SITHFAB021 - Provide responsible service of alcohol



This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to responsibly sell, serve or supply alcohol.

Responsible practices must be undertaken wherever alcohol is sold, served or supplied, including where alcohol samples are served during on-site product tastings. This unit therefore applies to any workplace where alcohol is sold, served or supplied, including all types of hospitality venues, packaged liquor outlets and wineries, breweries and distilleries.

The unit applies to all levels of personnel involved in the sale, service, including promotional service and supply of alcohol in licensed premises. Those selling or serving alcohol may include food and beverage attendants; packaged liquor salespersons selling in person, over the phone or online; winery, brewery and distillery cellar door staff; delivery services and supplier sales representatives. The unit also applies to security staff who monitor customer behaviour and to the licensee who is ultimately responsible for responsible service of alcohol (RSA) management.

The unit incorporates the knowledge requirements, under state and territory liquor licensing law, for employees engaged in the sale, service or supply of alcohol.

Certification requirements differ across states and territories. In some cases, all people involved in the sale, service including promotional service and supply of alcohol in licensed premises must be certified in this unit. This can include the licensee and security staff.

This unit covers the RSA skill and knowledge requirements common to all States and Territories. Some legislative requirements and knowledge will differ across borders. In some cases, after completion of this unit, state and territory liquor authorities require candidates to complete a bridging course to address these specific differences.

Those developing training to support this unit must consult the relevant state or territory liquor licensing authority to determine any accreditation arrangements for courses, trainers and assessors.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Food and Beverage

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Follow the principles of responsible service of alcohol.

1.1 Identify the provisions of relevant state or territory legislation, licensing requirements, house policy and responsible service of alcohol principles.

1.2. Where appropriate, request and obtain acceptable proof of age prior to sale or service.

1.3. Provide accurate information to customers on alcoholic beverages according to organisation or house policy and government legislation.

1.4. Assist customers with information on a range of non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

1.5. Identify issues related to the sale or service of alcohol to different types of customers, especially those at risk.

2. Assist customers to drink within appropriate limits.

2.1. Use knowledge of industry requirements and professional standards to determine the volume for standard drinks or samples.

2.2. Use a professional manner to encourage customers to drink within appropriate limits.

2.3. Identify erratic drinking patterns as an early sign of possible intoxication and take appropriate action.

2.4. Monitor emotional and physical state of customers for signs of intoxication and signs of illicit or other drug use.

2.5. Where appropriate, offer food and non-alcoholic beverages in accordance with house policy.

2.6. Decline requests for alcohol to be dispensed in a manner that is irresponsible and advise customers of the reasons for the refusal.

3. Assess alcohol affected customers and identify those to whom sale or service must be refused.

3.1. Assess intoxication levels of customers using appropriate methods.

3.2. Identify factors that may affect individual responses to alcohol.

3.3. Identify customers to whom sale or service must be refused according to state and territory legislation.

4. Refuse to provide alcohol.

4.1. Refuse sale or service in a professional manner, state reasons for the refusal, and where appropriate point out signage.

4.2. Provide appropriate assistance to customers when refusing service.

4.3. Where appropriate, give customers a verbal warning and ask them to leave the premises according to organisational or house requirements, the specific situation, and provisions of state or territory legislation and regulations.

4.4. Use appropriate communication and conflict resolution skills to handle difficult situations.

4.5. Refer difficult situations beyond the scope of own responsibility to the appropriate person.

4.6. Promptly identify situations that pose a threat to the safety or security of colleagues, customers or property, and seek assistance from appropriate colleagues according to organisational or house policy.


Foundation Skills


Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • read at times complex information in:
  • general, regulatory and advisory information issued by local, or state and territory liquor licensing authorities
  • in house policies and procedures
  • specific provisions of relevant state or territory licensing requirements
  • read a range of identification (ID) and proof of age documents, signage, and warning signs and wording within in-house policies and procedures.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide information on responsible service of alcohol laws in a way that is easily understandable for customers
  • speak firmly and clearly with intoxicated customers in a manner that de-escalates conflict.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate volume and number of standard drinks or samples
  • determine customer’s age from date of birth on ID and proof of age documents.

Teamwork skills to:

  • share customer information with team members to ensure proper responsible service of alcohol practices within the organisation.

Self-management skills to:

  • deal with hostile or uncooperative customers in a professional manner and in line with organisational procedures.

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