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Buying or selling? Get the right advice

Becoming a certified responsible servant of alcohol

By johnboy 12 October 2010 26

[First filed: Oct 11, 2010 @ 14:03]

RSA certificate

As part of the Labor party’s efforts to get us all to drink at the Labor Club liquor law reforms everyone who ever serves alcohol under a liquor licence will be required, from 1 December 2010, to have a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate.

Because I sometimes volunteer behind the bar at the Canberra Musician’s Club this meant I too needed to get certificated.

In fact hundreds of people across the ACT are going to have to get this grand looking piece of paper if they want to continue running small scale social events. (Or give up and just go to the Labor Club).

So here’s what’s involved.

In my case the CMC was organising and paying for my training. So an email arrived telling me to present at CIT’s Reid campus on a Tuesday evening with a driver’s licence and medicare card or birth certificate.

With some uncertainty we found the right room and started filling out paperwork and verifying our identity.

There then followed four hours of information tailored pretty much to working in the Labor Club based on slightly dodgy assumptions. It can be summarised thusly:

    — Don’t give people who are drunk more booze.
    — Offer to call them a taxi

There was a bit of role playing, mostly about how to divert anger.

There was a suggestion that if a taxi won’t take the gibbering heaving drunk perhaps offer to call a friend or family member.

(Imagine for a moment the reaction of your friends or family on getting that phone call).

The instructor went sort of misty eyed at one point when talking about drugs with alcohol and seemed regretful that he’d never been invited to that sort of party.

At one point members of the class started asking pointy questions about the internal contradictions of the course material and an angry irishman shouted “Fer gawd’s sake just shut up so we can get out of this farce”.

After four hours with a break for dinner we had a test which mostly seemed to involve repeating the two above points in different combinations.

Having completed this in about 10 minutes I wondered if I’d grossly misunderstood the nature of the test but really didn’t want to be there any longer.

The above certificate demonstrates that I had in fact understood it.

I’m really not sure how this process is going to make us safer, anyone who’s been to a decent party will start the course ahead of the material.

It is going to make a lot of money for CIT though.


What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Becoming a certified responsible servant of alcohol
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Davo111 8:29 am 15 Mar 11

4hrs? lucky you.

In NSW the minimum requirement is 6hrs.

chocomoonstar 7:20 am 15 Mar 11

Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training is required for all staff serving alcoholic beverages. It teaches you on how to properly identify customers to whom service should be refused and help you prepare and serve alcoholic beverages responsibly. for more details you can check RSA Online]. see you!

Jethro 6:42 pm 12 Oct 10

neanderthalsis said :

cleo said :

I always thought the laws here were very relaxed, that’s putting it mildly, I did some part time work behind the bar here in Canberra, and was shocked that you could serve spirits in a jug with post mix

You mean that it is not normal around the rest of the country? A normal Sunday session only a few years ago used to be $10 Bundy jugs at the Vic in Brisbane. If you were nice to the bar staff they’d do you doubles. I don’t think RSA existed back then, we’re talking late 90’s early 00’s, but it was manna from heaven for a uni student.

Good ol Jugs and Hooters arvos at the Vic. I spent many a Sunday enjoying myself in their beer garden.

Growling Ferret 2:06 pm 12 Oct 10

Cost is $95 per person at CIT.

So for small and amateur sporting clubs who put on a canteen and sell a whole case of beer a week, its just another impost and painful reason not to sell grog.

By the time you add a liquor licence, ground hire, licence fees, amateur sporting clubs will be up to $500 a home game to the ACT Government. Bargain.

And the blokes who bring a case into a ground, sink it whilst watching a couple of hours of footy, then drive home regardless won’t be deterred in any way. Excellent/

rosscoact 12:06 pm 12 Oct 10

I did an RSA in NSW in the mid 90s when it came in as law. Didn’t seem to have any effect on business at all.

watto23 11:34 am 12 Oct 10

I think you’ll find that the RSA is more of a legal requirement than in anyway meant to train someone. I did one years ago when i was in Uni, certainly many employers requested that you hold such a certificate, regardless of the law or not.

I recently did the white card Worksite safety course run by the CIT. It was clearly all common knowledge, but aimed at the lowest common denominator. You had to get all questions right in the exam, but were able to “collaborate”, that said several people in the class struggled.

But it seems these kind of courses are all about saying you’ve been given the information. If you choose not to follow it then you can’t say you didn’t know.

PM 10:25 am 12 Oct 10

Thermyan said :

PM said :

PM said :

It will kill most taverns.

I should clarify that my comment was about the new liquor laws in entirety (the details of which nobody has seen – we still don’t know how much a licence will cost), not the RSA in isolation.

Glad you can make a definitive judgement based on something you have never seen before. Well done guy.

Thanks buddy, it’s called logic.

The whole notion is to raise more money for extra policing etc in Civic. What do you think the end result will be? Besides, any major change has compliance costs (with no support being offered to the industry in this case), and a lot of taverns aren’t making a huge amount of money at present as it is.

One can only imagine the govt’s trying to avoid scrutiny; either that or it’s inept in this area and doesn’t know how to frame the new Regs.

neanderthalsis 10:08 am 12 Oct 10

cleo said :

I always thought the laws here were very relaxed, that’s putting it mildly, I did some part time work behind the bar here in Canberra, and was shocked that you could serve spirits in a jug with post mix

You mean that it is not normal around the rest of the country? A normal Sunday session only a few years ago used to be $10 Bundy jugs at the Vic in Brisbane. If you were nice to the bar staff they’d do you doubles. I don’t think RSA existed back then, we’re talking late 90’s early 00’s, but it was manna from heaven for a uni student.

p1 9:55 am 12 Oct 10

cleo said :

I always thought the laws here were very relaxed, that’s putting it mildly, I did some part time work behind the bar here in Canberra, and was shocked that you could serve spirits in a jug with post mix

What is wrong with that? 🙂

Katietonia 8:04 am 12 Oct 10

motleychick said :

I thought this course involved practical work as well where you learn how to mix drinks and standard amounts of different alcohols etc. Obviously I was wrong and should have just gone to get mine when I had the chance!

That was the bar service course:
http://cit.edu.au/future/courses/bar_service_statement_of_attainment

MJay 3:30 am 12 Oct 10

bd84 said :

I can somewhat understand the point of the supermarket worker. Having seen similar situations when a drunk is refused service and become violent there is often a rediculous wait for a police response, up to a couple of hours. But then that’s normally not the police’s fault, it comes back to the same minister who has sat on his ass for the last 5 or so years and done nothing about the low number of police.

Does make you wonder why they hire a security guard though. Perhaps they need the kind from the city who are used to throwing the odd drunk or two around.

Regarding response times, if you just tell them you’ve got a gun and you will shoot the b@$tard! Apparently they’re there in minutes.

bd84 11:04 pm 11 Oct 10

MJay said :

bd84 said :

While it wasn’t compulsory in the ACT until now, most major sellers of alcohol like the supermarkets have had their staff routinely RSA trained.

There was a bit of role playing, mostly about how to divert anger.

Obviously not the same training John got. We have seen one of the local supermarkets in my area sell to an intoxicated person. Their response was to the tune of “It’s easier to sell him his grog and have him leave than refuse him service, get him aggravated and have to call the police”.

I don’t see what good an RSA does unless the government backs it with consistent enforcement- not a blitz twice a year.

Well yes, completing a few hour course is not necessarily going to make everyone totally responsible and do the right thing. But then even if the police did beef up the level of enforcement, there would still be contraventions of the law that they will never be able to pick up on.

I can somewhat understand the point of the supermarket worker. Having seen similar situations when a drunk is refused service and become violent there is often a rediculous wait for a police response, up to a couple of hours. But then that’s normally not the police’s fault, it comes back to the same minister who has sat on his ass for the last 5 or so years and done nothing about the low number of police.

cleo 9:40 pm 11 Oct 10

I always thought the laws here were very relaxed, that’s putting it mildly, I did some part time work behind the bar here in Canberra, and was shocked that you could serve spirits in a jug with post mix

MJay 7:50 pm 11 Oct 10

p1 said :

MJay said :

Are RSA courses not certified courses as part of the national training standards?

After a quick google it would appear “National Online Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Certificate valid for WA, SA, VIC, ACT, NT Not valid in TAS, NSW or QLD.”

from http://www.onlinersa.com.au/

And here are the state requirements –

http://www.cft.com.au/attachments/RSA_state_requirements.pdf

p1 7:20 pm 11 Oct 10

MJay said :

bd84 said :

While it wasn’t compulsory in the ACT until now, most major sellers of alcohol like the supermarkets have had their staff routinely RSA trained.

There was a bit of role playing, mostly about how to divert anger.

Obviously not the same training John got. We have seen one of the local supermarkets in my area sell to an intoxicated person. Their response was to the tune of “It’s easier to sell him his grog and have him leave than refuse him service, get him aggravated and have to call the police”.

I don’t see what good an RSA does unless the government backs it with consistent enforcement- not a blitz twice a year.

vtghf said :

Then of course there is the fact that holding an RSA certificate from one state doesn’t necessarily cover you if you move and want to work in the different state.

If the course in another state is done through Tafe you can generally get an ‘RPL’ aka recognition of prior learning. Though there can be more paperwork and effort in completing that then there is to sit the course and get your cert.

Are RSA courses not certified courses as part of the national training standards?

MJay 7:02 pm 11 Oct 10

bd84 said :

While it wasn’t compulsory in the ACT until now, most major sellers of alcohol like the supermarkets have had their staff routinely RSA trained.

There was a bit of role playing, mostly about how to divert anger.

Obviously not the same training John got. We have seen one of the local supermarkets in my area sell to an intoxicated person. Their response was to the tune of “It’s easier to sell him his grog and have him leave than refuse him service, get him aggravated and have to call the police”.

I don’t see what good an RSA does unless the government backs it with consistent enforcement- not a blitz twice a year.

vtghf said :

Then of course there is the fact that holding an RSA certificate from one state doesn’t necessarily cover you if you move and want to work in the different state.

If the course in another state is done through Tafe you can generally get an ‘RPL’ aka recognition of prior learning. Though there can be more paperwork and effort in completing that then there is to sit the course and get your cert.

Thermyan 6:42 pm 11 Oct 10

PM said :

PM said :

It will kill most taverns.

I should clarify that my comment was about the new liquor laws in entirety (the details of which nobody has seen – we still don’t know how much a licence will cost), not the RSA in isolation.

Glad you can make a definitive judgement based on something you have never seen before. Well done guy.

PM 5:49 pm 11 Oct 10

PM said :

It will kill most taverns.

I should clarify that my comment was about the new liquor laws in entirety (the details of which nobody has seen – we still don’t know how much a licence will cost), not the RSA in isolation.

bd84 5:41 pm 11 Oct 10

While it wasn’t compulsory in the ACT until now, most major sellers of alcohol like the supermarkets have had their staff routinely RSA trained. I don’t think anyone has much to complain about with this, except for the lousy businesses who couldn’t be bothered. It’s not a magic solution to the problems, but a fair enough first step.

sirocco 5:27 pm 11 Oct 10

Gantz said :

Ah pretty sure is has been the Law in A.C.T. for some time, and being the only state where persons aged 17 years and above can serve alcohol.
At least that is what I was told in 2003 when told an RSA was mandatory to work behind a bar in the A.C.T.

Nope. Until this year we’ve never been required to have any sort of government recognised RSA certificate to work in any aspect of liquor service (except, of course, the licence the publican/restauranteur/liquor-merchant needed for the venue)

Don’t feel bad though, it was a common misunderstanding 🙂

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