Typically, NHS members belong to chapters that operate independently of the national offices. While not always the case, such chapters are based in middle and secondary schools and maintain their own invitation and induction criteria for membership at that school. National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities.
In addition, NHS chapters typically elect officers, who, under the supervision of the chapter advisor, coordinate and manage the chapter as a student organization.
Students participating in National Honor Society are asked to display the four pillars of National Honor Society scholarship, leadership, service, and character.