General CoDA Information


In this section you will find general information relevant to the running and organisational structure of CoDA UK and maintaining the Traditions of CoDA UK. If you have any queries you would like to see answered on this page, please email to request it for consideration.

Safeguarding Policy

Prepared to offer guidance on meetings, sponsorship and keeping meetings a safe space for everyone.

CoDA UK – Safeguarding Policy – August 2019
CoDA UK – Safeguaring Policy – November 2022 (Updates)

CoDA Approval

Please find below guidance on the basic requirements for CoDA Approval.

CoDA Approval is a suggested requirement to ensure that the Traditions are being adhered to and so that any outside event is in line with the founding CoDA principles. It is suggested for CoDA members to follow these requirements if they wish to hold an outside event such as a workshop, retreat, convention etc and have it listed on the CoDA website.

CoDA Approval requirements are suggested as:

  • that the CoDA Traditions are observed
  • that the four foundational documents are read (Preamble, 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, Welcome
  • that any member can attend (notwithstanding any specific boundaries, eg women only meeting/event/retreat) 
  • that no outside speakers are involved
  • not to endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility
  • that the event ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions
  • that only CoDA approved literature is available for sale
  • that all monies in excess of the prudent reserve are passed to CoDA UK or the local CoDA region.

Once you have checked and confirmed that your event is in line with the principles listed above, then please add the following two sentences to your event details:

CoDA UK Approved: CoDA Traditions are observed and only CoDA approved literature is available for sale

Upholding the CoDA Traditions

The CoDA Big Book pp. 92-93 has the following paragraph on the importance of upholding the CoDA Traditions:

“Each of us is harmed every time a member or group breaks or modifies any of our traditions; and each time we ignore, disregard or overlook Traditions violations, we perpetuate that hurt. The ripple effect can hurt other CODA groups in the local, regional, national, and/ or international communities. It is important to speak up when Traditions violations occur. We find it helpful to do so in non-shaming and loving ways. No one is on trial; perhaps the individual or group is not even aware of the Tradition violation. We ask our group to hold a business meeting. We share our knowledge and experience with the Traditions and the issue. We listen as others share their thoughts and opinions. We discuss the issues and look for solutions that best serve CODA. After all discussions have taken place, we then take a group conscience vote and trust in our Higher Power’s will to be expressed through that vote.”

CoDA UK has the following additional suggestions:

  • for clarity, the member who notices the Tradition violation is first asked to consider if this is a matter affecting the meeting or CoDA as a whole, or if it is in fact a personal matter that can be dealt with individually through working the steps
  • it is suggested for the individual who notices the violation to consult their own Higher Power as to whether any action needs to be taken personally or whether to hand over the issue to the meeting’s Higher Power via calling a Group Conscience
  • we are reminded that the meeting has its own Higher Power and in these situations it may be helpful to trust that the other members of the meeting may also be aware of any violations and available to support any action or instigate action themselves
  • we are reminded of the importance of putting principles before personalities; therefore it is suggested to identify the violation and not the member, in a non-shaming and non-judgemental manner
  • we are reminded to respect the sharing guidelines at all times and the anonymity of each member at the meeting when taking any action regarding Tradition violations. CoDA meetings are a safe space for all members, even those who may inadvertently infringe on the CoDA Traditions
  • we are reminded of the importance of respecting the confidentiality of members sharing within CoDA meetings

Suggested Possible Actions:

In the event that a member is aware of a Tradition violation in a meeting they have several options including those suggested in the reading:

  • to ask the Secretary of the group to read out the CoDA Traditions to the meeting
  • to call an immediate group conscience and discuss the violation and any concerns, possible actions, votes, proposals, solutions
  • to have a quiet word with the particular member after the meeting to indicate that a Tradition may have been infringed upon
  • to ask the Secretary to have a quiet word with the particular member or to call a Group Conscience
  • to reflect on our own personal co-dependency issues, to consider if our experience of the situation or perceived violation is driven by a personal co-dependent trigger or fear
  • to email the NSC at to request help and guidance on dealing with any Tradition violations

Open & Closed Meetings

It may be important to define the status of the meeting in the script so that all attendees at the meeting are clear about who can be in attendance and the impact this may have on upholding the CoDA Traditions.

CLOSED MEETINGS – these meetings are generally open to:

  • only those who meet the basic requirement of having a desire for healthy and loving relationships; this includes all those who declare themselves to be co-dependent and all newcomers
  • a set of people who agree that only they can be present eg. a step group
  • sharing is limited to the subject of co-dependency only

OPEN MEETINGS – these meetings are generally open to:

  • those who meet the basic requirement of having a desire for healthy and loving relationships; this includes all those who declare themselves to be co-dependent and all newcomers
  • to any individual or professional with an interest in knowing about the fellowship of CoDA but who does not necessarily identify themselves as a co-dependent, so could include doctors, relatives, journalists etc

Both open and closed meetings (during the introduction and closing statement) ask each person attending to hold all those things said during the meeting in anonymity and confidentiality.

Personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity