Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Your RBS Certification

Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training is now mandatory in California. RBS training teaches servers what to be mindful of when serving alcoholic beverages and how to mitigate alcohol-related harm responsibly. Owners of ABC-licensed establishments might have questions about RBS training, and current employees will likely have certification questions.

The passing of Assembly Bill 1221 requires servers, bartenders, waiters, and managers to be certified within 60 days of hire. Read below to learn how to get RBS certification and who is required to have an RBS certification. It is essential for all alcohol servers to be RBS certified in an establishment to reduce alcohol-related harm in California communities. RBS training and the exam make sure that your staff has a framework that supports understanding what effect over-inebriation has, what fake IDs look like, and what are acceptable forms of ID.

Who Is Required To Have an RBS Certification?

Any employee or manager who checks customer identification at the door or before the sale, takes customer alcoholic beverage orders, pours alcoholic beverages for customers, or delivers alcoholic beverages to customers must be RBS certified as of July 1st, 2022. Managers who train, directly hire, or oversee alcohol servers on-premise must also be licensed.

The following employees require RBS Training when working at a liquor-licensed establishment:

  • Servers
  • Cocktail waiters/waitresses
  • Bartenders
  • Managers
  • Security employees

Individuals who serve alcohol must be 21 or older. For businesses that serve food, individuals between 18 to 20 years old are permitted only to serve alcoholic beverages, not pour, and these individuals also require alcohol server certification. New employees who do not possess RBS certification have 60 days from the first date of employment to take RBS training and pass the exam.

Hotel employees handling the stocking of alcoholic beverages in patron rooms in controlled access alcoholic beverage cabinets must be at least 21 years of age and RBS certified. Any ABC licensee that has an “ABC On-Premises License” should review staff certification periodically and make sure that all new employees are certified within 60 days of new hire.

Who Enforces RBS Training Requirements?

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control enforces RBS training requirements. This state department regulates the manufacture, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. ABC agents have the authority to conduct investigations, make arrests, and also issue violation notices to businesses, servers, and customers who violate the law. 

ABC agents usually work in plainclothes to investigate businesses that may be violating ABC laws. The California ABC oversees and regulates the RBS training programs in the state. Our RBS training program is certified by the California ABC. Our goal is to provide the most accurate RBS training program in the state of California so that employees and licensees are aware of the laws and regulations surrounding alcoholic beverages.

The California ABC employs minor decoys legally to buy alcohol from licensed premises. The ABC minors attempt to buy alcohol at liquor stores, restaurants, bars, and other events that serve alcohol. If carded, the minors will show their own valid ID, which shows they are underage or say they have no identification with them. This is to test the establishment’s knowledge and refusal of selling alcohol to minors. 

Having proper RBS training and certification is not only about following the law but also about preparing servers for underage buyers and California ABC operations to check establishments.

What Does RBS Training Cover?

Our RBS training program covers real-life situations to prepare you to work in the industry and pass the RBS certification exam. Alcohol has different properties that require employees at liquor-licensed establishments to be aware of over-inebriation, over-serving, and alcohol effects on the body. AIM to Serve’s RBS training program has been approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to prepare employees for the certification exam that is required by law.

Topics we cover include:

  • What forms of ID can be accepted in California?
  • What is the best way to sober up an intoxicated person?
  • What is the maximum penalty for serving alcohol after hours?
  • What does a legitimate form of ID look like?

How Should I Prepare for RBS Certification?

The ABC does not grant access to the final exam until after it receives confirmation from a licensed RBS training program that you have completed the course. RBS certification lasts for three years and must be renewed before it expires. The exam consists of 50 questions pulled from a pool. To pass the exam, a minimum score of 70% is required. 

Since the exam is an open note, open-book test with no time limit, taking notes during your RBS training program will allow you to use them on the final exam. You are allowed to take the exam three times. If a minimum score of 70% is not reached within those three tries, then you must retake the RBS training program.

How To Get Your RBS Certification

If you want to know how to get RBS certification, we can help. Alcohol servers must take RBS training and pass the final exam whether they are renewing or getting their certification for the first time. Aim to Serve offers training through our website and mobile app. Make sure that the information entered during RBS program registration is identical to your California RBS registration. This includes your full name, email address, and Server ID number.

To begin, register with the ABC here. Next, enroll in the RBS training for California course. Our RBS training mobile app allows you to access all training on the go and is self-paced. Once you have provided your Student ID number and completed the course, you can then take the state exam.

RBS training will submit your completion to the California Beverage Control department, and you will have 30 days to complete the exam. We are required to collect your Last Name and Student ID Number in order to report the status of completion on our certified RBS training course. Our FAQ covers many of the questions employees ask when wondering how to get their RBS certification. Together, we can protect California’s communities from alcohol-related incidents.