RSA Courses Australia
Your passport to fun, well paid jobs in hospitality!
Best online RSA training for NSW, QLD, NT, SA and WA. (plus classroom training for Victoria)
Working in the hospitality industry in Australia is one of the best ways to meet people, earn great money (high minimum wage) and get a job anywhere in Australia. Before you start looking for job however, for most states it is mandatory that you have an Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate.
In this page:
- Which RSA course? (Different States have different requirements some can be done online some need to be done in a classroom)
- How it works
- Everthing else you need to know
- Jump to the online courses we recommend for QLD, NSW, WA, SA and NT
ALSO CONSIDER AN RSG: If you are applying to bars, hotels or to clubs they are likely to have poker machines and therefore it is probably a very good idea to get your "Responsible Service of Gambling" (RSG) certificate as well.
The Basics - Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) courses
Before you start work in the hospitality industry in Australia, there are specific courses that you must complete to ensure you have the necessary skills and knowledge and conform to the relevant Australian laws. To work in a position that involves the service of alcohol, a Responsible Service of Alcohol course (also known as an RSA course) is required. The RSA course is a nationally accredited course and training covers the law in each individual state of Australia. After completing a course (which involves training and assessment) you will receive an RSA certificate to show future employers.
Courses are suitable for bar staff, waiters, bottle shop attendants and anyone else working in licensed premises serving alcohol.
Note: Each state has it's own liquor legislation and it's own RSA accreditation particular to that state. This means you may need to get more than one certificate if you hope to work in different states. Some courses are accrediated for mutiple States - obviously a big advantage for travellers.
- Why do I need to complete a Responsible Service of Alcohol course?
- Complete your RSA course online — responsible service of alcohol — RSA for Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory
- How it works — completing the RSA course online
- Complete your RSA course in person for Victoria
- How it works — completing the course in person
- How much does the RSA course cost?
In Australia, it is against the law to serve alcohol to an intoxicated or underaged person. If proven, there are severe penalties for both the employers and employees involved, especially in case of injury. This is why it is mandatory in most States for all staff who serve alcohol to complete one of the Responsible Service of Alcohol courses. For most states in Australia the RSA course can be completed online except Victoria (Vic) where the courses needs to be done in person.
For anyone in Australia serving Alcohol this is important because many employers will not consider hiring you without it.
Fortunately for Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory the online Responsible Service of Alcohol courses can be completed online in about 3 to 4 hours before you start looking for work. It takes about 6 hours to complete the New South Wales course.
Don't forget to put on your resume that you have an RSA certificate before applying to jobs!
FYI New South Wales (NSW) RSA online training was suspended in February 2014 - please refer to NSW classroom training information below.
Most working holidaymakers travelling to Australia are unaware of the RSA rules and regulations until they arrive and apply for a job. Then they need to find out where they can enroll at a relevant training centre to complete the course and get their certificate. This can sometimes take weeks and may mean you miss out on a good job opportunity.
There are hundreds of courses - some good some bad - some cheap some expensive - but we recommend this course I did (and we have done others).
For the ultimate in flexibility, you can save lots of money by doing a course that can be used in several states - like the "5 States Package" that covers QLD, WA, NT and SA. For more information - Reviews, tips and even answers to the hardest questions check out the best RSA online QLD, SA, NT and WA.
Important Note - Doing The Right Course:
A "Nationally Accredited RSA Certificate" covers many states in Australia (including QLD, WA, SA, NT) but there are exceptions most importantly - VIC and NSW. If you think you might end up working in New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA) for example, you normally would have to get two certificates one that is "National Accredited" for Western Australia and one that is "Queensland Accredited". However some training companies enable you to get both certificates by doing just one course. Decide where you are likely going to want to work and just do the training which are includes the states you want to work.
Victoria - Classroom Only
If you would like to work in Victoria you will need to do a course in person when you get to Victoria.
Smart Training and Job Placement offers $45 courses which are four hours long and also the cheapest we could find. They have both day and night course options and locations around Melbourne. Book your course here.
For more information about getting a Victorian RSA Certificate and a list of providers with a handy map (so you can see which training center is closest to you) - Check out the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
Once you purchase an RSA course you'll get a unique pin number and password sent by email. You can start the course immediately and resume whenever you want - the system remembers where you were. Once completed, a Certificate of Attainment is issued to you. The course takes approximately 3 to 4 hours in total to complete. You will then be able to choose if you want to receive the certificate by email in PDF format or by mail or both. Most people choose both, but the printable copy sent to your email address is fine for your future employers.
NSW Note: For NSW you will be issued with a temporary certificate valid for 90 days. In that time you need to go to Post Office in NSW and get your photo I.D. card. In Feb 2014 online RSA training for NSW was suspended, so training will now need to be completed in a classroom - see below for recommendations.
Awesome for backpackers who want to keep their options open for all types of work in Australia: Look out for programmes specifically which include the RSA for Queensland, Nationally Accredited RSA (QLD, SA, WA, NT), RSG (Responsible service of gambling) and Hygiene for Food Handlers course (Save $70 compared with doing all the courses individually plus you know you have everything done. Make sure you put them all on your CV - It will show how serious you are at getting a job in hospitality). On the other hand if you just want to work in a service job the RSA certificate is often all you will need. In some cases you may need the other ones too but the RSA is by far the most common and will show that you are serious about getting work.
New South Wales - Classroom Only
If you prefer to do your NSW RSA course in-person in Sydney, Jobaroo recommends Training Course Professionals (TCP) to book your Responsible Service of Alcohol course at a time that works best for you. TCP is aimed at travellers too so you will be surrounded by lots of other backpackers. For convenience they have 3 locations in Sydney and run courses daily in at least one of the locations except Sunday. The Sydney City location at 428 George St is particularly handy for most travellers as it is very central and nearby accommodation for many backpackers is a short walk or train ride away. Another location that works well for many travellers is their Brookvale location at 682 Pittwater Road, perfect for those staying in Manly. (Take some learn how to surf classes while your there)
An RSA course costs about $130 AUD for NSW and takes 6 hours to complete. At the completion of the course you will be presented with your certificate, which you will need to show to employers prior to getting a job. Its a good idea to indicate that you have it on your CV before applying. The NSW RSA course is recognised in all states except Victoria and Queensland. If you loose your certificate at any point a new one can also be provided at nominal cost.
Most RSA courses cost about $60 AUD, except NSW which is about $130 ($70 of this course goes directly to the NSW government). If you want to work in multiple states it is a good idea to consider doing a combined course.
Beware of the cheap ones. Many backpackers trying to save a buck choose the cheap ones. In our experience this can often lead to second rate training and poor support. For example, most courses require that you contact a trainer (a real live person) if you fail a question twice - with cheaper courses you may be in for a long wait and be more likely to fail a question because the training sucks.