The Order of Carmelites (abbreviated to O.Carm. or O.C.) has the same structure as other Mendicant Orders and is an Order with pontifical approbation. Thus its organization is that typical of Mendicant Orders: one body overseen by a Prior General and at the base there are local monasteries bonded into: Provinces, General Commissariats, Houses Under the Immediate Jurisdiction of the Prior General, Hermitical Communities Aggregated 'Pleno Iure' to the Order and Affiliated Communities. These are then grouped according to geographical or linguistic criteria. The religious who joins this one body, makes himself available to go to one of the local provincial communities, or one of the communities under the Prior General, according to the task assigned to him.
The Chapter of a Province, celebrated once every three years, brings together representatives of the Province to elect a Prior Provincial and his Council and to decide on matters of importance. The General Chapter, celebrated every six years, elects the Prior General and his Council, and discusses matters of importance to the whole Order. The Prior General with the members of the General Council, live in Rome, from where they then spread out to visit the Provinces and the communities of the Order as well as those of the Carmelite Family.