RevCons generally take place in three phases. At a RevCon, the first step is always to take care of administrative matters including the election of the President, Vice Presidents, and other officials of the RevCon as well as the formal adoption of the rules of procedure and agenda for the conference. During this phase of a RevCon, a Credentials Committee is also appointed to compile a report verifying every delegate’s ability and qualifications to be at the RevCon.
The second phase of RevCons, the discussion and committee work phase is where the bulk of the conversations between State parties occurs. During this phase, general debate occurs first and State parties are provided the opportunity to present general ideas they may have about the treaty. Any ideas presented throughout a RevCon can be sent to one of the various Main Committees for further debate and then, if deemed prudent, to the Drafting Committee to be written into a Final Document for later presentation to the entire RevCon. After general debate, discussions then occur on the main floor regarding more specialized topics, such as reviewing the implementation of provisions of the NPT as decided at prior RevCons and any new problems which have arisen since the last RevCon.
The final phase of a RevCon is the consideration and adoption phase. After all the discussion done at a RevCon, the ultimate goal is for the Conference to conclude with the adoption of a substantive Final Document including a series of statements agreed upon by the State parties. At this point in the Conference, the general floor hears reports of the Main Committees and considers the adoption of any Final Documents the Drafting Committee has produced.
These RevCons require a lot of preparatory work in order to run in a timely and efficient manner. In order to boost the efficiency and substantive output of RevCons, the 1995 RevCon decided that in the three years preceding a RevCon, a Preparatory Committee, or PrepCom should convene each year to prioritize new items for inclusion on an already packed RevCon agenda. The preliminary positions are hashed out on the various issues. This process enables the establishment of the urgency of each issue and allows the delegates time to to discuss the various issues with the leaders of their respective countries. The format of PrepComs generally run similar to those of RevCons but PrepComs take place in a different location every year. Though no binding resolutions are made at PrepComs, many statements, working papers, summaries and reports developed and shared at PrepComs are used as assessment tools at RevCons.