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What is an RSA Certificate?

The “RSA” in RSA certificate stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol. Seeing this certificate listed as a requirement for bartending or bottle shop ads might seem a little intimidating, but an RSA doesn’t have to be difficult to obtain. In fact, many states and territories now allow you to complete one online, from the comfort of your own home.

In today’s article, we’ll provide an answer to the question of what is an RSA, as well as outline the steps to obtaining your own certificate, and explaining how long they’re valid for.

What is an RSA certificate?

So, what is RSA certification? An RSA certificate is a nationally recognised accreditation that proves you are capable of serving alcohol responsibly. This means having the knowledge and skill to identify customers who have had too much to drink, understanding your legal obligations when it comes to selling or serving alcohol, and knowing how to handle difficult situations in a sensible manner.

In most states, you will need to obtain an RSA certificate in order to work in any capacity where alcohol is served or sold. This includes working in a restaurant, bar, club, hotel or bottle shop. Certain locations will also require security personnel to hold a valid RSA, so it’s worth checking with the venue in question when applying for a position.

Is RSA mandatory in Australia?

The RSA is a mandatory requirement for many roles within the Australian liquor industry. It is a requirement for people to obtain an RSA certificate in order to legally serve alcohol. In some states and territories, the rules are slightly different. For example, in Queensland, the RSA must be completed within 30 days of starting work at a licensed venue or bottle shop. The timeframe for when you’ll be required to have an RSA will differ, depending on where you reside. As such, it’s important to check the specific regulations in your state or territory before applying for any role where you may be required to hold an RSA.

How do I get an RSA certificate in Australia?

To obtain an RSA in Australia, you will need to successfully complete an RSA course. There are many states and territories that allow you to complete your RSA online. When considering where to undertake your RSA course, make sure you select a provider that is recognised by your state or territory’s liquor licensing authority. Check the provider’s website to ensure they’re an accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Express Online Training provides online RSA courses that allow you to obtain your certificate without needing to attend an in-person session.

Once you have successfully completed the course, you will be issued with your certificate. This will serve as evidence that you have completed the required training and are eligible to work in any role where an RSA is a mandatory requirement.

The benefits of doing your RSA certificate online

There are many benefits to completing an RSA certificate online. With an online RSA course from Express Online Training, you can choose the time of day or night when you study. Our courses can be paused and resumed at any time, so you can fit them in around your work and personal commitments. You can even switch between the devices you’re completing the course on, changing from your mobile to computer or tablet as needed, with your progress being automatically saved. Finish the course at your own speed.

Express Online Training provides fully qualified and locally-based support 7 days a week, including until late on weekdays. Once you complete the course and pay, you’ll be provided with an instant certificate which you can show to employers.

As of April 2023, the states and territories that Express Online Training provides RSA online courses for include:

  • New South Wales
  • Tasmania
  • Queensland
  • Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Northern Territory
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Victoria

How long is an RSA certificate valid for?

The time that an RSA is valid for differs depending on the state or territory. It can also depend on when you completed the course

When figuring out the validity of your card, be sure to check your state or territorys laws to find out if it can still be used and when it will need to be renewed. Contact your relevant government body if you wish to know more about the validity of your RSA.

How long is an RSA valid for in QLD?

If you completed an RSA before 30th June 2013, this OLGR-issued RSA certificate will have expired 3 years from when it was obtained. However, if you were also provided with a Statement of Attainment in Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol, the good news is that this does not have an expiration date. The current QLD Statement of Attainment in Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol does not expire.

How long is an RSA valid for in WA?

In Western Australia, the RSA Statement of Attainment does not expire.

How long is an RSA valid for in SA?

Currently, the South Australian RSA does not have an expiry date.

How long is an RSA valid for in NT?

The Northern Territory RSA must be renewed every three years by those that wish to continue working within the liquor sale and service industry.

How long is an RSA valid for in NSW?

The NSW RSA Competency Card is valid for 5 years. After this time, you’ll need to renew it and complete a refresher course in order to continue working within the relevant industries.

To renew this card, head online, fill in the required details, complete the refresher training course/s, and make a payment.

How long is an RSA valid for in VIC?

The Victorian RSA expires after three years. In order to continue working within the relevant industries, you’ll need to complete a refresher course.

How long is an RSA valid for in Tasmania?

In Tasmania, the RSA Statement of Attainment does not expire.

How long is an RSA valid for in ACT?

Those with an RSA ACT Approved Certificate must complete a refresher course every three years in order for it to remain valid.

We hope this article has helped you to understand a little more about what is an RSA, how to get an RSA certificate, and how long an RSA certificate is valid for in each of the different states and territories. Express Online Training offers online RSA courses that can be completed at your own pace from your phone, tablet, or computer. To get started today, simply enrol in the course that’s applicable to your state or territory.

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  • RSA Competency Check

    Have you completed an accredited RSA course previously?

    Do you hold any of the following?

    Current or Recently Expired NSW RSA Competency Card

    If you have a current Competency Card you cannot re-complete the course to renew it while it is current. This includes any learners in the 28 day renewal period or who have a current NSW RSA Competency Card endorsement but have not received their card.

    You can check if you have a Current Competency Card or endorsement here

    If you choose to continue you must declare below that you understand that your existing competency card endorsement(s) will not be renewed. By continuing you accept responsibility for providing correct and accurate information about your NSW RSA currency and understand that should you be found ineligible to undertake the course or renew your NSW RSA you may not be entitled to a refund.

    NSW RSA Interim Certificate issued within 5 years from the "Valid for duties date"

    If you have a current NSW RSA interim certificate issued within 5 years from the "Valid for duties" you cannot complete the NSW RSA course again. You must visit a Service NSW centre with your Interim Certificate to obtain your card.

    You can check if you have a Current Competency Card or endorsement here

    By continuing you accept responsibility for providing correct and accurate information about your NSW RSA currency, understanding that this will not renew your NSW RSA and that should you be found ineligible to undertake or renew your NSW RSA by completing the course you may not be entitled to a refund.

    Is your RSA current and issued by a Registered Training Organisation or a state/territory approved training organisation?

    Are you planning to reside permanently in NSW?

    You may be eligible to receive the NSW RSA by completing a bridging course

    If you wish to apply to Liquor & Gaming NSW to complete their RSA bridging course, please note that EOT cannot confirm if your interstate RSA will be accepted, and it is your responsibility to research and confirm you meet the eligibility requirements.

    You may be eligible to work temporarily in NSW using your current RSA

    If you wish to temporarily work in NSW under Automatic Mutual Recognition, please note that EOT cannot confirm if your interstate RSA is eligible, and it is your cresponsibility to research and confirm you meet the eligibility requirements before commencing work in NSW.