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RSA Legislation: State-by-state guidance

Australia has a strong commitment to the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), with each state and territory having specific regulations and requirements. Employers in the hospitality industry must ensure their staff are trained and compliant with these regulations to promote safe drinking environments.

 

Currently, businesses that serve alcohol are required to collect RSA certificates and keep them on file in an RSA Register. These can be digital, or paper copies of employee’s RSA certificates, and relevant details like the expiry date. The RSA Register can be requested by local police to ensure all employees are qualified to serve alcohol within the business.

Who needs an RSA?

  • Bar staff and bartenders
  • Venue licence holders
  • Bottle shop staff
  • Hospitality team members
  • Management personnel/supervisors of operations that include alcohol service
  • Bussies and support staff
  • Hotel room service staff
  • Club directors
  • Security staff
  • Airline cabin crews

Which businesses?

  • Hospitality venues: Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants that serve alcohol. 
  • Packaged liquor outlets: Bottle shops, convenience stores, and supermarkets selling alcohol need certified staff.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries: If alcohol is sold on site, staff need to be RSA certified.
  • Airlines: If they are serving alcohol, the staff need to be RSA certified.
  • Cruise lines and ferries: If they are serving alcohol, the staff need to be RSA certified.
  • Online liquor sales: Even internet-based alcohol retailers need RSA-trained staff for customer interactions.

What are the state-by-state RSA rules?

Employers in the Australian hospitality industry must ensure their staff are properly trained in RSA to comply with state and territory regulations. This not only helps in adhering to legal obligations but also fosters a safer environment for patrons and the community. Regularly updating knowledge and staying informed about changes in legislation is crucial for maintaining compliance and promoting responsible alcohol consumption.

New South Wales (NSW)

  • Training Requirements: Employees must complete an RSA course approved by Liquor & Gaming NSW. The course covers responsible service practices, identifying intoxication, and handling difficult situations.
  • Certification: Upon completion, participants receive an interim RSA certificate. Shortly after a photo competency card is issued by Liquor & Gaming NSW. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: RSA certification must be renewed every five years.

Victoria (VIC)

  • Training Requirements: RSA training must be completed through an accredited Victorian provider. The course includes topics like the effects of alcohol, legal requirements, and refusal of service.
  • Certification: Participants receive a Victorian RSA certificate, which is recognised across the state. SITHFAB02 is the approved RSA course in Victoria, with SITHFAB002 accepted as well.
  • Renewal: The RSA certificate in Victoria does not currently require renewal, but needs to be refreshed every three years.

Queensland (QLD)

  • Training Requirements: The RSA course must be completed through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) approved by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR). The training covers legal responsibilities, harm minimisation, and identifying signs of intoxication.
  • Certification: After completing the course, participants receive a Statement of Attainment for the unit of competency. The current course code is SITHFAB021. Older courses might have a different course code, but they’ll have the same course name and will always supply a Statement of Attainment. For example, SITHFAB009A was the active course code between 2009 and 2013. If you completed that course, it’s still valid.
  • Renewal: The RSA certification does not expire, but refresher courses are recommended.

South Australia (SA)

  • Training Requirements: The course must be undertaken through a provider approved by Consumer and Business Services (CBS). Topics include legal obligations, the effects of alcohol, and refusal of service.
  • Certification: Upon completion, participants receive an RSA certificate. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: The certification does not expire, but staying informed about current regulations is advised.

Western Australia (WA)

  • Training Requirements: RSA courses must be conducted by an accredited RTO. The curriculum focuses on responsible service practices, the impact of alcohol, and managing patrons.
  • Certification: Participants receive a Statement of Attainment for RSA. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: There is no expiration for the certification, but ongoing professional development is encouraged.

Tasmania (TAS)

  • Training Requirements: The RSA training must be completed through an approved provider. The course covers legislation, the effects of alcohol, and how to handle difficult situations.
  • Certification: A Statement of Attainment for RSA is issued upon completion. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: RSA certification does not require renewal, but regular updates on legislative changes are recommended.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

  • Training Requirements: RSA courses must be completed through an accredited provider. The training includes legal responsibilities, recognising intoxication, and harm minimisation.
  • Certification: An RSA certificate is awarded after course completion. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: The certificate does not expire, but periodic refreshers are suggested.

Northern Territory (NT)

  • Training Requirements: The course must be completed through an approved provider. It covers the impact of alcohol, legal requirements, and responsible service techniques.
  • Certification: Participants receive an RSA certificate. The current course code is SITHFAB021.
  • Renewal: The RSA certificate does not need to be renewed, but staying current with the latest regulations is important.

With CheckWorkRights, users can have full visibility over RSA Certificates from start to finish, including weekly reporting, email reminders before RSA expiry, and document verification to ensure a high level of compliance. 

Using the MyCheck employee document collection workflow, it’s easy to request RSA documentation from all employees, verify the submissions, and track the expiry and renewal of documents to keep on top of your obligations.

Each week, subscribed CheckWorkRights users will be emailed an RSA Summary Report, containing the status of each requested employee’s RSA. It can be segmented by business unit to show each site only their employees. The RSA Summary Report is an up-to-date report that is required when requested by a member of any Police Officer or Gambling and Liquor Inspector.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is general only, and not to be taken as Migration Advice. Please be aware that visas and regulations are subject to frequent change. It is advisable to verify the latest information from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and or seek specific advice relating to your circumstances from a MARA Registered Migration Agent.