The Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) has launched a new initiative for training bar owners and staff in Ireland. In addition to current face to face RSA training which began in 1999, the RSA Online course responds to the demand for a server training option which is more accessible and cost effective.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) who represent well over 100,000 people employed in the service and hospitality sector, have rowed in behind the initiative.
Following extensive global research and in consultation with key industry personnel, RSA Online is approved by medical and legal experts. The new initiative is a 90 minute online (e-learning) course consisting of an interactive learning component, examination and certification.
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Speaking at the launch at Dublin pub The Bridge 1859, Mary Kennedy, owner of Alcohol.ie and developer of the RSA Programme said; “Bartenders and servers have a tough job pleasing the customer and obeying the law can be challenging. Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) training is designed to support the real needs of the industry, instilling confidence to make decisions and act decisively when the need arises. Customer safety, protection of minors and moderate consumption of alcohol are key elements of responsible serving and its importance to our country’s health welfare is crucial. “Having achieved significant success through our face to face RSA training, we are delighted to be in position to bring our output to the next level. ‘RSA Online’ is user friendly, quick and comprehensive. It contains real life scenarios, interactive quizzes and multimedia animation, providing a good knowledge base for all those employed in the service industry.”
“Meeting all current EU guidelines and using the latest e-learning technology, the Irish RSA Programme is recognised as one of the best server training courses in Europe. Initial dialogue with the Department of Health has been good and we would urge the Department of Health to take a look at how this programme can be implemented for the benefit of those working in the service and sale of alcohol.”
Padraig Cribben, Donal O’Keeffe and Tim Fenn, CEO’s of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, The Licensed Vintners’ Association and The Irish Hotels Federation, respectively, welcomed the new online programme. The three men stated it would of great benefit to the entire service industry and would equip all staff in pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants with the skillset needed to best serve the consumer. The collective feeling amongst the three representatives is that the Irish consumer will be able to enjoy a drink safe in the knowledge they are being served by a fully qualified member of staff.
They also stressed the importance of alcohol being sold in a controlled and regulated environment and warned of the scant consideration being given to the manner in which alcohol is being sold in supermarkets up and down the length and breadth of the country.