Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Courses

If you're planning to work with alcohol you'll need an RSA certification - otherwise you and your employer are breaking the law and could face severe penalties. Also note that you'll need an RSA certification even if you are not handling any alcohol personally.

From the NSW office of Liquor, Gaming and racing ( 

The NSW liquor laws require a board approved RSA course to be completed by:

  • all liquor licensees and club secretaries

  • all people involved in the retail sale, supply or service of liquor in licensed venues. This includes promotional staff, club directors, and volunteers serving liquor under a function licence. The training requirements do not apply to employees of wholesale, brewer and some vigneron licences, and

  • security officers working at licensed venues 

Whilst this may seem unfair and overly harsh, the unfortunate yet undeniable truth is that alcohol is all too easily abused - and excessive consumption almost always leads to serious problems in one form or another. An rsa course trains a person to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol.

You will learn about things like 'standard drinks', the alcoholic content of various beverages, spotting minors to prevent underage drinking and recognizing the different levels of intoxication in customers. 

Generally speaking, the course takes about 6 hours to complete and typically costs between $80 to $150. Completion of the course counts towards a Certificate II in Hospitality Operations and you should be presented with a VETAB accredited certificate at the end of the course (make sure to ask beforehand!).

Important: You will need to present a form of photo ID on the day.