A.A.’s Twelve Steps are principles for personal recovery.
The Twelve Traditions ensure the unity of the Fellowship.
Written by co-founder Bill W. in 1962, the Twelve Concepts for World
Service provide a group of related principles to help ensure that
various elements of A.A.’s service structure remain responsive and
responsible to those they serve.
The “short form” of the Concepts, which follows, was prepared by
the General Service Conference.
responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always
reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical
purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society
in its world affairs.
insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A.—the
Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs,
committees, and executives—with a traditional “Right of Decision.”
all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of
Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to
the responsibility that each must discharge.
our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that
minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful
The Conference recognizes that the chief
initiative and active responsibility in most world matters should be
exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General
Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments,
empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The
Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the
A.A. purse for final effectiveness.
trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and
finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and
constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect
all the directors of these entities.
service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning
and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the
founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.
service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with
the scope of such authority well defined.
trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service
directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition,
qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be
matters of serious concern.
Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it
never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power, that sufficient
operation funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it
place none of it members in a position of unqualified authority over
others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and,
whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be
personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never
perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will
always remain democratic in thought and action.