Policies and Procedures

June 2018

Policies and Procedures

Appendix A – Consensus Decision Making (CDM)

VASC Bylaws (any proposed changes must go back to the home groups in writing):

Purpose and Scope

  1. The purpose and scope of the Area Service Committee is to be supportive of its groups and members and their primary purpose by linking together groups within the area, by helping groups deal with basic situations and needs, and by encouraging the growth of the fellowship.
  2. In all matters before the committee, the Traditions of Narcotics Anonymous, the 12 Concepts, these Area Bylaws and Policy, The Guide to Local Service, and principles of consensus decision-making (CDM) will apply, in this order.
  3. All subcommittees elected by the VASC will be autonomous in carrying out their assigned functions, but accountable to the VASC.
  4. The VASC will meet once a month.
  5.  The VASC serves Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler.

Nominations and Elections of Officers

  1. Elections of the officers of the VASC will be held annually in September.
  2. These officers will include a Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Regional Committee Member (RCM) 1, and Regional Committee Member (RCM) 2.
  3. All terms of office will end at the close of the September meeting of the VASC, except for the RCM positions as noted below.
  4. No officer shall serve more than two consecutive terms of office, however
    1. The RCM1 and RCM2 positions are to be held for two-year term each.  The RCM2 may serve two, two-year terms:  RCM2 for a two-year term, followed by a two-year term as RCM1 with a vote of confidence.  In the event of an early resignation or removal of an RCM, the VASC may choose to allow the incoming RCM to serve an abbreviated term and one full term of office.
    2. When a new officer is elected between regular September elections, the term of office is until the next regular election of the VASC.  This abbreviated term of office for the new person shall not count in the two terms of office rule.
  5. Any NA member present may make nomination of officers.  Only GSR’s or GSR Alternates (filling in) shall do election of officers.
  6. A 2/3 vote of the GSR’s and GSR Alternates (filling in) attending the meeting will be required to elect these officers.  When more than one person runs for a position, but no person gets 2/3 of the vote, then a second vote will be taken to ensure the person with the most votes has the confidence of 2/3 of the GSR’s/GSR Alts.  If they do not, then another vote will be taken to see if the person with the next highest number of votes has the confidence of 2/3 of the GSR’s/GSR Alts.
  7. An officer resigning or dismissed from office prior to completion of their term of office will not be eligible for election in another position for one month.
  8. Any office left vacant from early resignation or dismissal shall remain vacant for one month so the upcoming election may be announced to the fellowship.

Nominations and Elections of Sub-Committee Chairs

  1. Any NA member present may make nominations for subcommittee chairpersons.
  2. It is suggested that subcommittee chairpersons should have as close as possible to the amount of clean time suggested in the job descriptions appended to this manual.
  3. A 2/3 vote of the GSR’s and GSR Alternates (filling in) attending the meeting will be required to elect these officers.  When more than one person runs for a position, but no person gets 2/3 of the vote, then a second vote will be taken to ensure the person with the most votes has the confidence of 2/3 of the GSR’s/GSR Alts.  If they do not, then another vote will be taken to see if the person with the next highest number of votes has the confidence of 2/3 of the GSR’s/GSR Alts.
  4. All terms of office will end at the close of the September meeting of the VASC, however
    1. Spring Clean Chair position will end at the close of the July VASC.
    2. Women’s Retreat Chair position will end at the close of the VASC meeting the month following the final financial report for the event.
  5. No subcommittee chairperson shall serve more than two consecutive terms in one office.  In order to serve a second term, subcommittee chairpersons must be re-elected.  When a new subcommittee chairperson is elected between regular September elections, their term of office is until the next regular election of the VASC.  This abbreviated term of office for the new person shall not count in the two terms of office rule.

Resignation and Dismissal

  1. An officer resigning or dismissed from office prior to completion of their term of office will not be eligible for election in another position for one month.
  2. Any subcommittee chair left vacant from early resignation or dismissal shall remain vacant for one month so the vacancy may be announced to the fellowship.
  3. Any elected officer or subcommittee chairperson may be removed during his/her term of office by a 2/3 majority vote of the VASC, where the officer or subcommittee chair fails to perform his/her duties.
  4. Admitted relapse is automatic resignation from any office of the VASC.

General Voting Procedures

  1. Decision-making at the VASC shall be by consensus.
  2. Proposals for decision may be put forward by anyone holding a service position at the VASC.
  3. All NA members present at Area may provide their input into the consensus decision-making process.  Consensus will be considered to have been reached when all GSR’s (or their Alternates) agree or consent to the proposal. [See Appendix A for details about the consensus process]
  4. In order to be elected to a service position at the VASC, the nominated member must be present at the meeting where the election is held, to answer questions or concerns and to state qualifications, willingness and desire to serve.
  5. A proposal for decision may be made by anyone holding a service position at the VASC.  It is helpful if proposals are in writing initially, although proposals may change during the consensus process.  Proposals should be as complete as possible and should include any financial impact before they are put forward for decision.

VASC Funds

  1. All group contributions to the VASC and contributions from all other Narcotics Anonymous sources shall be maintained in a bank pending obligatory payment dispersal.  The signature of any two signing authorities shall be required on all dispersals.  Signing authorities will be any four of the following six positions:  Facilitator, Co-Facilitator, Treasurer, Secretary, RCM1, or RCM.
  2. A prudent reserve of one month’s operating expenses shall be kept by the VASC in order to ensure payment of mandatory expenses.
  3. All proposals requiring “new” money expenditures will be dealt with under new business.
  4. All contributions collected at VASC meetings will be deposited with the Area Treasurer.
  5. At the VASC meeting before each quarterly meeting of the BCRSC, surplus funds will be donated to the BCRSC.  Surplus funds will be funds remaining after expenses, earmarked funds, and the prudent reserve.  Authorization is subject to consensus.
  6. Theft of NA Funds (Appendix 5 – World Service Bulletin #30 amended for VASC)

Amendments of VASC Bylaws

  1. Changes to the VASC Bylaws may be proposed by any home group or subcommittee that has obtained a group conscience to bring the proposed change forward to Area.  Groups are encouraged to bring suggested changes to the Policy & Procedures subcommittee for preliminary discussion before bringing them to Area.  The proposal must be submitted in writing at a regular VASC meeting, in order for GSR’s to take it back to their groups to obtain a group conscience.  A 2/3 majority of voting GSR’s (or Alternates filling in) is necessary to amend these bylaws.
  2. The amendment shall go into effect immediately upon its adoption unless the adopted amendment otherwise specifies a time.

Reports

  1. All officers and subcommittee chairs who expend VASC funds are required to submit a monthly financial statement with their monthly report.
  2. Any proposals made within the body of a report will be dealt with under New Business, unless they can be dealt with in two minutes or less at the time of the report.

Miscellaneous

  1. Subcommittee chairs and officers are encouraged to use the VASC post office box:  P.O. Box 1695, Station ‘A’, Vancouver, BC V6C 2P7
  2. Roll call will be taken of all GSR’s and GSR Alternates (filling in), subcommittee chairs, and the executive after every break taken during VASC meetings.
  3. At the VASC meeting, the head of the table seats the Facilitator, Co-Facilitator, Treasurer, Secretary, RCM1, and RCM2.
By-laws last amended August 2015

Policies and Procedures (any proposed changes may be approved by consensus at an Area meeting):

General:

  • A GSR or Alternate GSR may also hold one of the following Area positions:
    • Activities subcommittee chair
    • Hospitals & Institutions subcommittee chair
    • Newsletter Liaison or Phoneline Liaison
    • Outreach subcommittee chair
    • Postal Communications Officer
    • Public Information subcommittee chair
    • Spring Clean subcommittee chair
    • Women’s Retreat subcommittee chair
    • Web Coordinator
  • A GSR or Alternate may not also hold one of the following Area positions:
    • Facilitator and Co-Facilitator
    • Treasurer or Secretary
    • Regional Committee Member (RCM) 1 or RCM2
    • Literature subcommittee chair

(June 2017)

  • All VASC elections will be by written ballot. (August 1995)
  • Area Administrative Officers, Subcommittee Chairs, and Liaisons may each order NA literature needed to do their elected positions and Area will pay for it. The literature is then the property of Area and should be passed along to the next person holding the position.  (June 2017)
  • Administrative Officers, Subcommittee Chair, and Liaisons should provide written reports to Area in sufficient quantity for everyone who wants one. Recommended at least 15 copies.  (June 2017)
  • If elected servants of VASC miss three consecutive Area meetings, a vote will be held to determine whether to remove the trusted servant from office. (March 2006)
  • All GSR’s are required to give verbal reports at ASC meeting (December 1997)
  • The VASC meeting will commence at 6:45 p.m. (formerly 6:30 p.m.) to allow time for members from the North Shore to get there. (September 2014)
  • That the VASC meeting last no longer than 3.5 hours, unless a majority of the GSR’s present at that time agree that there is urgent and pressing business to continue the meeting for. In that case, the meeting would continue only until that urgent and pressing business is completed. (September 1997)
  • To have half an hour sharing session at the monthly VASC. (February 1994)
  • All VASC subcommittees in the process of renting facilities for whatever reason be required to produce a confirmation letter acknowledging the official NA status of that committee and that subcommittee enter into a written agreement with that facility and that subcommittee have a copy of that agreement available for the VASC. (June 2001)
 

 

Facilitator:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Chairperson – The area committee chairperson is responsible for conducting committee meetings, preparing the agenda, and various administrative duties.  The chair’s primary tools are the short-form rules of order, which appear at the end of this guide, a firm hand, a calm spirit, and a clear mind.  The chairperson can find additional help in books about business meetings, decision-making processes, and volunteer organizations that are often readily available at local bookstores and libraries.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year of NA service, preferably as the Co-Facilitator
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • Demonstrates stability and personal sense of direction that serves as an example to others.
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures
  • The willingness, time and resources to serve
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level

 

Duties:

  • Obtains a current copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Obtains all the paperwork and manuals or handbooks from outgoing Facilitator
  • Attends all the VASC meetings
  • Serves as the “Chair” of the Administrative Subcommittee
  • Gives a monthly written and verbal report
  • Chairs the regular VASC meetings and any special session meetings. Executes the meeting agenda
  • Upholds the 12 Traditions, 12 Concepts and VASC Policy and Procedures
  • Keeps order and direction of the VASC meeting, keeping discussion brief and to the topic
  • Ensures the meeting starts and ends on time
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the Area
  • May be one of 4 signers on bank account
  • May be a co-signer of all letters
  • Attends and participates in Area Workshops and Learning Days
  • Prepares the Co-Facilitator to assume their position

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

  • VASC Chair monthly allotment increased to $25.00 (Dec 2008)

Co-Facilitator:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Vice-chairperson – The primary responsibility of the area committee vice chairperson is the coordination of the area subcommittees.  The area vice chair keeps in regular touch with the chairpersons of each subcommittee to stay informed of their projects and problems, attending subcommittee meetings whenever possible.  If disputes arise within a subcommittee or between subcommittees, the ASC vice chair helps find solutions to them.  The vice chairperson works closely with the subcommittee chairs when they prepare their annual reports and budget proposals.

The vice chairperson is also responsible to assist the chairperson in conducting area committee meetings and to conduct ASC meetings him or herself in the chairperson’s absence.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year of NA service
  • Willing to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures.
  • Willingness, time and resources to serve
  • Willing to resign all other elected positions at the Area level

 

Duties:

  • Obtains a current copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Obtains all the paperwork and manuals or handbooks from outgoing Co-facilitator
  • Attends all the VASC meetings
  • Secures a key from the landlord and assures the meeting facility is open on time or delegates this responsibility
  • Serves on the Administrative subcommittee
  • Gives a monthly written and oral report
  • Assists the Facilitator in carrying out his/her duties
  • Keeps an accurate list of persons wanting to speak during the meeting
  • Orients newly elected officers, GSR’s and subcommittee chairs to the ASC’s Policy and Procedures, Group Booklets and the appropriate Subcommittee handbooks
  • Keeps in regular contact with the subcommittee chairpersons of each subcommittee to stay informed of their projects
  • Helps to find solutions if problems arise within or between subcommittees.
  • Attends subcommittee meetings whenever possible
  • May be one of four co-signers on the VASC bank account
  • Will assure that both the Facilitator and Co-Facilitator of the ASC have a full set of the most current Handbooks for Subcommittees as well as the Guide to Local Service
  • Assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Facilitator in their absence, removal or resignation
  • Attends and participates in Area Workshops and Learning Days

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

(None)

Secretary:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Secretary – Area secretaries handle all their committees’ paperwork, a formidable job.  Their first responsibility is to take clear, accurate minutes of area committee meetings and distribute those minutes to all committee participants within a reasonable period of time after each meeting.

In the process of keeping the minutes of each meeting, secretaries should regularly update a log of area policy actions.  The log lists motions the committee has passed regarding the activities of the administrative officers and subcommittees.  These motions should be listed chronologically under a heading for the officer of subcommittee they affect.  Secretaries should have copies of the most recent printing of the log of policy actions available for the new GSRs and should periodically distribute updated versions to all area committee participants.

Because most secretaries mail minutes to area committee members, they need to keep an updated list of participants’ addresses.  With their committees’ permission, they should mail copies of these lists once or twice a year to the World Service Office.  These lists will make it possible for the WSO to provide groups, subcommittees, and administrative officers with current information pertinent to their areas of service.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year of NA service
  • Willing to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • Willingness, time, and resources to serve
  • Willing to resign all other elected positions at the Area level
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures
  • A computer or access to a computer

 

Duties:

  • Obtains a current copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Obtains all the paper work and archives from outgoing Secretary
  • Attends all the VASC meetings
  • Serves on the Administrative Subcommittee
  • Gives a monthly written and oral report
  • Records all the minutes for the VASC meetings, special sessions
  • Maintains an accurate list of phone numbers and email addresses of the VASC participants
  • Distributes the minutes to all VASC participants within 10 days of the meeting
  • Responsible for maintaining archives of the VASC meeting minutes past and present along with any other relevant documents
  • Responsible for VASC correspondence
  • May be one of 4 signers on bank account
  • Will maintain an updated and approved copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures
  • Prepares and distributes minutes of emergency meetings at the next VASC meeting
  • Attends and participates in Area Workshops and Learning Days

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • Secretary’s monthly allotment is $60.00 (June 2001)

Treasurer:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Treasurer – The area treasurer’s job is critical to the committee’s work.  Because of the added responsibility of handling money associated with service as treasurer, it’s especially important that area committees select their treasurers with care.  If the committee selects someone who is not capable of handling the job, then the committee is at least partly responsible if money is stolen, area expenses are not paid, or funds aren’t properly accounted for.  It’s recommended that areas elect people to this position who are financially secure, good at managing their personal finances, inspire the trust of the committee, and have substantial clean time.  Experience in business, accounting, bookkeeping, or as a successful group treasurer is also very helpful.

The treasurer receives contributions from the groups, administers the area’s checking account, pays the rent for the committee’s meeting hall, reimburses officers and subcommittee chairs for their budgeted expenses, keeps careful records of all transactions, and reports on the financial condition of the area committee at each of its meetings.  As the administrator of the area’s unified general fund, the treasurer is also responsible to prepare an annual budget for the area committee.  The Treasurer’s Handbook, available from the World Service Office, contains a more detailed description of the treasurer’s job and most of the forms treasurers need for keeping their records.

Cash transactions can create a number of problems for ASC treasurers.  Having large quantities of currency can make an area treasurer particularly vulnerable to robbery.  Handling large undocumented sums of cash may also leave the treasurer open to unwarranted accusations of theft, or may even provide an unnecessary temptation.  That’s why we encourage groups to make their ASC contributions in the form of checks or money orders payable to the area service committee whenever possible.  When treasurers receive cash contributions for their areas, they should always make out receipts to the contributors immediately, keeping copies for themselves with their official records.

Wide experience also suggests that, to help prevent theft, area committees should only use two-signature checks to pay their bills.  In order for a check to be valid, it should be signed by the treasurer and another ASC administrative officer.

These cautions are offered to protect the treasurer from controversy as well as to protect area funds.  Discussions of other considerations relating to both the treasurer’s responsibilities and area finances appear later in this chapter.  Readers can find more on general NA funding issues, including security and accountability, in the essay on Concept Eleven appearing in the chapter on the Twelve Concepts for NA Service earlier in this guide.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested Minimum five (5) years clean time
  • Suggested Minimum of one year of NA service
  • Willing to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • Willingness, time and resources to serve
  • Willing to resign all other elected positions at the Area level
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA through application and an understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures
  • Previous bookkeeping experience is an asset, but not a requirement

 

Duties:

  • Obtains a current copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Obtains all the paperwork, cheque books, deposit books, ledgers and handbooks from  the outgoing Treasurer
  • Attends all the VASC meetings
  • Serves on the Administrative Subcommittee
  • Keeps accurate track of all donations and expenses during the meeting
  • Issues receipts for all donations
  • Provides oral reports during the meeting as per meeting agenda
  • Prepares and distributes a written accurate monthly financial report
  • Prepares a monthly bank reconciliation
  • Provides an oral overall report on finances at the monthly meeting
  • Pays bills as per VASC Policy and Procedures Financial Policy
  • May be one of 4 signers on bank account
  • Deposits all money and cheques promptly after each ASC meeting.
  • Attends and participates in Area Workshops and Learning Days
  • Prepares the Alternate treasure in training for their position

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • That the area treasurer provide a detailed monthly report, listing group donations, income and expenses (Feb 2006)
  • The Treasurer is to maintain and store financial records for the current fiscal year and the previous two (2) years and securely destroy outdated records (March 2018)
  • No cheques will be written by the VASC or by its subcommittees to members without receipts for expenses on hand or prior approval by the VASC. (Feb 2003)
  • Payments by the VASC and its subcommittees to vendors and institutions shall always be paid by cheque, never with cash. (Feb 2003)
  • The Treasurer may now accept cash contributions from groups. No cash will be accepted at an Area meeting the treasurer is not in attendance. (March 2017, March 2018)
  • That the VASC conduct an annual financial audit of the VASC bank account. The audit is to be completed by two members of NA as determined by the VASC executive committee and take place in August of each year.  The results to be reported to the VASC body during the regular September meeting. (November 2005)
  • Be it resolved that the Vancouver Area Service Committee adopt World Service Bulletin #30 regarding the theft and misappropriation of NA funds. Intent: To create more accountability regarding the use of NA funds and to serve as a model to follow in the case of such an event. (July 2003)
  • All motions having a financial impact would contain a financial impact statement. (May 2000)
  • That all subcommittees planning events over $200 submit a pre-event budget (Sept 2007)
  • VASC prudent reserve set at $1300 (date unknown)
  • Maintain an RCM travel reserve
  • Maintain an Activities reserve
  • Maintain a Meeting List expense reserve

 

For Travel Policy see page 37

 

Alternate-Treasurer

 

At March 2015 Area, an Alt-Treasurer position was created.  This position is intended to provide back-up to the VASC Treasurer when the Tresurer cannot attend Area.

  • Suggested requirements are 5 years clean and knowledge of Excel
  • This is not an administrative officer position; the Alt-Treasurer only acts when requested and if the Treasurer resigns suddenly or is not available
  • The Alt-Treasurer is not a signer on the Area bank account and does not take custody of the Area cheque book
  • It is hoped that the Alt-Treasurer will run for Treasurer when the Treasurer completes his/her term(s)
  • A GSR may be Alt-Treasurer without resigning his/her GSR position
 

 

Regional Committee Members 1 & 2:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

Regional committee members are just that:  They serve as the core of the regional service committee, a body which coordinates service forums throughout the region, is responsible for the regional convention, and conducts the regional assembly.  The regional committee also serves year around as a contact point between NA world and local services.  Detailed information on the services provided by regional committees can be found later in this guide.

RCMs keep their areas in touch with the larger world of NA by providing information on activities in neighboring areas, functions being sponsored by the regional committee, reports relevant to subcommittee affairs, and important issues being discussed at various levels of service.

Both the region and its areas depend on RCMs to be well-versed in NA service practices and principles.  RCMs should be closely acquainted with the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts, the fundamentals of service in our fellowship.  Familiarity with all published service manuals and bulletins puts the resources of the whole fellowship at the RCMs fingertips.

RCMs should carefully study the reports from their own areas’ groups, officers, and subcommittee chairs so that they can pass their areas’ experience on to others at the regional meeting.  RCMs will be more effective contacts between their areas and the regional committee if they take time to talk personally with other participants in their area committees.  That way, they can get a better idea of what needs and concerns the regional committee should address.

Regional committee members serve two-year terms.  Most areas have two RCMs serving at any one time, one elected in odd-numbered years and the other in even years.  This helps regional committees maintain a balance between experienced members and those just learning the ropes.  It also ensures that a regional committee serving only three or four areas will have enough members to be able to do its work.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested Minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested Minimum one year of NA service at the Area level (for RCM1, preferably as RCM2)
  • Willing to make a two-year commitment to the VASC
  • Willing to travel 4 times a year
  • Willingness, time, and the resources to serve
  • Willing to resign all other elected positions at the Area and Regional level
  • Willing to join a Regional Subcommittee and be an active participant
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures

 

Duties:

  • Obtains a current copy of the VASC Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Upon election, will resign all other elected positions at the Area level and at the main Regional table (not the Regional subcommittees)
  • Attends all VASC and BCRSC meetings
  • Presents written and oral report at both the VASC and BCRSC meetings
  • Serves on the VASC Administrative Subcommittee
  • Presents a written report to the BCRSC from our Area (including updates from the subcommittees)
  • Participates as a member on a BCRSC Subcommittee
  • Represents the VASC at the BCRSC
  • When necessary communicates with the BCRSC, CANA, and WSO
  • Requests travel funds prior to each Regional meeting (from either VASC or Region as appropriate)
  • Carries the conscience of the VASC to the BCRSC, but otherwise may vote as a trusted servant
  • Brings back from the BCRSC all proposals that require a group conscience from the fellowship
  • Brings back from the BCRSC meetings copies of the BC Regional Meeting and flyers for distribution to the groups
  • Makes extra copies of flyers as to ensure all groups will receive at least one copy
  • Attends and participates in Area Workshops and Learning Days
  • RCM1 trains the RCM 2 to take over their position

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • RCM 1 and 2 to have a $50 monthly allotment for printing and supplies (Nov. 2009)
  • See Travel expense policy on page 37
 

 

Activities committee chairperson:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Dances, picnics, campouts, special speaker meetings – these events are put on by area activities subcommittees.  Activities like these can provide a greater sense of community for the local NA Fellowship and produce additional area income.  It should always be kept in mind, however, that these functions are designed to enhance NA’s primary purpose, not to replace group contributions in funding area services.

A couple of remarks must be made regarding legalities relevant to NA activities.  Most activities subcommittees distribute fliers announcing their next event to NA groups in the area.  If your subcommittee’s flier displays one of the NA logos shown below, a small circled letter “R” (it looks like this: ®) should appear to the right of the logo.  This mark shows that the logo is a registered trademark of Narcotics Anonymous worldwide and helps protect the logo from misuse outside the fellowship.  For more information, see the bulletin, Internal Use of NA Intellectual Property, available from your World Service Office.

[See A Guide to Local Services for the logos]

Some activities subcommittees have conducted raffles of one sort or another either as separate fundraising efforts or as parts of another activity.  It should be noted that in many US states and in some other countries such raffles are considered gambling and, as such, are illegal.  Activities subcommittees should also consider whether raffles, especially cash raffles or lotteries, appeal more to the spirit of self-interest than the spirit of voluntary support implicit in our Seventh Tradition.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably on the Activities subcommittee or planning NA events
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Plan activities for the local Fellowship, including preparing budgets to present to Area in advance
  • Report to Area every month

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • All subcommittees must book their activities’ dates through the Activities subcommittee & the Activities Chairs have a meeting to exchange info. (March 1996)
  • To adopt the proposed Activities subcommittee guidelines as proposed by the Ad Hoc committee (see below) (March 1998)
  • Activities subcommittee will receive up to $50.00 monthly allotment. (Dec 1994)
 

Hospitals & Institutions committee chairperson:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Hospitals and institutions subcommittees conduct panels that carry the NA message to addicts who often have no other way of hearing our message.  Treatment panels are conducted for patients at addiction treatment centers, mental health facilities, and therapeutic communities.  Correctional panels are held for inmates at jails, prisons, and forensic hospitals.  The Hospitals and Institutions Handbook, available from your local H&I subcommittee or by writing the World Service Office, explains more about how to conduct panels, interact with facility administrators, and organize subcommittee work.  The amount of work your local H&I subcommittee does will depend on a variety of factors:  the number of treatment and correctional facilities in your area, the number of NA members in your area who are interested in H&I service, and the amount of collective experience in H&I work in your NA community.

H&I subcommittee responsibilities sometimes overlap those of the local public information subcommittee.  For this reason, we encourage H&I and PI subcommittees to closely cooperate with one another.  In some areas, H&I and PI subcommittees regularly send one or two members to each other’s meetings to maintain communications, thereby minimizing the potential for conflict in these two key fields of service.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair of the H&I subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure panels are held at hospitals and institutions to carry the NA message to addicts in those facilities
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report
  • Represent Vancouver H&I at BC Regional Public Relations subcommittee meetings, or ensure another Vancouver H&I subcommittee member is present, and request travel funding in advance if possible

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • That H&I open and maintain a bank account. Intent:  To improve accountability (Nov 2003)
  • H&I monthly allotment set at $420 (date unknown) for literature and ferry tickets to Bowen Island
  • Area will top up H&I funds to a maximum of $420 each month when requested by the H&I chair in their monthly report.
  • See Travel policy on page 37

 

 

Literature committee chairperson:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“The literature supply subcommittee maintains a stock of NA books and pamphlets that can be purchased by local groups at the monthly ASC meeting.  In some areas, this subcommittee may consist of only one or two people.  In other areas, it may involve as many as half a dozen members who process group orders, monitor stock levels, and reorder materials from the local NA office or the World Service Office.  To maintain accountability for all area funds, most areas ask their treasurer to serve as cashier for literature sales.  The subcommittee then goes to the treasurer for a check when it has to reorder stock.  To help organize the job of processing group orders, tracking inventory, and reordering depleted items, contact the World Service Office for available resources.”

 

Note:  the Vancouver Area Literature Committee maintains its own back account.

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum five (5) years clean time, due to large amount of money flowing through this subcommittee
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair of the Literature subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level
  • Ability to manage NA funds responsibly, and to prepare financial reports

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure NA literature and other products are made available to groups and individuals in the Vancouver Area
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report
  • Represent Vancouver H&I at BC Regional Literature subcommittee meetings, or ensure another Vancouver H&I subcommittee member is present, and request travel funding in advance if possible

 

 

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • Literature committee conduct an inventory 2 times/year to be presented at Area in September and March – also when changes hands. (May 2000)
  • To increase the prudent reserve from $300.00 to $500.00 [self-financing]. (August 2008)
  • Literature committee allotment to be set at $50.00 (December 2008)
  • All monies paid to the Literature subcommittee should be in the form of a group cheque, money order, or certified personal cheque. (July 1993)
  • That the literature subcommittee continue to do cash sales (no single cash transaction over $25), that transactions would be receipted by duplicate receipts, and that any cash held over $100 would be deposited as soon as reasonably possible. (March 2015)
 

Newsletter liaison:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Newsletter – Some areas form subcommittees, which publish local newsletters listing area and regional events.  Some newsletters also run articles on local service activities and members’ recovery experiences.  Keep in mind that NA newsletters are often read as if they speak for Narcotics Anonymous as a whole, no matter how many disclaimers the newsletter subcommittee prints.  That’s why we encourage the area committee to take special heed of the Fifth Concept when creating this subcommittee, ensuring the newsletter has a responsible editorial policy.  A Handbook for NA Newsletters, available from the World Service Office, provides more information on the work of the newsletter subcommittee.”

 

“Meeting Lists – Though production of meeting lists does not usually require the creation of a separate subcommittee, most area committees do have one or two people who are responsible for printing meeting schedules on a regular basis.  In some areas, this job is handled by one of the committee’s administrative officers; in others, by one of the regular subcommittees.  Meeting lists show days, times, locations, and other pertinent information for local NA meetings.  Meeting schedules often show:

  • whether the meeting is “open” or “closed,”
  • meeting format (Basic Text study, discussion, etc.),
  • location use restrictions (no smoking, etc.),
  • additional needs services (wheelchair accessibility, availability of sign-language interpreter, etc.), and
  • if the meeting is conducted by a specialized group (for instance, a men’s, women’s, gay, or lesbian group)

At one time or another, most area committees have asked themselves whether a particular meeting should be included on the list.  The six points describing an NA group appearing at the beginning of the “NA Group” chapter in this guide have given most area committees the criteria they’ve needed in making such decisions.”

Meeting lists are often used in conjunction with an area’s public relations program.  For this reason, we encourage individuals and subcommittees responsible for preparing their area directories to do an especially thorough job.  Some of the points to be given extra attention are the accuracy of all listings, the attractiveness and usability of the directory’s format, and profanity in the names of meetings being listed.”

 

Note:  Vancouver Area is one of six Areas in the Lower Mainland of BC.  The six Areas have a Multi-Area Newsletter subcommittee, which is responsible for publishing the “Basic News” monthly newsletter and our Meetings Lists (published three times a year).  Vancouver elects a Newsletter liaison to this committee and shares the costs of printing.

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing Newsletter Liaison)
  • Attend all scheduled meetings of the Multi-Area newsletter subcommittee
  • Ensure Vancouver Area cakes and events are published in the Basic News and/or Meeting Lists
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • That daily meetings will be listed everyday in the Meeting List. (March 1997)
  • A cake list and announcement sheet will be circulated at the VASC meeting and announcements and cakes will be listed by the GSR’s. (Feb 2003)
  • To create a $50.00 monthly allotment for the Newsletter Liaison. Intent:  To cover mailing, gas, etc. expenses incurred in fulfilling the position. (Oct 2003)

 

 

 

Outreach subcommittee chairperson:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“Outreach subcommittees serve as the outstretched hand of an established NA community to isolated groups and addicts, particularly in large rural areas.  By phone, by mail, and by car they make sure that no group and no addict has to go through it alone if at all possible.  The subcommittee helps keep geographically isolated groups and addicts in touch with the mainstream of the NA Fellowship.

The outreach subcommittee is not the only subcommittee concerned with reaching out to isolated addicts.  Sometimes addicts are isolated by factors other than geography:  social, economic, and cultural factors, for instance.  PI, H&I, and phoneline subcommittees can help an area committee focus additional attention on the needs of addicts in our own communities who, for one reason or another, have not found NA accessible.  Area service committees and their subcommittees need to do whatever they can to ensure that recovery is available to any addict who seeks it, “regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion.”  Area subcommittees engaging in community outreach activities may find help by contacting the World Service Office.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair of the Outreach subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure support is provided to new meetings and meetings that do not regularly attend Area
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report
  • Represent Vancouver Outreach at BC Regional Public Relations subcommittee meetings, or ensure another Vancouver Outreach subcommittee member is present, and request travel funding in advance if possible

 

 

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • To increase Outreach allotment by $50.00 to bring it to $150.00 for monthly expenses. (March 20005)
  • To maintain three group starter kits – approx cost $67.00 based on current literature costs. (Dec 2009)
 

 

Phoneline Liaison:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“The phoneline subcommittee maintains a telephone information service for Narcotics Anonymous that helps addicts and others in the community find us easily and quickly.  Phoneline volunteers often serve as the first point of contact between the community-at-large and the NA Fellowship.  For this reason, it’s vital that careful attention by paid to the work of this subcommittee.

Phoneline subcommittees in different NA communities organize their work in different ways to meet local needs.  In some areas, PI and phoneline services are operated jointly by a single subcommittee.  In smaller communities, the phoneline may be as simple as a call-forwarding service connecting callers with NA members’ home telephones.  In the larger metropolitan areas, computerized systems may route incoming calls to the appropriate people and information.  For more details on NA phonelines, consult A Guide to Phoneline Service …”

 

Note:  Vancouver Area is one of six Areas in the Lower Mainland of BC.  The six Areas have a Multi-Area Phoneline subcommittee, which is responsible for coordinating the Lower Mainland phoneline.  Vancouver elects a Phoneline liaison to this committee and shares the costs of the phoneline.

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing Phoneline Liaison)
  • Attend all scheduled meetings of the Multi-Area Phoneline subcommittee
  • Ensure Vancouver Area members have an opportunity to serve on the NA Phoneline
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report
  • Represent Vancouver at BC Regional Public Relations subcommittee meetings, and request travel funding in advance if possible

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

  • Monthly allotment set at $25.00.  (Feb 2010)

Policy & Procedures subcommittee chairperson:

 

See “A Guide to Local Services (2002 edition)” at pages 57 & 58 for suggestions on developing Area policy.

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably at Vancouver Area
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure that policy recommendations are developed to assist the effective functioning of Vancouver Area
  • Clarify existing policy as necessary at Vancouver Area meetings
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • To have the Policy and Procedure committee adopt the updating of the VASC policies and procedures manual. (Feb 2003)
  • Any literature purchased for the P&P Subcommittee be turned over to the VASC to be used or donated as that body deems appropriate in the event that the committee is disbanded. Intent/Financial Impact:  So materials purchased by the VASC remain the property of the VASC.
  • That the VASC Executive members which includes RCM, RCM Alt, Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary shall form the nucleus of the Policy & Procedures Subcommittee and are required to attend regularly scheduled Policy & Procedures meetings. (Sept 2004)
  • Policy and Procedures allotment to be set at $25.00. (Dec 2008)
 

 

Postal Communications Officer:

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Ensure all mail is picked up from the P.O. Box in time for Area, or as requested.
  • Ensure Canada Post invoices are delivered promptly to the Area Treasurer
  • Report to Area every month

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

(None)

 

 

Public Information subcommittee chairperson:

 

A Guide to Local Services in NA (2002 edition):

“The general mission of your area public information subcommittee is to inform addicts and others in the community of the availability of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.  Services provided by PI subcommittees vary widely from area to area.  The simplest kind of PI project is the production and distribution of fliers throughout the community announcing that NA is available and that more information can be had either by calling the local NA information phoneline or by attending an NA meeting.  As PI subcommittees become better developed, they often conduct public meetings for community members, distribute public service announcements to local radio and television stations, and respond to public media inquiries.  Some PI subcommittees develop separate working groups called CPC panels (short for cooperation with the professional community) to focus especially on the NA community’s relations with local treatment professionals.  A Guide to Public Information … provides detailed information on conducting a wide range of projects designed to increase community awareness of Narcotics Anonymous.

Many public information projects serve primarily to encourage people to call the local phoneline for more information on NA.  Because of the close link between PI and phoneline work, it will often benefit these two subcommittees to cultivate close relationships with one another.  Some phoneline and PI subcommittees make it a standard policy to send members to one another’s meetings to better facilitate communication between the two.  In some areas, a single subcommittee administers both the phoneline and NA’s public relations program.”

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair of the Public Information subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure information is provided to the public about Narcotics Anonymous as a successful and viable program of recovery
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report
  • Represent Vancouver H&I at BC Regional Public Relations subcommittee meetings, or ensure another Vancouver Public Information subcommittee member is present, and request travel funding in advance if possible

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • I. subcommittee monthly allotment set at $125.00. (August 1993)
  • That the VASC support in principle the establishment of a planning committee to look at forming a Lower Mainland Multi-Area PI Committee (LMPI). (2004)
 

 

Spring Clean subcommittee chairperson:

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair or other position on the Spring Clean subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure the annual Spring Clean event is carried out in a successful and financial responsible manner
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report following the event

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • the Spring Clean subcommittee has developed its own policy
  • $40.00 allotment every three months

 

 

 

Women’s Retreat subcommittee chairperson:

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service, preferably as Vice-Chair or other position on the Women’s Retreat subcommittee
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Hold regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings that are advertised and open to all NA members
  • Ensure the annual Women’s Retreat event is carried out in a successful and financial responsible manner
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report following the event

 

Policy & Procedures related to this position:

 

  • NA Women’s Retreat receives a $25 monthly allotment for expenses (photocopies, gas, etc). (June 2002)
 

Web Coordinator:

 

Qualifications:

  • Suggested minimum two (2) years clean time
  • Suggested minimum of one year NA service
  • The ability to make a one-year commitment to the VASC
  • An understanding of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of NA, or a willingness to learn
  • An understanding of the VASC Policy and Procedures, or a willingness to learn
  • Willingness to resign all other elected positions at the Area level (except GSR)
  • The computer skills necessary to maintain and improve the Area website

 

Duties:

  • Obtain and review NA service literature related to the position (including obtaining material from outgoing chairperson)
  • Maintain and improve the Vancouver Area website
  • Liaise as necessary with the BC Regional Services Committee and N.A. World Services to ensure that information about Vancouver Area meetings and events is published accurately on the BC Region and World websites
  • Report to Area every month, including a full financial report

 

Policy & Procedure related to the position:

(None)

 

 

Travel Policies

 

  • Travel expenses for Region: VASC will pay the expenses of the following positions to attend the BCRSC quarterly meeting:
    • RCM1 and RCM2
    • Subcommittee chairs (or alternates) from subcommittees that have corresponding Regional subcommittees, including H&I, PI, Phoneline Liaison, Literature, Outreach.

Expenses covered will be:

  • Vehicle use at $0.30 per km. Those going to Region are expected to carpool whenever possible.
  • Ferry costs and bridge or highway tolls where applicable.
  • Accommodation at the Regional venue including any meals that are included in the cost of accommodation.
  • When Region is held in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley (including Hope, BC) or closer, VASC will cover Friday night dinner to a maximum of $20.00 with receipt.
  • When Region is held farther away, VASC will cover reasonable additional meals up to $20.00 per meal when receipts are provided.
  • Trusted servants will normally be reimbursed for vehicle use, ferry costs, tolls, and additional meals after Region is held. However, when trusted servants provide a budget in advance and request advance funds, such funds will be provided (to avoid financial hardship to trusted servants).  In that case, receipts should be provided after Region and any surplus funds returned to Area.  (All above February 2017)
  • Trusted servants attending Region who do not stay at the regional venue may be reimbursed for expenses (with receipts) equal to the expenses they would have incurred by staying at the regional venue. (August 2017)

 

  • Elected trusted servants doing VASC business to be reimbursed for fuel at a rate of $0.30 km (June 2008)


Appendix “A” – Consensus Decision Making (CDM)

 

VASC decided in 2013 to switch to a Consensus decision-making process.  This means that when proposals are put forward for group decision, they will not be voted on.  Instead, the Facilitator will assist the body in working toward a consensus.

 

This might be as simple as asking whether there are any objections to proceeding.  Or the Facilitator might call for a period of discussion on a proposal, to allow ideas to emerge and see where the group is at.

 

Members will be asked to provide their thoughts (if any) on the proposal being considered.  If you have any questions or concerns, it is your right and your responsibility to speak up and ensure that your questions are answered or your concerns are addressed.

 

Our Bylaws state:

  1. Decision-making at the VASC shall be by consensus
  2. Proposals for decision may be put forward by anyone holding a service position at the VASC
  3. All NA members present at Area may provide their input into the consensus decision-making process. Consensus will be considered to have been reached when all GSR’s (or their Alternates) agree or consent to the proposal.

 

Here are some suggestions for the Facilitator in implementing these bylaws:

 

The P&P subcommittee drafted changes to the VASC Bylaws in 2015 to reflect our move to consensus decision-making.  We decided we should have a “back-up plan” in case we were not able to reach unanimity on a proposed course of action.

 

We wanted to respect Concept 7:  “All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body’s decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes.”

 

We recommended giving effect to Concept 2 to provide a “back up” in case we couldn’t reach unanimity.  Concept 2:  “The final responsibility and authority for NA services rests with the NA groups.”

 

The drafted Bylaw changes went back to the groups and were approved at Area in August 2015.

 

For greater clarity, the P&P subcommittee recommends that all reasonable steps be taken to reach unanimity before moving to the “fall back” position of only considering the GSRs’ views.  This is in keeping with Concept 6:  “Group Conscience is the spiritual means by which we invite a loving God to influence our decisions.”  Excerpt from Concept 6:

 

“Just as we seek the strongest possible spiritual unity in Narcotics Anonymous, so in our decision-making we seek unanimity, not merely majority vote.  The more care we take in our considerations, the more likely we are to arrive at unanimity, and no vote will be needed to help us translate our group conscience into a collective decision.” [Emphasis added]

 

Here are some recommended steps for the Facilitator and Co-Facilitator:

 

  1. Facilitator’s objective: to assist the group in reaching a decision that has the support of all members of Area.

 

  1. When a proposal is brought forward for decision, seek input from the group, e.g.
  • What group members like/appreciate about the proposal
  • What group members have concerns about
  • Ideas for improving the proposal

 

  1. Facilitator listens to discussion and tries to get a sense of the group conscience, if necessary asking questions of the group or conducting a straw poll.
  • Is there general support for the proposal?
  • Are there over-riding concerns or just debate about the details?
  • Is there general support for a suggestion to improve the proposal?
  • Have any questions regarding how a Tradition or Concept applies to the situation been addressed?

 

  1. One of the best tools for reaching consensus is to discuss it a bit longer. However, some participants may be impatient to conclude the meeting.  How to balance these competing interests?
  • Allow more time for discussion, especially if new ideas are still coming up (rather than the same ideas being repeated)
  • Table the matter until next month to allow more time for discussion
  • If there is an appropriate subcommittee, ask the subcommittee to discuss the points raised so far and bring it back to Area next month
  • If the matter is so time-sensitive that a decision must be made that evening and participants are not willing to continue the meeting, try one of these fall back techniques:
    • If there are only 1 or 2 people opposing the proposal, ask if they are willing to “stand aside”.
    • If that doesn’t work, check whether all GSR’s agree. If so, our Bylaws say that a decision has been reached.
    • If all GSR’s do not agree, the proposal fails and the status quo continues.

 

On the bright side, Area has had great success in recent years getting to unanimity.  We have rarely had to use any “fall back” to full consensus.  This is just a reminder that unanimity of all Area members (not just GSR’s) is the best consensus outcome!

 

The document on the following pages was distributed by the World Board in December 2012 and provides some perspective on CDM.

 

More information and ideas about CDM may also be obtained from sources inside and outside NA, such as the internet and bookstores.