The Responsible Service of Alcohol WA course (RSA WA) is a Nationally Recognised Training course that is mandatory for all persons looking to work in venues licensed to handle, sell, or serve alcohol in any capacity. The training, which is provided through Registered Training Organisations or RTOs, can be completed online or face to face.
Empowered by the Western Australia State through the Liquor Control Act 1988, which was consolidated as recently as 2018, the RSA WA training course is required by all alcohol serving staff in bars, clubs, hotels, and limited events such as fairs, music festivals, and open markets.
The training aims to educate alcohol servers not only on responsible service of alcohol but also in the appropriate refusal of service for intoxicated patrons. The goal of the training is to help minimise the risks and potentially harmful effects of alcohol intake. In educating servers about the adverse effects of alcohol intoxication, they can mitigate the possible damages and accidents that result from excessive alcohol intake and alcohol-related events.
What are examples of the risks involved in alcohol intoxication?
Some examples of the adverse effects resulting from alcohol intoxication are rowdiness, aggressive behaviour leading to altercations and property damage, and vehicle accidents resulting from driving while under the influence of alcohol.
These incidents can be avoided or minimised through appropriate training in responsible alcohol service. The RSA training course has four elements that focus on particular aspects of responsible service. Here are the elements, each of which covers an RSA competency.
Element 1 – Sell or serve alcohol responsibly
Servers are obliged with discerning whether or not a patron can legally and adequately partake in alcohol. Through the RSA training, a server is taught the skills and methods that are appropriate for identifying whether or not a patron may legally and adequately purchase alcohol, such as inspecting proofs of identification (e.g. driver’s licence cards) to determine whether or not the patron is of a legal drinking age.
Element 2 – Assist customers to drink within appropriate limits
Servers are educated on what qualifies as a standard drink for different liquor types, as the alcohol content of certain liquor may vary. In understanding the necessary measures for particular beverages, the server may then monitor the number of drinks a patron may safely take to avoid excessive intoxication.
Element 3 – Assess alcohol affected customers and identify those to whom sale or service must be refused, and Element 4 – Refuse to provide alcohol
A critical responsibility of servers is determining whether or not a patron has reached a stage of intoxication that risks their health or personal safety. Through the RSA training course, servers are taught how to assess intoxication in patrons adequately. The training also educates servers on appropriately refusing service to the patron in a professional manner that avoids confrontation, or de-escalation of alcohol-induced aggression where needed.
The Responsible Service of Alcohol is a training course and certification that provides essential education to servers in the state of Western Australia can be found here.