An Introduction to Vocational Service

Vocational
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Vocational Service is the cornerstone of Rotary and was the key to the beginning of the Rotary ethos of service above self. Rotary's founder Paul Harris recognised that people could use their vocation to help others in the community and thus Rotary was formed and has been serving its local and international community for over 100 years.

The objective of Vocational Service is to:

  • Adhere to and promote high ethical standards in all their business dealings,
  • Recognise the worthiness of all occupations, and
  • Contribute individual professional expertise and skills to addressing societal problems and needs

Vocational Service therefore asks Rotarians to be ethical leaders and to serve others through their professions; to practice high ethical standards; and to advance international understanding and goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship between professional and business people.

The Four-Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct provide the framework which should guide all Rotarians in their business and professional activities.

Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test was conceived by Herbert J Taylor in 1932. Herbert J Taylor designed the test as an ethical guide to follow in all business matters and it was instrumental in saving a company from bankruptcy procedures.

The Four-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International in 1934 and still remains and essential standard by which Rotarians measure ethical behaviour.

In relation to the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Leadership and ethical behaviour is an important element of every Rotary position. Our club does much to reinforce this value in its internal affairs and in all its dealings with community events.

Club members keep abreast of what is happening in other vocations via job talks given by members and participating in vocational visits to other members' businesses. 

Members also use their experience to mentor others in ethical leadership. There are a number of mentoring programs managed by vocational services which includes the highly successful Police Leadership Mentoring Program instigated by the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne, which has seen many police officers participate in this program which is highly valued by the senior leadership team of Victoria Police.