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Hospitality Training News has the latest Information on our Sydney Bar School Training Courses & Industry News.

RSA certification for working holidaymakers

Introduction to Responsible Service of Alcohol

If you are planning to work in a bar or another establishment in Australia where you can buy alcohol, you will need to get your Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. If you are caught working without having your RSA certification, you and your employer will face huge fines.

The Australian mainland is divided in six states; New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (TAS), Victoria (VIC) and two territories; Northern Territory (NT), Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who all have their own rules on liquor and RSA licensing.

To save you researching the difference in legislation per state and what the best way is to go about getting yourself RSA certification that covers for your time in Oz, we have documented it all for you in this blog. So if you are planning to work and travel Australia, and are keen to work in hospitality in (potentially) multiple states / territories, keep reading!

Different types of RSA certifications

The map supplied in this blog will show you the qualifications all respective states and territories require with regards to RSA qualifications. This map can also be seen on the RSA course pages on Sydney Bar School.

There are four different ways of getting your RSA certification;

1. RSA Correspondence - distance learning via email
2. RSA Online Course - online training approved
3. RSA Classroom Course - face to face classroom training
4. Online Bridging Course (Victoria only)

States QLD, WA, SA, TAS and territories ACT & NT allow people to take an online test of the National RSA training meaning you can do an online course, at your own pace, leisure and in your own preferred location.

New South Wales (including Sydney) is the only state that allows people to do their RSA via email correspondence. RSA correspondence suits people who live in remote locations, and are too far from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to do the course, or people who cannot make the set classroom course times.

The most popular RSA course in NSW is the standard RSA NSW course which takes place in a classroom. Together with a group of fellow students, you’ll spend the day (six hours) with a teacher who will first teach you all the RSA knowledge you need to know to pass the test, then quiz you about it.

What will you learn during the course?

The course is not difficult and a lot of what you will learn feels like it is common sense. However, you will learn about the dangers of alcohol, get taught how to deal with tricky situations, in particular how to deal with (difficult) customers who’ve had a few too many. The trainer will teach you the best ways to refuse more drinks to intoxicated people while maintaining a great atmosphere in the venue.

What’s the best course for people planning to work and travel around Australia?

If you are not sure where in Australia you are going to be working just yet, we recommend doing the RSA NSW course in a classroom. NSW is a large metropolitan area with lots of hospitality jobs available, from Sydney to Byron Bay! Also, it is cheaper than the RSA correspondence course plus it is recognised in all other states except Victoria. And to have your NSW RSA certificate recognised in Victoria, you can simply do a free bridging course online!


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Sydney’s cocktail frenzy

Sydney’s bar scene is booming, with lots a new little pop up bars and hidden laneway cafes opening up every other day or so. You’ll find bars under libraries, behind book shops, in old record shops or sign less in lone alleyways. Sydney is turning it up and the ol’ ‘going for a drink with your mates’ is becoming a truly exciting and intimate experience.

Yes people still have a beer or wine at their local, but more and more people are venturing out to explore new and exciting drinking holes. A conversation overheard on the train the other day: “So what did you get up to Friday eve?” “Friday… ah I went to that hidden cocktail bar, you know the one under Subway - you wouldn’t be able to find it if you didn’t know about it - it’s amazing! The staff were all wearing denim dungarees and pretty much all the guys had a big beard. We ordered these cocktails, I forgot the name but they were cherry pepper martinis in a shoe shaped capsicum rimmed glasses!”

Back in the day, cocktail menus were limited and you could order a simple Bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice and vegetable garnish), a martini (gin & vermouth) or margarita (tequila & triple sec), nowadays it’s almost a competition for bars to come up with the funniest cocktail names and strangest ingredients. That’s very OK though Sydneysiders love it! The sky's the limit and no one will raise an eyebrow if you order a cocktail containing homemade beetroot puree, cloudy organic apple juice, salty liquorice, lime and whiskey.

So what does this mean for employment? It means you can no longer get away with just having your compulsory RSA certification to get a job in one of these hip and happening bars. Customers who pay over $20 for a cocktail, expect a bit of a show and of course, an amazing tasting drink. To be eligible to work among other cocktail making artists, you need to know your cocktails.
Sydney Bar School offer cocktail classes where experienced cocktail bartenders teach you all the tricks of the trade so you can truly impress at the bar! You will learn all about the history of cocktail making, different methods of preparing cocktails and of course, very importantly, how to present the cocktails to your future customers. During the last bit of the course, you will be able to put your newly learnt skills and creativity in practice when you design your own cocktail!

Booking your cocktail course is easy; simply check out this page to sign up for the four hour course. Make sure you’re not driving afterwards as Sydney Bar School use real alcohol to mix their drinks and it would be rude not to taste what you’ve created…. ;-)

And... if you feel like becoming a proper all-rounder, why not choose the Professional Bartending course? Besides learning how to shake it like a pro, this two-day course includes coffee training, bartending, food hygiene and food & beverage. Imagine adding these courses & skills to your CV, employers will love it!


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Aussies and their inspiring love for coffee

Australia has an incredibly unique coffee culture. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first moved to Oz in 2008 and realised the extent of the love Aussies have for their coffee. I have seen quite a bit of the world, but what I came across in Sydney, I’d never experienced before.  

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