopted Terms of Reference (pdf, 45Kb) under which the Consortium operates.
- The Executive Committee oversees the organization and reports to the Member Organizations.
- An Implementation Board consists of the Working Group chairs and leaders of all major CBOL activities, and liasons to important partner activities such as GenBank and the Canadian Barcode Network.
- Four Working Groups develop particular aspects of DNA Barcoding; Data Analysis Working Group (DAWG), Database Working Group (DBWG), Leading Labs Network (LLN) and Plant Working Group (PlantWG).
- The Secretariat Office conducts CBOL's business. CBOL is hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.