Classifications: Professional Representation

Rotary uses a classification system to establish and maintain a vibrant cross-section or representation of the community's business, vocational, and professional interests among members and to develop a pool of resources and expertise to successfully implement service projects.
Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, established the paradigm of choosing a cross-representation of each business, profession and institution within a community without disproportional representation from one or more professions. Some examples of classifications include: high schools, universities, eye surgery, banking, pharmaceutical retailing, petroleum distribution, insurance, medical practice, IT services, real estate and financial management.
A classification describes either the principal business or the professional service of the organization that the Rotarian works for or the Rotarian's own activity within the organization. Some examples of classifications include: high schools, universities, eye surgery, banking, pharmaceutical services, teaching, retailing, petroleum-distribution, and insurance agency.
Each Rotarian represents his or her industry or profession within their club, ensuring a broad diversity of backgrounds and vocational skills are available to form project teams. Rotarians also recognise the need to maintain high ethical standards in their business and professional lives, as well as, promote and build goodwill both locally and internationally, to encourage peaceful coexistence globally.
Individual clubs may determine what classifications actually represent a vibrant cross-section of their community. It effectively brings together into Rotary fellowship many people who wouldn't otherwise have no contact with one another. The membership can then really come to represent the business and professional life of the community. They bring conversations and a unique perspective to their committee work that is a major strength of Rotary.
The classification system gives Rotarians the dual responsibility of representing their vocation within the club and of exemplifying the ideals of Rotary in their workplace.