Volunteer Guidelines & Orientation

The orientation guidelines are considered vital to the functioning of the Institutions Committee. These are considered best practices when our volunteers enter the institutions we serve.


  1. No foul language or opinions on outside issues that could prejudice patients against our recovery message.
  2. Patients are at a vulnerable stage and predatory behavior such as inappropriate contact, pictures etc. may result in a permanent ban.
  3. Contact the H&I coordinator in the event of a schedule change.
  4. Focus the discussion on the AA program and recovery issues.
  5. Abide by all facility rules and regulations
  6. You may bring AA affiliated friends and sponsees unless it’s against facility rules.
  7. Dress appropriately, avoid provocative attire or clothing branded with alcohol/politics.
  8. Conduct meetings in an orderly manner and don’t go into areas of the facility you don’t need to be.
  9. Do not allow your phone to be used by patients for any purpose.
  10. Do not bring contraband into the facility for distribution to the clients.
  11. Do not advertise treatment centers or other institutions while speaking at a facility.

Please remember that each of us represents the face of AA. How we present and conduct ourselves reflects on all members of this Committee, Intergroup and Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.


  1. 1 year of suggested continuous sobriety for chairpersons; exceptions can be made (Bill W. had ~5 months when he began carrying the message).
  2. 6 months of suggested continuous sobriety for speakers.