Membership on the council is for a two-year term, with about half of the representatives being newly elected each year. The SPS Council election is held each spring, with voting eligibility accorded to SPS personnel holding half-time or greater appointments who cast ballots for candidates representing their university affiliation. Numerical representation on the council is proportional to the number of SPS personnel within each of seven representational divisions.
For each elected representative, there is an alternate who is the runner-up in the election. Alternates are encouraged to attend council meetings, but may vote only when their representative is absent.
The SPS Council officers are elected by the council representatives.