RSA Course in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory

Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training is now available in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Responsible Service of Alcohol Course
April 26, 2024

The Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS) is proud to announce the launch of its Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and South Australia (SA). This represents a significant expansion of this program beyond Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, further demonstrating AIFS’s commitment to promoting the safe and responsible service of alcohol throughout Australia. 

RSA training is a legal requirement for anyone working with alcohol, whether they serve, sell, or supervise its consumption. Read on to discover how AIFS is making it easier than ever for businesses to comply with alcohol service laws in the ACT and SA by introducing this government-approved RSA course.

Understanding the Importance of RSA Training

Data produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) indicates that alcohol-related incidents are responsible for approximately 30,000 hospitalisations and 1,950 deaths annually. These figures highlight the substantial burden that alcohol use imposes on individuals, families and the healthcare system as a whole.

Hospitalisations and deaths can result from a range of conditions and incidents directly linked to alcohol consumption. They include acute intoxication, accidents or injuries while under the influence and long-term health conditions caused by chronic alcohol consumption, such as liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. 

All of this reiterates the need for effective public health strategies and interventions to manage alcohol consumption effectively and reduce its associated harms.

Beyond being a regulatory requirement, RSA training also helps reduce alcohol-related incidents in the community by educating those who sell or serve alcohol on how to do so responsibly. 

By understanding the effects of alcohol and learning strategies to manage and minimise its impacts, staff can contribute to a safer, more enjoyable environment for everyone.

RSA Course: An Overview

The RSA course is designed to equip participants with a solid understanding of their legal responsibilities regarding the safe and responsible service of alcohol, as well as strategies to minimise harm. This training is crucial for ensuring that those working in the hospitality industry are well-informed and prepared to handle alcohol service in a manner that prioritises safety and compliance with Australian legislation.

The course content is comprehensive, covering a range of topics essential for responsible alcohol service. These include understanding the social impacts of alcohol, the effects of alcohol on the body, strategies for harm minimisation, legal requirements and best practices for serving alcohol responsibly

Participants will have to take 16 lessons, two case studies, a reading activity, and either an Observer Report or a Video Assessment to complete their training. 


Lesson 1 - The social impacts of alcohol and RSA responsibilities.

Lesson 2 - The impacts of alcohol on the body.

Lesson 3 - Blood alcohol concentration and the factors that affect it.

Lesson 4 - Calculating and serving standard drinks.

Lesson 5 - The signs of intoxication.

Lesson 6 - The duty of care concepts and principles of harm minimisation.

Lesson 7 - Myths that exist around sobering up.

Lesson 8 - The laws related to alcohol in Australia.

Lesson 9 - The agencies that exist to enforce alcohol laws.

Lesson 10 - Acceptable and unacceptable IDs.

Lesson 11 - The steps to take when checking IDs and verifying age.

Lesson 12 - The correct procedures for verifying IDs.

Lesson 13 - When to stop service to intoxicated customers.

Lesson 14 - The techniques and practices for stopping service.

Lesson 15 - How to get your customer home safely and transport options.

Lesson 16 - Organisational policies and procedures relevant to the responsible service of alcohol.

Unit of Competency: SITHFAB021

The RSA course encompasses SITHFAB021, a specific unit of competency that focuses on the responsible service of alcohol. 

This unit of competency is listed in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and is part of the nation's vocational education and training (VET) system. It is designed to equip alcohol servers with the essential knowledge and skills required to serve alcoholic beverages in a legal and responsible manner.

SITHFAB021 covers various elements of alcohol service, including:

  • Understanding alcohol's impact: Societal and individual implications of alcohol consumption.
  • Age verification: Techniques for checking IDs and confirming a person’s age.
  • Recognising intoxication: Strategies for identifying intoxication and dealing with such situations.
  • Standard drinks and alcohol percentages: Overview of what counts as a standard drink and how alcohol percentages work.
  • Refusing service: Skills for refusing service in a responsible and legally compliant manner.

While specific requirements may vary across Australia's states and territories, SITHFAB021 serves as a baseline qualification that is widely accepted across the country.

Assessment and Certification

The assessment process is designed to ensure participants have thoroughly understood the course material and can apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. Assessment includes multiple-choice quizzes at the end of each lesson, case studies, a reading activity and a practical component that can be fulfilled through a Virtual Video Assessment or an Observer Report. 

The successful completion of these assessment activities will result in the award of a Statement of Attainment confirming that the individual has met the RSA training requirements set by the Australian government.


Each lesson is followed by a multiple-choice quiz. Participants must score 100% before moving on to the next lesson. They have five attempts to achieve this, but can also contact Customer Support to reset the quiz if required.

Case Studies:

The course also includes two short case studies. Participants must read each case study in detail before answering multiple-choice questions based on the scenarios provided.

Reading Activity:

Once all lessons and case studies have been successfully completed, students must take part in a reading activity concerning in-house policies and procedures. Again, this content must be reviewed in detail before answering a series of multiple-choice questions.

Virtual Video Assessment or Observer Report:

To comply with government standards for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training, students must demonstrate that they can perform certain practical tasks correctly. There are two options available when it comes to demonstrating proficiency in these hands-on activities.

1. Virtual Video Assessment

Students can choose to record a Virtual Video Assessment on any mobile device, laptop or desktop computer equipped with a webcam and microphone. Videos are recorded and submitted using an interactive tool provided by AIFS.

2. Observer Report

Anyone who has been working in the industry and serving alcohol to customers within the last 12 months can nominate an Observer to submit a skill assessment report using the form provided. An AIFS assessor will then review the report or video and grade it.

Flexible and Accessible Training

The RSA course is completed online, with no classroom-based learning required. This allows participants to start immediately after enrolment and complete the course at their own pace at a time and place that suits them.

Although the core components of the course only take around 3-4 hours to complete, AIFS students have up to 12 months to finish their training. This caters to those with busy schedules or who wish to take their time working through the various course activities.

RSA Training in the ACT and SA

The launch of the AIFS RSA course in the ACT and SA is an exciting development for the hospitality industry in these regions. It signifies an opportunity for workers to gain valuable knowledge and skills that will contribute to the health and well-being of the wider community.

With the course now recognised in most Australian states and territories, AIFS continues to lead the way in providing high-quality, accessible training that meets the needs of individuals and businesses alike.

RSA training is essential for anyone involved in serving or supervising the service of alcohol in a commercial setting. Ensure compliance and contribute to a culture of responsible alcohol service in the hospitality industry by enrolling with AIFS today. 

Need more info? Visit the AIFS website or get in touch with our expert team and discover all the benefits of the RSA course.