Unit of competency details

SITHFAB009A - Provide responsible service of alcohol (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHFAB201 - Provide responsible service of alcohol 17/Jan/2013
Supersedes and is equivalent to THHBFB09B - Provide responsible service of alcohol 18/Feb/2009

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 19/Feb/2009

Training packages that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIS10 - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training PackageSport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package 1.2-1.3 
SIF08 - Funeral Services Training PackageFuneral Services Training Package 1.1 
SIT07 - Tourism, Hospitality and Events Training PackageTourism, Hospitality and Events Training Package 2.3-3.0 
CUE03 - Entertainment Training PackageEntertainment Training Package 3.1-3.2 
FDF10 - Food ProcessingFood Processing 2.0-4.1 
RGR08 - Racing Training PackageRacing Training Package 1.1 
SIR07 - Retail Services Training PackageRetail Services Training Package 1.3-3.3 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIT10207 - Certificate I in HospitalityCertificate I in Hospitality
SIT30407 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)
SIT30707 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in Hospitality
RGR20308 - Certificate II in Racing Services (Racing Administration)Certificate II in Racing Services (Racing Administration)
SIT40307 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in Hospitality
RGR40508 - Certificate IV in Racing Services (Racing Administration)Certificate IV in Racing Services (Racing Administration)
RGR30308 - Certificate III in Racing Services (Racing Administration)Certificate III in Racing Services (Racing Administration)
FDF30411 - Certificate III in Wine Industry OperationsCertificate III in Wine Industry Operations1-3 
SIR30212 - Certificate III in Retail OperationsCertificate III in Retail Operations1-2 
SIT30607 - Certificate III in EventsCertificate III in Events
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Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 25/Nov/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to responsibly sell or serve alcohol and to satisfy the requirements for responsible sale and service of alcohol (RSA) under state or territory legislation.

A harm minimisation approach is central to compliance with liquor licensing legislation which, across all Australian States and Territories, imposes obligations on all licensed venues to participate in the management of public safety through the responsible sale and service of alcohol.

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.

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 may require candidates to complete a bridging course to address these specific differences.

All persons undertaking training as part of a national qualification that includes the sale and service of alcohol must complete this unit. Under differing state and territory legislation it is a required unit only for certain nominated personnel operating in licensed premises.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Responsible practices must be undertaken wherever alcohol is served and sold, including where alcohol samples are served during on-site product tastings. This unit, therefore, applies to any workplace situation where alcohol is served and sold, including all types of hospitality venues, retail liquor outlets and tourism venues such as wineries, breweries and distilleries. Training and assessment must be contextualised so that the requirements of specific industry sectors and workplaces are met.

This unit applies to all levels of sales personnel involved in the sale or service and promotional service of alcohol in licensed premises, including the licencee when involved in sales. Those selling and serving alcohol may include food and beverage attendants; retail liquor sales persons; winery, brewery and distillery cellar door staff; supplier sales representatives and the licencee.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Sell or serve alcohol responsibly.


Sell or serve alcohol according to provisions of relevant state or territory legislation, licensing requirements and responsible service of alcohol principles.


Provide accurate information  to customers on alcoholic beverages according to enterprise or house policy and government legislation, including types, strengths, standard drinks and the alcoholic percentages of a range of frequently sold alcoholic beverages.


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


Identify issues related to the sale and service of alcohol  to different types of customers , especially those at risk , and incorporate them into sales or service.


Assist customers to drink within appropriate limits.


Prepare and serve standard drinks or samples  according to industry requirements.


Encourage customers courteously and diplomatically to drink within appropriate limits.


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


Monitor emotional and physical state of patrons for signs of intoxication and ill effects of illicit or other drug usage.


Where appropriate, offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.


Politely decline requests for alcohol to be dispensed in a manner that is irresponsible , or which encourages the rapid or excessive consumption of alcohol , and advise customers of the reasons for the refusal.


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


Assess intoxication levels of customers using a number of methods, including observing changes in behaviour , observing emotional and physical state of customers, monitoring noise levels and monitoring drink purchases.


When assessing intoxication, take into account factors that may affect individual responses to alcohol .


Identify customers to whom sale or service must be refused according to state and territory legislation, including minors, those purchasing on behalf of minors, intoxicated persons, and persons affected by the consumption of illicit and other drugs.


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


Refuse to provide alcohol.


Refuse service in a polite manner and state reasons for the refusal.


Speak to intoxicated  customers in a suitable and consistent manner, minimising confrontation and arguments and pointing out signage  where relevant.


Provide appropriate assistance  to customers when refusing service.


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


Use appropriate communication and conflict resolution skills  in handling difficult situations.


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


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 enterprise policy.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

appropriate communication and conflict resolution skills for dealing with intoxicated patrons

  • literacy skills to read and comprehend documents such as ID cards, proof of age cards, driver's licences, statutory signage, warning signs and wording within advertising or promotional material, in-house policies and procedures and any general plain English regulatory and advisory information issued by local, or state and territory liquor licensing authorities
  • numeracy skills to measure and calculate standard drinks or samples and calculate blood alcohol levels as they relate to alcohol consumption.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • public interest reasons for implementation of responsible service of alcohol practices, including:
  • government and community concern with alcohol misuse and abuse
  • crime, violence and anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol abuse
  • impact of excessive drinking on:
  • local neighbourhood and community
  • premises and staff
  • customers
  • particular types of customers who may be at heightened risk such as young people, pregnant women and minors
  • government agencies such as the local police, health facilities and road authority
  • key agencies and how to source relevant information on laws, regulations and codes of practice or conduct
  • current promotional and strategic community education campaigns developed and conducted by agencies and industry groups
  • effects of alcohol on:
  • emotional state
  • health
  • physical alertness
  • factors that affect individual responses to alcohol, including:
  • gender
  • weight
  • general health
  • rate of consumption
  • food intake
  • other substances taken
  • time for effects of alcohol to be registered
  • standard drinks and acceptable measures of alcohol
  • indicators of intoxication, including ways of assessing intoxication of customers
  • ways of assessing customers affected by the consumption of illicit and other drugs
  • principles of harm minimisation
  • strategies laid down in legislation and codes of conduct developed by government agencies or industry groups and in-house policies that are designed to reduce the harm associated with liquor abuse
  • understanding that these requirements are strategies to minimise the harm associated with liquor abuse

  • knowledge and understanding of liquor laws and regulations at a depth relevant to the scope of job responsibility within licensed premises, including the following list that expresses general statements about requirements of liquor legislation and information that must be customised for each State or Territory:
  • legislative definition of intoxication
  • role of individual staff members and supervisors or managers in providing responsible service of alcohol, including seller or server duty of care and liability
  • requirement to adopt and use statutory signage on the premises for the entire range of circumstances applicable to the enterprise
  • requirements for mandatory content of any warning signs and wording within advertising or promotional material of any form, such as print advertising or internet sales
  • requirements for the remote sale and delivery of alcohol sales generated via the telephone, fax, email or mail
  • requirements for proof of age and obligations to minors under local legislation
  • provisions for retaining and reporting falsified proof of age documents
  • provisions for requiring someone to leave the premises
  • transportation options
  • barring procedures, where applicable
  • opening and closing hour provisions
  • requirements for monitoring noise and disturbances in and around licensed premises
  • requirements laid down in codes of practice or conduct developed by government agencies or industry groups
  • requirements described by an in-house policy, standard or code of practice or conduct
  • training and record keeping requirements
  • banned or undesirable products
  • personal and business implications of breaching any laws, regulations, government or industry-driven codes of practice or conduct
  • offences and penalties relating to offences
  • legal restrictions on alcohol use customised to state or territory legislation, including intoxication provisions of liquor licensing laws
  • legal drink and drive limits.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • working knowledge and understanding of the relevant state or territory liquor legislation and industry codes and the ramifications of non-compliance for the enterprise and individual staff members
  • knowledge of underpinning reasons for and benefits of responsible service of alcohol
  • knowledge of principles of responsible service of alcohol and harm minimisation
  • ability to apply knowledge of responsible service of alcohol and harm minimisation to alcohol sales or service situations, according to the level of responsibility of the candidate's current job role or the role they are seeking.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • activities that allow the candidate to demonstrate the application of knowledge to specific responsible service of alcohol situations, which might include interaction with others to demonstrate appropriate communication skills
  • use of relevant and current publications, signage, information and fact sheets distributed by key government agencies and industry bodies
  • use of organisations or individual trainers and assessors approved or accredited by the liquor licensing authority, where required by certain states or territories.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods that comply with assessment requirements set by the relevant state or territory liquor licensing authority should be used to assess the practical skills and knowledge required to sell or serve alcohol responsibly.

Because of the nature of this unit, i.e. intoxication provisions, it may be inappropriate in a training or assessment situation to demonstrate the practical aspects of this competence in the workplace or in a realistic simulation, therefore role-plays or case studies are recommended.

The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • written and oral questioning or interview to test knowledge of legislation and all other knowledge components of this competency
  • role-play by candidate to demonstrate ability to deal with intoxicated persons or refuse sales or service
  • case studies and problem-solving activities
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

For holistic purposes, combined training and assessment is appropriate, but determination of competency for this unit must focus on the understanding and implementation of responsible service of alcohol practices that meet the requirements of state or territory legislation.

Assessing  employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Accurate information  may be provided to customers:

  • verbally
  • by use of mandatory signage
  • by use of fact sheets and advertising material that comply with legislative requirements.

Issues related to the sale and service of alcohol  may include:

  • familiarity with specific customers
  • physical stature
  • demeanour and mood
  • social context
  • perceived health status
  • perceived effects of illicit and other drug usage.

Different types of customers , especially those at risk  may include:

  • young customers
  • women
  • minors
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • people from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • people affected by the consumption of illicit and other drugs.

Standard drinks or samples  should be measured using:

  • appropriate nip measures
  • electronic dispensing and measuring devices
  • appropriately sized sample glasses.

Samples  may include tastings of any item for sale in a:

  • retail liquor outlet
  • winery
  • brewery
  • distillery
  • hospitality venue.

Erratic drinking patterns  may include:

  • mixing a wide range of drink types
  • drinking quickly and asking for more immediately
  • ordering more than one drink for self-consumption
  • mixing alcohol consumption with consumption of prescription or illicit drugs
  • consistently returning to the tasting site to request more samples
  • ordering multiple samples
  • ordering large samples
  • ordering 'triple shots' or extra large drinks.

Examples of requests for drinks to be dispensed in a manner that is irresponsible , or which encourages the rapid or excessive consumption of liquor  may include:

  • test tubes
  • yard glasses
  • laybacks
  • jugs of spirits and mixers
  • shooters
  • rocket fuel
  • large samples
  • multiple samples for self-consumption.

Changes in behaviour  may involve the customer becoming:

  • quarrelsome
  • disorderly
  • aggressive
  • violent.

Factors that may affect individual responses to alcohol  include:

  • gender
  • weight
  • general health
  • rate of consumption
  • food intake
  • other substances taken, especially illicit and other drugs.

Proof of age  according to state or territory liquor legislation includes:

  • current driving licence
  • proof of age card
  • passport.

Intoxicated :

  • denotes those to whom service may be refused due to excessive consumption of alcohol
  • 'unduly intoxicated' may also be used in some state or territory legislation.

Signage  may include:

  • standard promotional signs issued by the relevant state or territory licensing authority
  • signs produced in-house that comply with wording required by legislation
  • warning notices within any form of advertising.

Appropriate assistance  to customers when refusing sale or service may include:

  • organising transport for customers wishing to leave
  • providing information on taxis
  • assisting the customer to connect with their designated driver
  • offering to sell or serve non-alcoholic drinks
  • offering alternatives to alcohol, including food.

Appropriate communication and conflict resolution skills  may include:

  • using open and non-aggressive body language
  • using a number of strategies to diffuse a situation, such as taking the person away from an audience or blaming the refusal on the 'law'
  • monitoring the reactions of other customers
  • picking early warning signs and intervening before the person is intoxicated
  • not using physical touch or body language
  • remaining calm and using tactful language.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Food and Beverage