What is a Service Board?
National and language service boards are a tier of the OA service structure. National service boards (NSBs) are service bodies that provide support for groups and intergroups outside the United States and Canada, where the geographic scope within a region and the distance from the World Service Office is vast. NSBs run offices to deal with nationwide mail, meeting lists, newsletters, events, public information, and professional work. In non-English countries, the NSBs are responsible for producing OA literature in local languages.
In some cases, the NSB extends beyond the geographic borders of countries and serves groups and intergroups with a common language. In these cases, the NSB is usually called a language service board (LSB). Service boards hold assemblies and send delegates to the World Service Business Conference.
What is an intergroup?
When several groups form in an area, they soon realize that they can better perform together rather than separately. Groups may form an intergroup that is directly responsible to the groups it serves. Intergroups spring from a need to provide service for a number of local groups and to provide better information about OA in a community (adapted from OA Handbook for Members, Groups, and Service Bodies). Typical services provided by an intergroup are:
- Providing a central telephone number for information about OA and the local meetings
- Publishing regular newsletters or bulletins to keep groups informed about each other and upcoming OA events
- Coordinating speakers, public information, and contact with the professional community
- Maintaining a supply of OA literature and OA and AA books
- Sending delegates to regional assemblies and the World Service Business Conference
Where can we get information to help improve our group, intergroup, or service board?
A group that is experiencing problems would begin with a group conscience meeting to address what is not working for the group members. If no resolution is possible, then contact the next level of service body available to the group. This would typically be the intergroup or service board, but an unaffiliated group would go directly to their region chair. If further assistance is required, you can contact your regional trustee by emailing the World Service Organization (WSO). We will forward your inquiry to the appropriate trustee. Overeaters Anonymous has several documents that may be helpful, including: The Strong Meeting Checklist, OA Group Inventory, the conflict resolution worksheet, and the pamphlet OA Handbook for Members, Groups, and Service Bodies: Recovery Opportunities.