G'day, mates! Welcome to the land Down Under, where kangaroos hop freely, Vegemite is a national treasure, and good times are a way of life. If you're planning to work in Australia's vibrant hospitality industry as a backpacker or international student, there's one acronym you'll need to know: RSA. In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and explore why it's crucial to have this certification. So grab a cuppa and let's get started!

What is the RSA?

RSA stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol. It's an essential certification required by law for anyone involved in the sale, supply, or service of alcohol in Australia. This includes:

  • Bartenders
  • Waitstaff
  • Managers
  • and even Security Personnel working in licensed venues such as bars, pubs, restaurants, and clubs.
The RSA training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to serve alcohol responsibly, ensuring the well-being and safety of both patrons and the community.


Without the RSA certificate you are not allowed to work in any position where you are required to serve alcohol.

Who Needs an RSA?

If you're working in a licensed establishment where alcohol is served, you'll need to obtain an RSA certification. This requirement applies to both locals and international folks, including backpackers and international students seeking casual employment during their stay in Australia. Regardless of your role or the duration of your employment, it's essential to comply with the RSA regulations to promote a responsible drinking culture.

RSA Course

Why Is It Important to Have an RSA?

Now, you might be wondering... The RSA serves as a safeguard to ensure the responsible consumption of alcohol and reduce the potential harm associated with its misuse. By undergoing RSA training, you'll learn how to recognise signs of intoxication, deal with difficult customers, and implement harm minimisation strategies. Having an RSA certification not only keeps you compliant with the law but also enhances your employability and demonstrates your commitment to customer safety.

How much should I pay for an RSA?

The RSA course in Australia can be completed online (except in VIC) and typically lasts between 4 to 6 hours. Many educational centers offer additional hours for specialised disciplines such as bartending or wine tasting.

For instance, you may be offered the RSA course along with the opportunity to learn how to make cocktails and other related skills for potential employment as a bartender in Australia, for an additional fee.

The price of the RSA certification varies depending on the location, but it generally ranges from AUD 30 (USD 20) to AUD 100 (USD 67). Some courses may be slightly more expensive but include additional certifications, such as RSA+RSG (responsible service of gambling).

What is required for getting the RSA Certification?

The requirements may vary depending on the specific course, but generally the following is required:

✔️Full name and passport photo.
✔️Your email address to initiate the course, where you will send all the information plus the certificate.
✔️Date of birth.
✔️USI number (unique student identifier) or student number, which is often required for some online training courses.

In most states you need the RSA Australia certificate before you can start working. Except for QLD, where there is a 30-day deadline for submission, which starts on the day you start work. And in the case of TAS, you have up to 3 months to do so!


If you think that working in Hospitality is for you, we recommend you to do the course even if you haven't got a job yet, as it is a plus when applying for any position where alcohol is served.


Benefits of getting an RSA for Backpackers and International Students

Having an RSA certification can be a game-changer for backpackers and international students in Australia. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Increased Job Opportunities: Many hospitality establishments prefer hiring staff who already hold an RSA certification. It shows that you're ready to hit the ground running and can handle the responsibilities that come with serving alcohol.

  2. Enhanced Employability: In a competitive job market, having an RSA can give you an edge over other candidates. Employers value individuals who are committed to promoting responsible drinking and ensuring a safe environment for patrons.

  3. Valuable Life Skills: RSA training equips you with essential life skills that extend beyond the hospitality industry. You'll learn effective communication, conflict resolution, and how to handle challenging situations—an invaluable toolkit for future endeavours

    RSA Qualification

    How to Obtain an RSA Certificate:

    Obtaining an RSA certificate is a straightforward process. There are both in-person and online RSA courses available. If you prefer the flexibility of online learning, you can enroll in an RSA course online. These courses are designed to provide the same comprehensive training as in-person classes, allowing you to study at your own pace and convenience. Upon successful completion of the course, you'll receive your RSA certificate, commonly referred to as an RSA card, which verifies your qualification in responsible alcohol service.

    Different RSA Regulations Across Australian States: Can you get an RSA to work anywhere in Australia?

    NO! RSA regulations can vary across Australian states and territories. Here's a brief overview of the requirements in each region:

    📍New South Wales (NSW): In NSW, you must complete the Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol (SITHFAB002) course. After you'll get a "Competency Card" valid for five years. Mandatory for anyone serving alcohol.

    📍Victoria (VIC): The RSA certificate in Victoria is issued after completing the Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Here the course is on-site. The course lasts about 4 hours and you receive the certificate 2 or 3 days after the course. It's also valid for five years.

    📍Queensland (QLD): The RSA certificate in Queensland is obtained by completing the Responsible Service of Alcohol course and must be renewed every three years. You can get an RSA, valid for all these states: SA, NT, WA, and QLD.

    📍Western Australia (WA): RSA training in Western Australia is governed by the Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor. The Responsible Service of Alcohol course is mandatory and valid for five years. You can get an RSA, valid for all these states: SA, NT, WA, and QLD.

    📍South Australia (SA): You can get an RSA, valid for all these states: SA, NT, WA, and QLD. It is valid indefinitely.

    📍Tasmania (TAS): In this state you can do an online course, which is valid in Tasmania and also in SA, NT, WA and QLD!

    📍Australian Capital Territory (ACT): In this state you can do the RSA Australia certification online and it is valid in other states, but this condition depends on the provider, so it is recommended that you check before your exam.

      Congratulations, mate! You've now gained a better understanding of RSA and its importance in the Australian hospitality industry. Remember, obtaining an RSA certification not only expands your job prospects but also equips you with the knowledge and skills to promote responsible alcohol service. So, whether you're pouring pints in Perth or shaking cocktails in Sydney, always serve with a smile and a commitment to responsible hospitality.

      Cheers, and good luck on your Aussie adventures!

      Contact us