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Responsible Service of Alcohol

The article is written by Candice Locklee

One of the first things you should be thinking about when starting your exciting new life in Australia is how to get a job. It can be a stressful time when you’re applying for a job in a foreign country, but there are things you can do to improve your chances.

You may have heard of the term RSA. If you plan on getting a job in the hospitality industry where they serve alcohol to customers, you’ll need to take a short course in RSA training and hold a certificate before you are allowed to work there.

If you’ve never heard of an RSA or just want some more info, read on to find out what exactly an RSA is and why it’s a great idea to get one.

Study Anywhere_What is RSA


RSA stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol. If you plan on working in an environment that sells, serves or supplies alcohol in any form, it is a legal requirement in Australia that you have completed RSA training and hold an RSA certificate. Whether you’re planning on working in a restaurant or a café, a bar or a nightclub – an RSA is essential, even if you’re only cleaning up empty glasses rather than serving customers alcohol directly.

Study Anywhere_Why you need RSA 


By listing an RSA on your resume, you are giving yourself a much greater chance to secure a job in Australia by opening yourself up to a wider range of opportunities. As the majority of overseas students will find work in the hospitality industry, having an RSA will make it much easier to gain the attention of potential employers and help you get that job you have your eye on.

Aside from being a requirement, RSA training will teach you all about alcohol laws in Australia and instruct you on how to react in any number of situations that can arise in an environment that serves alcohol.

By the end of the course, you will understand important things such as the amount of alcohol in each drink that is served, the amount of alcohol that can safely be served to one individual, and what to do when dealing with someone who has had more drinks than they should. Health and safety rules are essential to know, as are laws such as the times of alcohol service (these are different for each state) and the fines you can be facing for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Study Anywhere_HOW YOU GET the RSA 


The process of getting an RSA is different for each state and territory in Australia, so it’s a good idea to visit the correct website to check what is required for the area that you plan on working in.

An RSA course can be taken in person or online (excluding Victoria) and can be completed in around 4-6 hours.

Update: Student Visa holders can now only get the RSA certificate at a CRICOS registered school.

Generally, the process requires you to pay a fee and read through the course materials provided to you either online or in a training center. You will then need to pass a test based on your understanding of the material that will be assessed by a registered trainer. Depending on your location, signatures and photo ID may be needed.

Once you pass the test, you can usually have your certificate of completion handed to you on the same day.

Study Anywhere_THINGS TO KNOW about RSA


Update: Student Visa holders can now only get the RSA certificate at a CRICOS registered school.

It’s possible to complete the RSA course online and receive your certificate the same day in all states and territories of Australia, excluding Victoria. If you plan on working in Victoria, you’ll have to visit a training center and complete a face-to-face course to get your certificate.

Before you start, check that the service provider is an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) and the course is Nationally Accredited so that your certificate is recognized in Australia.

In NSW, you will need a Photo Competency card in order to work. Similar to a driver license, the Photo Competency card is proof that you completed your RSA training. After you have passed the RSA test, you will be given your RSA Interim Certificate (valid for 90 days) which you can use to start work right away. You must then apply for your Photo Competency card as soon as possible which can be used for up to 5 years.

Here you can request an application form for the RSA course in Sydney or in Gold Coast and Brisbane.

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for $5,600
per year

The price includes one year of tuition fees and Student visa assistance from a registered migration agent. Valid until June 30, 2024.