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Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Survey Sub-Committee

The Role, Aims & Objectives of the SSC 

The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous (Great Britain) Ltd (GSB) has conducted a survey of the Fellowship every five years since. This includes the estimation of the number of people in the Fellowship in Great Britain and English-Speaking meetings of Continental Europe which informs the Fellowship, Conference and the GSB regarding the allocation of resources towards fulfilling our Primary Purpose and in communication with professionals. 

The following paragraph, taken from the USA AA Survey 2011 pamphlet, has been adopted and used in the letter of explanation which accompanied the questionnaires in the 2015 survey and all subsequent surveys. 
“Alcoholics Anonymous conducts this survey to keep members informed on current trends in membership characteristics. The survey also provides information about AA to the professional community and to the general public as part of AA’s purpose to carry its message to those still suffering from alcoholism.”

The SSC designs, manages and delivers the Survey for Board approval prior to publication. Timescales are determined by the GSB to ensure that GSO has sufficient time to implement the Survey. The SSC takes advice and instruction from the GSB, through the Chair, implements these in their determination of the final Survey form and may recommend changes to the system or methodology as events dictate such as moving from paper-based to on-line. 

All surveys carried out since 2005 have been at five-year intervals and using an external market research company. The SSC will recommend such a company for approval by the GSB.

The SSC will meet 4 times a year but may hold additional short ad hoc online meetings if required. The SSC should decide which meetings be virtual or face to face.

Meeting minutes will be sent to GSO prior to the subsequent Board meetings. 

Members should attend all meetings and give apologies as soon as possible if they cannot attend. Any Member not attending three consecutive main meetings without apologies will be considered to have stood down from the Committee and be informed by the Chair. 

Membership of the SSC 
The SSC comprises of two Trustees (one of whom acts as Chair) with maximum of 8 members. This may vary from time to time depending on workload, with Board approval. 

Attending all meetings and acting as the link to GSO is the Fellowship Research and Projects Administrator (based in GSO York) who liaises with outside bodies and between service discipline Copies of previous surveys and correspondence also held by this post holder. 

Prospective members require a minimum of 5 years continuous sobriety at the time of application and be prepared to serve a term of 4 years. 

The SSC shall nominate a Secretary to the group and under exceptional circumstances and with GSB approval, it may be possible to invite a person, or persons, with specific skills, qualifications and/or experience to join for a limited and predetermined time frame. 

The Chair may ask Members to form a working group to discuss and make recommendations on specific items or issues. These will be submitted for approval to the full SSC. 

Costs of Survey
An estimate for each survey must be obtained from the external research company for GSB approval as soon as practical but no later than six months prior to the planned Survey date, and annual budget should be presented for GSB approval at its September meeting.