The Object of Rotary is a philosophical statement of Rotary’s purpose and the responsibilities of Rotarians.
The concept of vocational service is rooted in the Second Object, which calls on Rotarians to “encourage and foster”:
Those objectives are:
 
  • To encourage and foster high ethical standards in business and professions, to recognise the worthiness of all useful occupations, to dignify the Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
  • To apply the ideal of service in personal, business and community life.
  • To advance international understanding and goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of businessmen and professional men and women united in the ideal of service.
Paul Harris wrote: "Each Rotarian is a connecting link between the idealism of Rotary and their trade or profession".
 
Vocational Service is the way Rotary fosters and supports the application of the Ideal of Service to the pursuit of all vocations.
 
It is the shared responsibility of both the Rotary Club and its members.

The role of the Club is to implement and encourage the objectives by its own actions in dealing with the community and by the development of projects that enable members to use their vocational talents in the service of the community.  The role of members is to conduct themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary principles, and support the Vocational Service projects that the club has developed.
 
During January, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this important avenue of Rotary service.  Discussions on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians but also the talents within their communities.  Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards to community projects.