Do All Employees of an Alcohol Establishment Have to Be RBS Certified?

Sometimes it’s hard to understand what you’re allowed to do and not do as an employee of an alcohol establishment. What does the RBS certificate mean and does every employee have to be certified? The answer is complicated, so let’s find out in this article. If you’re thinking of opening an alcohol establishment, it’s important to be aware of the requirements that your state may have for liquor licensing. In particular, you may need to make sure that all employees are RBS certified.

What is RBS certification?


Responsible Beverage Service or RBS certification is a standard that businesses must meet in order to sell alcohol. Essentially, it’s a certification that proves that an alcohol establishment is responsible and accountable for its employees and the safety of its customers. Why is this important? Because RBS certification ensures that your employees are properly trained in alcohol safety protocols and able to handle customer complaints calmly and effectively. In addition, it can protect your business from legal liabilities should something happen while an employee is working.

The RBS certification is not required for all employees working in an alcohol establishment, but it is recommended for those who work with alcohol. The goal of the RBS program is to make sure that alcohol is served in a safe and responsible way, and that employees are knowledgeable about how to serve it responsibly.

Where to get certified?

If you’re looking to get RBS training for your employees, there are a few places you can go. One option is to contact your local liquor authority. These agencies typically have staff who are knowledgeable about issuing certificates and can help you get started. You can start your RBS training online. Another option is to speak with a certified public accountant (CPA). CPAs can often provide valuable guidance when it comes to complying with regulations related to alcohol sales. They may be able to help you identify potential issues and suggest solutions. Finally, if you don’t feel comfortable going through either of the above options, you could always consult with an attorney. An attorney may be able to offer more specialized guidance, depending on your specific situation.

Is RBS certification necessary for all employees?


In order to legally operate an alcohol establishment, including bars and restaurants, a business must have an RBS certification. This certification is required by state and local governments in order to ensure that the establishment is following alcoholic beverage laws and regulations.

While obtaining an RBS certification is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for businesses looking to comply with government regulations. The certification can help increase customer safety, prevent underage drinking, and keep track of inventory. In addition, obtaining an RBS certification can lead to increased profits for the business as it will attract more customers who are familiar with compliant establishments.

What are some pros and cons?

There are pros and cons to having RBS certification, but overall, it can be a valuable asset for businesses in terms of both safety and training. The benefits of having RBS certification include

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of safe drinking practices among employees.
  • Improved communication and coordination between employees when it comes to responding to incidents related to alcohol use.
  • Frequent refresher training on alcohol-related topics so that employees remain up-to-date on the latest information.
  • Increased confidence among employees when dealing with customers who may be intoxicated or impaired.
  •  Increased credibility for an establishment when potential patrons know that its staff has been rigorously trained in responsible alcohol consumption.

There are also some potential drawbacks associated with having RBS certification. For example, it can add an additional cost burden for businesses, as well as create a barrier to hiring new workers who do not possess the requisite qualifications. Additionally, because RBS is a specialized certification program, not all employees who work in an alcohol establishment will be eligible to receive it. Therefore, if you only want your staff members to be certified through another organization (such as ANZSCO), you may need to specifically designate an RBS for your business.

Is RBS training and certification mandatory to serve alcohol in California?


Yes, effective July 1, 2024, RBS training is required by CA Assembly Bill 1221 and Assembly Bill 82. The regulations have been incorporated into the California Code of Regulations, Title 4, Article 25, Sections 160-173.If you’re an on-premises alcoholic beverage server and your manager, you’ll have to register in the RBS Portal, take training from an authorized provider within 30 days, and pass the ABC Alcohol Server Certification exam within 60 days of completing training.

How long does the training take?

The RBS training typically lasts between two and four hours. The training covers topics such as responsible drinking, alcohol abuse prevention, and how to handle emergency situations that may occur during an establishment’s operations. Employees are also taught about the importance of reporting any suspected abuse or misuse of alcohol to a supervisor or police officer.

Penalties for violating provisions of the RBS?


It is against the law to operate an alcohol establishment in some countries if you are not legally authorized to do so. This means that you cannot sell, serve, or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. If you violate this law, you can be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to six months, or both. You also may be required to surrender your liquor license.

If someone under the age of 21 attempts to purchase or consume alcohol at an alcohol establishment that is not authorized to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, they can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If the underage person has any alcohol on their person or in their possession at the time of the attempted purchase or consumption, they can be charged with a felony offense.


As a business owner, it is important to be aware of the requirements your employees must meet in order to work in an alcohol establishment. In many states, all employees must be RBS certified (Restricted Beverage Server), and this includes waitstaff as well as bartenders and owners. If you are not sure whether your employees meet these requirements, it is best to speak with a licensed professional who can help you determine if they are qualified to work in your location.

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