Introducing UK SMART Recovery

UK SMART Recovery (UKSR) is a registered charity which promotes choice in recovery through a national network of mutual-aid meetings and online training programmes with comprehensive teaching materials and manuals. Our Programme teaches rational, easy to learn and self-empowering skills to help participants abstain from any addictive behaviour and to develop a lifestyle that supports sustained recovery.

About Our Organisation


Our Purpose

To empower people with practical skills, tools and support so that they may manage their addictive behaviour and lead satisfying and meaningful lives.

Our Philosophy
  • People make a choice to engage in addictive behaviours and can make a choice to stop.
  • Everyone has the power of choice and can choose to change unhelpful or harmful behaviours.
  • People are not their behaviours, so stigmatising language like ‘addict’ and ‘alcoholic’ is not used.
  • People seeking recovery are empowered to choose what works best for them from a ‘tool box’ of methods demonstrated in meetings and also available online and in manuals.
  • Participants are free to engage with any other services or mutual-aid groups which they find helpful; there is no one path to recovery.
  • Once a healthy, positive and balanced lifestyle is achieved participants are free to move on and pursue other goals in life. Some may choose to volunteer and train to become Meeting Facilitators.
What We Do

Through our Partnership Scheme, we work with most medium to large treatment providers across the UK as well as prisons, probation, rehab facilities, NHS and supported housing services. SMART Recovery Champions have helped to grow peer led SMART Recovery meetings, which in turn have helped their service users sustain the recovery gains they achieve within the treatment services.

Governance and Structure

The organisation is a Charitable Company, Registered with the Charity Commission 1160516 and Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator SC046247. The charity operates under its’ Articles of Association and a Memorandum of Agreement incorporated on 18 September 2014 and is governed by a Board of Volunteer Trustees. The Board of Trustees serve in a voluntary capacity and are drawn from various backgrounds to provide the expertise needed to guide the charity. Trustees meet regularly to guide the development, make strategic and policy decision, hold the Executive Director and staff accountable and manage any major risks to which the charity may be exposed. The Chair of the Trustee Board manages the Executive Director, to whom some powers are delegated to ensure the smooth running of the organisation. The Executive Director manages the staff team, meeting individuals regularly for supervision sessions and annual performance reviews. The staff manage volunteers, providing guidance, training and support as necessary. Our Central Office is located in Manchester and is run by the Business Manager with admin support.


A strategy review has been undertaken. Here is the final document that outlines our strategic objectives over the next few years.

UK SMART Recovery Strategic Plan 2020 FINAL


UK SMART Recovery is committed to our meetings being safe, supportive and as effective as possible. We train and support meeting Facilitators and provide a range of materials to keep things on track, though as with any organisation, things can go wrong. This page describes how we handle concerns or complaints about any SMART Recovery meeting, volunteer or member of staff.

Informal Complaints

For minor grievances not related to safety or serious breaches of the Facilitators code of conduct, we would like to encourage a culture of informal problem solving. Most differences of opinion, mistakes or failings do not need to be taken through a complaint procedure, so we urge common sense and talking things through if no one is at risk of harm.   If the complaint is related to a particular meeting, please talk to the meeting Facilitator and explain the problem. If possible, point to the specific part of the meeting structure, code of conduct or failure to follow the SMART meeting model that is of concern. Facilitators need and deserve feedback and often this will make the difference you seek. If the meeting is under the Partnership scheme it would be appropriate to speak to Champions / staff of the host agency.   If this does not achieve the result you want, you could contact the Volunteer Regional Coordinator. These do not exist in every area yet, but it is worth checking the ‘Meet the Team’ section of the website. If there is no Volunteer Regional Coordinator or the matter is a little more complicated, you could talk to the National Coordinator (for England, Scotland or Wales). All these volunteers and staff will help you try to resolve problems and improve SMART Recovery.

Formal complaints

Stage 1 If you are unable to resolve the issue informally or it is a serious issue, you should contact Central Office and address your complaint to The Executive Director.  In your letter you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and what you would like to see happen.  You can expect your complaint to be acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt. You should get a response and an explanation within 15 working days.   Stage 2 If you are not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint then you can write to the member of the Board of Trustees who has a lead responsibility to handle complaints, indicating you would like the issue to be reviewed. You can expect the Board member to acknowledge your request within 5 working days of receipt and a response within 15 workings days.   Stage 3 If you are not satisfied with the subsequent reply from nominated Board member, then you have the option of writing to the Chair of the Board of Trustees stating the reason why you are dissatisfied with the outcome. You must do this within 10 days of receiving the written response from the Board member.   The Chair will, as he or she sees fit, discuss this with the entire Board and respond normally within 10 working days to inform you of the action which will be taken to investigate your complaint, and when you can expect to hear the outcome of the investigation.


We aim is to resolve all matters as quickly as possible. However, inevitably some issues will be more complex and therefore may require longer to be fully investigated. Consequently, timescales given for handling and responding to complaints are indicative. If a matter requires more detailed investigation, you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, and when a full reply can be expected and from whom.

Special cases

  • If the complaint is about the actions of the Director of UK SMART Recovery, skip stage one and go straight to the nominated Board member as described in stage 2.
  • If the complaint is about a Board member, skip stages 1 and 2 – go straight to the Chair of the Board.
  • If the complaint is about the Chair, the entire Board or the overall behaviour of the charity (such as breaching charity rules), you should complain to the Chair. Optionally, you could also complain to the charity in the US, which gives the UK charity permission to use and develop SMART Recovery in this country,

SMART Recovery International

There are now over 3,000 weekly meetings worldwide with SMART Recovery groups in 20 different countries and growing.

The Role of SMART Recovery International

In 2018 SMART Recovery International was formed to: – • Create a strategy to grow SMART worldwide • Ensure the integrity of SMART Programme as it expands into numerous countries • Oversee the develoment and integrity of training for meeting facilitators worldwide. • Establish a global IT infrastructure and digital social media presence. • Co-ordinate research into SMART by providing a forum for addiction scientists and treatment professionals to collaborate and learn how it works and how to improve the programme. • Align the branding, marketing and fundraising to support SMART Recovery globally.


To provide programmes that are accessible worldwide to diverse cultures and people speaking different languages so that the SMART Recovery approach and empower individuals to gain independence from addictive behaviour and lead fulfilling and balanced lives.


To provide worldwide oversight and support to SMART Recovery operations in all member countries and to foster the development of operations in new locations to grow the number of meetings and programmes.


SMART Recovery flourishes worldwide.

Find Out More

More information available on the SMART Recovery International website SMART Recovery International

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