Definitions can be found below the table.

AAPP Area Alateen Process Person
ABSR Alateen Behavioral Safety Requirements
AFG Al-Anon Family Groups
AIS  Al-Anon Information Service
AMIAS Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service
AWSC Area World Service Committee
CAL Conference Approved Literature
CMA Current Mailing Address
CPC Cooperating with the Professional Community
DR District Representative
GR Group Representative
IAGSM International Al-Anon General Services Meeting
LDC Literature Distribution Center
NWRDM Northwest Regional Delegate’s Meeting (incl. MT)
PO Public Outreach
PSA Public Service Announcement
TEAM Together Empowering Al-Anon Members
WSC World Service Conference
WSO World Service Office

Detailed explanations for the following can be found by clicking:

Open and Closed meetings
Committee, Work Group, Thought Force, etc.
Board of Trustees & related committees
Knowledge Based Decision Making (KBDM)


Most definitions can be found in the service manual; page numbers are noted where applicable.

AAPP (Area Alateen Process Person)
Serves as the Area’s designated Alateen contact with WSO regarding Alateen forms, processes all Alateen group and AMIAS information for the Area. (p. 75)

ABSR (Alateen Behavioral Safety Requirements)
The requirements documents for participating in Alateen groups. These are developed by the Area and approved by the WSO prior to the use of the Alateen name.

AFG (Al-Anon Family Groups)
To avoid confusion with other entities it is suggested that groups include the letters “AFG” in their group name. Also recommended for use on mail or other items (e.g. checks, etc.) in order to protect anonymity of members.

AIS (Al-Anon Information Service, AKA “Intergroup”)
local service established and maintained by one or more Districts or groups. Maintains mail, phone, and/or internet services to aid the public in finding meetings or information about Al-Anon; maintains meeting lists. May sell CAL, publish newsletters, or maintain speaker lists, among other things. (p. 66)


AMIAS (Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service)
Al‑Anon member who is currently certified as detailed in the “Alateen Safety and Behavioral Requirements” developed by the Montana Area, and is therefore eligible to be directly responsible for Alateens while being of service to Alateen. The Montana Alateen certification process requires that all AMIAS documentation (including a background check) be reviewed and updated annually. This process is monitored by the Montana Area Alateen Coordinator. (p. 74)

AWSC (Area World Service Committee)
Consists of the officers of the Assembly, District Representatives, Coordinators, and past Delegates. They meet between Assemblies to discuss Area and District matters, plan the agenda for the Assembly, initiate projects and make recommendations to the Assembly. (p. 137)

CAL (Conference Approved Literature)
Literature conceptually approved by the WSC, written by and for Al-Anon and Alateen members. It undergoes a rigorous review process by Al‑Anon members to assure that it conveys the program in a consistent and comprehensive manner. (p. 76)


CMA (Current Mailing Address)
A member of the group who attends the meeting regularly, agrees to accept and deliver the group’s mail. Each group needs to have someone who is willing to receive mail and take it to the group, as it is essential to be able to contact the group. (p. 33)

CPC (Cooperating with the Professional Community)
Activities that ensure professionals are aware of Al‑Anon as a credible resource for helping friends and families of alcoholics. (p. 119)

DR (District Representative)
Districts are comprised of groups within a geographical part of the state. The DR is elected from among the incoming, outgoing or active past GRs of the district. Schedules and sets the agenda for the District meetings. Helps the groups in the District understand their relationship and responsibility to the worldwide fellowship. Attends and votes at AWSC meetings. (p. 143)


GR (Group Representative)
A member elected by the group for a three-year term. Represents the group’s concerns and wishes at District and Area meetings, and keeps the group informed of what is happening at the District, Area, and worldwide. (p. 141)

IAGSM (International Al-Anon General Services Meeting)
Biennial service meeting for General Service Offices/national service structures. The purpose of the IAGSM is to share the experience of Al‑Anon national services around the world through its Delegates. (p. 77)

LDC (Literature Distribution Center)
Provides Al‑Anon members with local access and quick delivery of Al‑Anon Conference Approved Literature, including books, pamphlets, booklets, kits, posters, and films, and other Al‑Anon material. (p. 75)


NWRDM (Northwest Regional Delegate’s Meeting)
Annual meeting held in one of the five states encompassed in the Region, which includes Montana. To share the experience, strength and hope of Past Delegates with new Delegates before their first WSC; to be informed, unified in spirit, knowledgeable on policy matters; to have a better understanding of the Concepts, Traditions, group conscience and obedience to the unenforceable; to strengthen current delegates and keep past delegates informed.

PO (Public Outreach)
Public outreach communicates the message of Al-Anon/Alateen to the community through outreach to professionals, to the media, to institutions, and to the general public. Our goals are to attract newcomers to our fellowship and to inform professionals who work with families and friends of alcoholics about the program. Public Outreach encompasses Public Information or PI, Cooperating with the Professional Community or CPC, and Institutions. (

PSA (Public Service Announcement)
The media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) offer free air time or print space to not-for-profit organizations for public service announcements (PSAs). Al‑Anon provides such PSAs to inform the general public about Al‑Anon and Alateen. (p. 121)


TEAM (Together Empowering Al-Anon Members)
Partnership between an Area (or Areas) and the WSO, with the aim of providing an opportunity for members to learn more about service and the Al‑Anon program. (p. 76)

WSC (World Service Conference)
The permanent body for the expression of the conscience of the fellowship. Membership is composed of the World Service Delegates from each Area in the United States and Canada, the Trustees of AFG Headquarters, the Chairpersons and WSO staff of all selected committees and the members of the Executive Committee. (p.84)

WSO (World Service Office)
The principal service center of the fellowship, the WSO acts in conformity with the wishes of the Conference. The administrative activities of the fellowship circulate through this office. It is the center, not the head; it serves, but does not control or direct.


At open meetings, we welcome visitors as well as newcomers and members of Al-Anon. People who may come to open Al‑Anon meetings include students and professionals who work with alcoholics and their families, or others who are interested in learning about Al-Anon.

A closed meeting is for Al-Anon members and prospective members only, giving them the freedom to share and listen to one another on a confidential and anonymous basis. Anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking is welcome.


Formed by the Assembly, responds to an ongoing need. Can be an originating body, and is often thought to be a permanent part of the Assembly. A thought force or task force may evolve, to which it may make recommendations.

Formed by the Assembly, responds to an ongoing need. Can be an originating body or permanent part of the Assembly; a thought force or task force may evolve. The objective is to complete the activity and present it to the originating body to move forward.

THOUGHT FORCE (They are the “thinkers”)
Temporary unit established to brainstorm ideas and develop strategies on a single defined task or activity. The objective is to identify the potential idea not to do the work. Not expected to have all the answers or provide the final solutions. May lay the foundation for a Task Force, and may offer recommendations. The objective is to present the information to the originating body to move forward.

TASK FORCE (They are the “doers”)
Temporary unit of people established to work on a single defined task or activity. May fulfill the recommendations made by a thought force. The objective is to complete the work and present it to the originating body to move forward.


Serves as the legal entity for Al-Anon groups in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. It also provides leadership to the Boards in other structures around the world. Responsible for operational oversight of Al‑Anon’s funds and services, the Board is the chief service arm of the WSC.

Composed of seven to 21 volunteer members: one sustaining member (the Executive Director), Regional Trustees (RT) and Trustees at Large (TAL). The term of office for RT and TAL is three years; they can serve two terms, which may be consecutive. (p. 168, 228)

Delegates to the WSC are not eligible to be candidates for Trustee until two (2) Conferences have elapsed after their term as Delegate ends.

Must live within the Region of their election. The résumé form is submitted through the applicant’s Area selection procedure.

Can live anywhere within the World Service Conference (WSC) structure. The résumé form is submitted directly to the World Service Office (WSO).

Delegated by the Board to make routine management decisions required in the interim between Board meetings. (p. 70)

Helps provide clarity when a specific Tradition applies to a new or controversial situation. They meet regularly to review and discuss issues in light of the Traditions, and determines appropriate policy recommendations. The proposed policies are then brought to the Board of Trustees for consideration. (p. 83)

In 1994, the WSC agreed to the purchase of property, on a 15‑year trial basis, to house the World Service Office.  In 1995, the ECRPM was established, also on a 15-year trial basis; this was to ensure that AFG not be diverted from its primary purpose. After the completion of the trial periods, the By‑laws were amended to include the ECRPM as a Committee of the Board of Trustees. (p. 194)


KBDM (Knowledge Based Decision Making)

A process of looking at a topic through certain agreed-upon criteria to see if it is something to pursue. The idea is talked about first to see if the group agrees with all or part of it. If so, pertinent background information is gathered and shared with those responsible for making the decision. Then, if it is decided that the idea is something that is worthwhile, a decision can be made through motion and vote.

Knowledge-based decision-making has four essential elements based on a philosophy of: open communication between leadership and membership; dialogue before deliberation; all decision makers having common access to full information; and it exists in a culture of trust. (2006 World Service Conference Summary, p. 6)

1.  Open communication between leadership and membership
Talk to each other and reason things out.

2.  Dialogue before deliberation
Discuss the information, questions, and concerns. Often the discussion reveals that we really don’t need a motion; sometimes all we really need is the discussion.

3.  All decision-makers will have common access to full information
We are invited to participate if we are part of the decision-making body. With that comes trust that information will be used to prepare us for dialogue.

4.  We exist in a culture of trust
We believe that each of us would never knowingly do anything to hurt Al-Anon. Many times, we simply need more information for the understanding that lets us lighten our load and experience trust.

When a decision has been made, it is important that we recognize and support the group conscience, whether we agree with it or not. (2008 World Service Conference Summary, p. 9)