“Conference-approved” — What It Means to You
The term “Conference-approved” describes written or audiovisual material approved by the Conference for publication by G.S.O. This process assures that everything in such literature is in accord with A.A. principles. Conference-approved material always deals with the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous or with information about the A.A. Fellowship.
The term has no relation to material not published by G.S.O. It does not imply Conference disapproval of other material about A.A. A great deal of literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others, and A.A. does not try to tell any individual member what he or she may or may not read.
Conference approval assures us that a piece of literature represents solid A.A. experience. Any Conference-approved booklet or pamphlet goes through a lengthy and painstaking process, during which a variety of A.A.s from all over the United States and Canada read and express opinions at every stage of production.
How To Tell What Is and What Is Not Conference-Approved
Look for the statement on books, pamphlets and audiovisual materials:
“This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature”
Not All “A.A. Literature” Is Conference-Approved
Central offices and intergroups do write and distribute pamphlets or booklets that are not Conference-approved. If such pieces meet the needs of the local membership, they may be legitimately classified as “A.A. literature.” There is no conflict between A.A. World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S. – publishers of Conference-approved literature), and central offices or intergroups – rather they complement each other. The Conference does not disapprove of such material.
G.S.O. does develop some literature that does not have to be approved by the Conference, such as Service Material, Guidelines and bulletins.
Available at Most A.A. Groups
Most local A.A. groups purchase and display a representative sampling of Conference approved pamphlets, and usually carry a supply of hardcover books. Conference approved literature may be available at central offices and intergroups, or it may be ordered directly from G.S.O. Groups normally offer pamphlets free of charge, and the books at cost.