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Responsible Beverage Service Program Requirements

The California Responsible Beverage Service Program



Any seller/server establishment in the state of California likely knows what the CA Responsible Beverage Service program is. But if you're new to the industry, you may not be all that familiar. However, if you want to get hired at that hot new restaurant in town, you're going to need to be well aware of what the CA RBS requirements are!

So what is the California RBS program, and what does it mean for sellers and/or servers in the state? We're here to help you figure it all out.

Learn it online with SellerServer

What is the RBS Program?

The California RBS program is a set of rules and standards created by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in 2009. According to the ABC, the RBS program is designed to "promote public safety and reduce risks" that come with alcohol service and sales. The RBS program is made up of 3 components:

  • A policy for alcohol service for all ABC-certified establishments
  • A seller/server alcohol training course to be taken by all seller/server personnel
  • Partnerships between establishments, law enforcement, local government, and community groups to ensure the compliance with all California alcohol laws and regulations

The alcohol training program is not mandatory; however, because it helps prevent establishments from incurring any liability in the event of improper service, many establishments have made the program a part of their required hiring practices.

The Alcohol Training Education Curriculum

There are 3 different courses in the Responsible Beverage Service program, each aimed at a different seller/server demographic.

  • The Level 1 Off-Premises course is aimed at special events servers and those who will be serving alcohol to be consumed of the premises of the establishment.
  • The Level 2 On-Premises course is geared toward "professional servers," or personnel such as bartenders, wait staff, and on-premises security who will be dealing with direct service or sales on the premises of the business.
  • The Level 3 Management course is designed to train supervisors and managers of seller/server establishments in their roles and responsibilities overseeing the service of alcohol to the public, as well as their staff.

The on-premises course is only 1 hour long, while the off-premises and management courses are both 3 hours long. Each course covers the required curriculum of responsible alcohol service, including intervention techniques, proper serving methods, California alcohol service laws, and how to quickly identify fake IDs or underage patrons.

Training Online

With state-approved providers like Seller Server, each of these California alcohol training courses can be taken online at the trainee's convenience. Each course is broken down into 8 subject-based chapters that teach all of the required material, but it doesn't require the use of a traditional classroom. The student will be mailed a certificate of completion upon passing their course, which they can then take to their employer to show that all California RBS requirements have been met.

Now Alcohol Certification is Fast And Simple

Proper Training is Essential

Without efficient and thorough alcohol training, the risk of dangerous hazards becomes much higher. If a server happens to furnish alcohol to a minor, or if a bartender over-serves a customer who then is involved in an accident or is the victim of some other calamity, both the business and the employee are in danger of facing criminal charges.

By requiring employees and managers to go through the California ABC-approved RBS requirements, the business ensures that the entire staff is well-trained in how to properly serve their patrons, and is schooled on what to look out for to prevent any mishaps from occurring. However, in the event of an emergency, the establishment will be shielded from any liability, and the state will not revoke their liquor license or shut down the business.