Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Australian RSA Course

As an American, the concept of an RSA course (Responsible Service of Alcohol) was foreign to me.  I knew before I came that Australia was pretty strict on their drinking laws, but didn't totally grasp that until taking the course. I learned from my British counterparts during my first week in Australia, that it's common (or should I say required?) in the UK as well.  The course cost me about $70 and there are actually 4 different courses for Australia I believe.  The one I took is valid in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. If I want to work in an establishment that serves alcohol in Sydney or Melbourne I'd have to do two more courses, one of which is in-class only!

It is against the law to serve alcohol to an intoxicated or an under aged person here. If proven, there are severe penalties for both the employers and employees involved, especially in case of injury. This is why it is mandatory in most States for all staff who serve alcohol to complete one of the RSA courses.  For example, if you serve alcohol to a minor the business/manager, the minor, and you would all be fined.  The minor could be fined up to $2,500, the employee up to $8,000 and the business up to $25,000.  The fine for a business who serves an unduly intoxicated person is up to $50,000!  There are rules about refusing entry to patrons and there are fines for refusing to leave when asked, as well as fines for irresponsible alcohol promotions.  Basically, the RSA trainig is to ensure you know your legal responsibility and the penalties for not following the laws.

The course I took was like taking an online class.  There was an interactive video/slideshow that presented all the relevant information and after each section there was a quiz.  It was split into 6 sections and you couldn't move on until you had completed each section.  You must get 100% to pass the quiz and you can only take the quiz twice before you're locked out for a bit.  I failed my first 2 section quizzes :( but thankfully, I could move on to the other sections while waiting for my failed courses to reset. It took me several hours to complete the whole thing, due in part to the internet connection issues I had throughout the day.  It wasn't too difficult, but the first two sections were a bit tricky...


2 comments:

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