What You Need to Know about RBS Training

Two alcohol servers serving alcoholic drinks at a bar
All Your Questions About the California RBS Certification Answered

The Responsible Beverage Server Training Act was passed in California in 2017, and it is finally taking effect in less than six months. Starting July 1, 2022, all alcohol servers and their managers are required by law to hold a valid Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) certification.

If you’re an alcohol server, bartender, or manager in an establishment that serves alcohol, and are wondering how this new mandate impacts you, keep reading! In this article, we’re answering all your questions about the RBS training program and how you can get your alcohol serving license online!

What is the RBS Certification?

Overconsumption of alcohol and underage drinking are serious public health issues. In the United States, more than 95,000 people die each year from excessive alcohol use. In 2019, 7 million youth between 12 and 20 years of age in the US reported drinking more than just a few sips of alcohol, and almost a quarter of 14- and 15-year-olds had more than one drink.

These are staggering statistics, especially when we acknowledge that drinking can contribute to injuries, serious short- and long-term health consequences, and even death.

California Assembly Bill 1221, which introduced the Responsible Beverage Server Training Act, is designed to address this very problem. By educating alcohol servers and their managers about the dangers of underage drinking and excessive alcohol consumption, the State of California aims to reduce alcohol-related harm caused in the community.

Simply put, the RBS Certification is an alcohol server certification or an alcohol server permit. It is awarded to persons who have completed training with an RBS training provider approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and passed the online RBS exam administered by ABC with a score of 70% or better. The RBS Certificate issued is digital and stored in the RBS Portal. This certificate is valid for three years.

Who Needs to be RBS Certified?

Do you work in an establishment with an ABC license to serve alcoholic drinks on-site in California?

Do you interact with customers in any capacity concerning alcoholic drinks? OR Do you train, directly hire, or oversee staff who interact with customers in any capacity concerning alcoholic drinks?

If you answered YES to both of those questions, you will need to undergo the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program by July 1, 2022.

This new regulation impacts establishments with an ABC license to serve alcoholic beverages for customer consumption within the licensed premises. Examples include restaurants, bars, fast-casual dining, tasting rooms (including off-sale locations), hotels, and stadiums. These establishments must have their alcohol servers and managers RBS Certified within 60 calendar days from when the law takes effect i.e. August 31, 2022.

The new bill defines alcohol servers anyone who performs any of these functions:

  • Checking customer identification for alcoholic beverage service or entry to an ABC on-premises licensed establishment
  • Taking customer orders of alcoholic beverages
  • Pouring alcoholic beverages for customers
  • Delivering alcoholic beverages to customers

In the context of the new mandate, ‘manager’ refers to anyone who trains, directly hires, or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC-licensed establishment, as well as anyone who trains them in carrying out duties related to serving alcohol to patrons.

Is RBS Certification Required in California?

Simple answer, YES.

The Responsible Beverage Server Training Act was passed as a state mandate and goes into effect on July 1, 2022. Within the state of California, RBS certification is an obligatory requirement for all alcohol servers and their managers. Luckily, ABC licensees have sixty calendar days from when the law takes effect (up till 31 August, 2022) to ensure their staff completes their RBS training and gets certified.

How do I Get the RBS Certificate?

Getting the RBS Certificate is a relatively simple process with two main parts – completing the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program offered by a provider approved by ABC and passing the ABC exam with a score of 70% or better.

If you need to get the RBS Certificate, you can register for a personal account on the RBS Portal and complete the Server Registration form. Via this portal, you can search for approved training providers to find one that fits your needs. #1 Premiere Continuing Education is an ABC-approved training provider that offers an in-depth RBS training course to equip every alcohol server and their manager with the information, skills, and tools to do their jobs effectively and responsibly.

Once you have finished the course, you can take the RBS exam via the portal. You will have three attempts to achieve a score of at least 70%. Upon fulfilling these requirements, the certificate will be automatically generated and tied to your Server Registration profile.

How Can a Licensee Check if a Person is RBS Certified?

As a licensee, you need to verify that all of your alcohol servers and their managers are RBS certified by July 1, 2022, to comply with the new regulations. The ABC site for licensees to confirm server certification and maintain online records is still under development, but #1 Premier Continuing Education has a solution.

If your alcohol servers and managers take the RBS Training Program offered by #1 Premier Continuing Education, you can easily verify their certificate via the online certificate verification portal. This makes it a painless process to check if your staff is abiding by the new regulations and to avoid any future issues with ABC’s enforcement.

We often think of being a bartender or alcohol server as a fun job or an enjoyable career, but it does come with responsibilities. The RBS training ensures that anyone dealing with serving alcoholic beverages is well equipped to meet the challenges of their job.

#1 Premiere Continuing Education’s ABC-approved RBS training is in-depth, engaging, and interactive, ensuring that alcohol servers and managers have the necessary information and skills to perform their duties responsibly.

Éste curso también está disponible en español: #1 Capacitación en Servicio de Bebidas Responsable.

With individual and group options available, getting RBS certified and staying compliant with state regulations has never been easier. Get started today with your RBS training online!

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