The Victorian Government has announced that it has made its Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training program available online.

The addition of a digital solution has been made to give hospitality operators in the state more opportunity to prepare for reopening. The RSA program is also now nationally recognised allowing for greater employment flexibility in licensed venues when borders reopen.

The change also means that anyone with an RSA certificate issued in another state or territory will have their qualifications recognised in Victoria, provided they complete a free online refresher course to ensure they are familiar with Victorian liquor laws.

Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne today announced the change will begin from 12 October as part of an ongoing Victorian Government commitment to cut red tape and help Victorians find work in the hospitality sector.

“Moving to new online, nationally recognised RSA training will give Victorians more ability to upskill from home while planning to return to work, in a steady and sustainable way,” stated Minister Horne.

“The difficulty of relying solely on face-to-face learning has been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic – this change will make it easier for training organisations to deliver the course, and those in the hospitality industry to complete their RSA training.”

AHA (Vic) welcomed the change that would remove some of the red tape in getting personnel ready to work in venues.

“AHA (Vic) welcomes the State Government’s announcement to enhance RSA training in Victoria by allowing participants to complete the training online. Our industry is going through an incredibly challenging period so anything that helps business and reduces red tape is welcomed,” stated Kimberley Malcolm, senior manager – membership and industry engagement AHA (Vic).

“Pubs in Victoria are committed to providing a safe place for hospitality. These changes allow them to employ staff who have interstate RSAs without those staff having to repeat the training here in Victoria.”

Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia also welcomed the news.

“Finally, Australia is seeing some long-awaited reform in the hospitality sector, more than 20 years after COAG recommended States and Territories achieve a nationally recognised Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate.

“We applaud the decision by Victoria to move RSA training online and importantly recognise any other jurisdiction’s RSA qualification with the simple completion of a free online refresher course.”

Wilsmore implored other states and territories to follow Victoria’s lead in making it simpler to recognise interstate RSA competencies.

“The half million Australians working in hospitality, retail and tourism who serve beers, wines and spirits are required to hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol qualification, but many States and Territories won’t recognise a certificate issued in another jurisdiction.

“This means hospitality workers will often have to re-sit at their own or their employers expense a largely similar training course if they relocate. A winemaker, brewer or distiller wanting to showcase their product will often have to sit a number of tests and have several RSA certificates just to conduct tasting events across the country.

“We encourage other States and Territories to mirror the Victorian move and remove a cost and barrier to industry employment.”

Anyone who holds a current Victorian RSA certificate will not be required to complete the nationally recognised certificate to continue working in Victorian licensed venues.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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