Keeping RSA up to date
Keeping your RSA up to date, what do you need to do? Now that RSA does not need to be renewed every three years, it has certainly made life that little bit easier for those working in the industry. However, it does raise the question of how you can be sure your Responsible Service of Alcohol knowledge is up to date.
As with any training, it’s important to keep up with industry changes. Liquor legislation is adjusted regularly; we’ve seen new restrictions introduced only in the last few months.
It’s important for staff and management to keep their RSA skills current and effective when working in licensed venues.
Is your RSA knowledge up to date?
When the laws change it can come as a shock to patrons. When you’re up to date and confident in your RSA knowledge and skills, you’re better equipped to effectively relay this type of information to the public – especially when serving at the ‘front line’ of a busy venue.
While the RSA you completed online three years ago is valid, you may have missed some critical updates in that time. A quick refresher course can help staff prepare for, and respond professionally to a difficult encounter with a patron. We know it happens, and it can be very awkward. The OLGR is keeping a close eye on staff compliance.
OLGR have created a handy resource for venues and their staff are in the form of interactive RSA training videos, demonstrating the do’s and do-not’s of some common sticky RSA situations.
How to make sure your RSA knowledge is current
The QLD government provides an online overview of amendments to the liquor act. The written overview covers amendments for everything from takeaway alcohol to risk assessment management plans. While it’s a great knowledge base and reference, the overview may not equip staff with the interpersonal skills required to enforce the changes.
OLGR has also produced a series of short animated clips which are on their website, www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/liquor-gaming/liquor/training/rsa/refresher. These highlight the need to be aware of the three categories of customers who cannot be served:
● Unduly intoxicated
It’s great for staff to view these and perhaps record that they have done so in the venue’s training register.
OLGR Focus on Up to Date RSA Compliance
The Office of Liquor and Gaming in Queensland continues to increase the focus on staff compliance in venues. OLGR is keen to ensure that patrons are refused service when they clearly show signs of being unduly intoxicated. Currently OLGR is again ramping up its ‘Mystery Shopper’ programme. This involves actors who are hired to go to venues and take on the role of being unduly intoxicated. The intention is to determine if staff are actively performing basic RSA and refusing service of alcohol when required.
Save time and ensure all staff are up to date
A practical refresher course onsite at your venue could be the best and fastest way to ensure all staff are across any liquor legislation updates and changes. The ITS team can come to you and deliver a short and sharp RSA refresher, and you can rest assured everyone is best equipped to fulfill your compliance requirements.
Gaining employment after completing your RSA
If you’ve done your RSA online, you’re now guaranteed employment in a licensed venue, right? Not necessarily. While certification is integral, the course doesn’t offer any practical or hands-on training to help you secure that first job in the industry. While you’ve gained theoretical knowledge on responsible service of alcohol, most employers will want you to have some practical experience and transferable skills.
A short practical bar course can give you the confidence to approach employers with more than just an RSA to your name. See our Bar Skills course for an opportunity to build your skills and experience.
It’s important to stay up to date on your RSA
Current RSA knowledge and an understanding of the legislation is important for you, the venue, and for your customers. Liquor licensing inspectors don’t always announce their presence in a venue; and some consumers might not accept change easily. Don’t get caught off-guard with an outdated set of RSA skills. Responsible service is as much about having confidence and a sound understanding about your responsibilities as it is about enforcing the rules.