“OA’s “Inverted Pyramid” describes our unique service structure. Unlike a traditional business that has tiers of managers directing those “below” them, OA’s Board of Trustees is accountable to those at the region, intergroup/service board, and group levels. Therefore the “higher” the position a trusted servant holds, the more people to whom the trusted servant is accountable. Our primary goal is to serve those in the Fellowship as we progress in the recovery process.” – OA Handbook for Members, Groups and Service Bodies, p. 65
OA’s diverse membership consists of more than 6,500 registered groups in over 80 countries., about 60,000 members worldwide.
A group consists of two or more people. Each group practices the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service. No member of a group is required to practice any actions to remain an OA member or to have a voice at a meeting. Groups give and receive support from each other by forming intergroups or service boards.
Intergroups and service boards consist of two or more groups. Intergroups are usually formed of meetings within a general geographic area. Service Boards are service bodies that provide support for groups and/or intergroups that are not otherwise served within the existing service structure. This includes: (MORE) national service boards (NSBs), language service boards (LSBs), and virtual service boards (VSBs). NSBs serve groups and intergroups that speak one language (usually not English). LSBs serve groups and/or intergroups, usually in different countries, that share a common language. VSBs serve virtual groups (online or telephone meetings).
If you are interested in starting an intergroup or service board, read Suggestions for Starting an Intergroup/Service Board for more information.
Service Bodies. This general term refers to intergroups, service boards, regions, and any other type of 2 or more groups coming together to provide services for their members.
Regions are composed of groups, intergroups, and service boards within specified geographic boundaries. OA is divided into ten regions geographically. (MORE) There are eight regions with in North America. Mexico is in Region Two; Bermuda is in Region Six; the Virgin Islands, Central America, and South America are in Region Eight. Region Nine encompasses Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Western Asia. Region Ten encompasses the Far East, Southeast Asia, Western Pacific Basin, Australia, and New Zealand.
Virtual meetings are not included in the regional structure but are part of the world structure.
The WSBC, attended by delegates from around the world, meets annually each May to conduct business of OA and to elect the Board of Trustees. The 17-member board acts on behalf of all members of the OA Fellowship. The World Service Office (WSO) works with the BOT to provide quality support and services to the entire OA Fellowship. (MORE) Each intergroup/service board is entitled to delegates to WSBC, in proportion to the number of groups belonging to that intergroup/service board. Thus each individual member of OA, each group, and each intergroup/service board become a part of the collective group conscience of OA as a whole.