The General Council is one of the governing bodies of Politécnico de Lisboa (IPL), consisting of 33 elements:
- 17 professors and researchers;
- 5 students; 1 employee;
- 10 are invited external personalities.
The promotion of community insertion linked to professional and business activities, corresponding to the acting area of IPL schools, and contributing to a solid vocational training in higher education, are the main goals of the presence of these external members.
One of the most important functions of the general council is the election of the IPL President. This governing body proposes initiatives deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the institution. It elects the student's ombudsman, upon proposal by the academic federation of IPL and approves the regulation of its activities. It authorizes the establishment of consortia and homologates students disciplinary regulations.
Under the proposal of the President of IPL, the general council approves and scrutinizes the concretization of the activity plan and the action plan for the four-year term of the President’s term. It is incumbent upon the general council to approve the institution's general guidelines on scientific, pedagogical, financial and heritage plans; it can still create, transform, split, merge or extinguish organic units. It is the responsibility of this governing body to approve the budget proposals and consolidated annual accounts. It has the power to set student tuition fees, propose or authorize the acquisition or disposal of real estate from the institution, as well as to authorize credit operations.
The general council meets four times a year. The IPL President may be invited to the meetings, whenever it is understood that their presence is relevant, but they have no voting rights.