Did you know the Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) can benefit you as a licensed alcohol vendor?
Even if your state or local jurisdiction does not require alcohol seller/server training, you might still benefit from the training and certification.
This article will examine the benefits of owner and employee participation in responsible seller/server alcohol programs.
- Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) training can qualify you for reduced public safety violation fines and civil actions.
- RVP helps establish house policies.
- RVP helps owners to train employees with best practices for serving alcohol.
- RVP participation can lower financial risks and insurance costs.
- RVP participation can reduce drunk and underage driving accidents.
Let’s dive in and learn more about the Responsible Vendor Program!
Overview of the Responsible Vendor Program (RVP)
The Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) program encourages alcohol sellers to adopt best practices in serving and selling alcohol. Some states call it “alcohol seller-server training.”
The purpose of the RVP is to encourage and maintain public safety.
The compliance training program is run on a state-by-state basis.
Within some states, the counties decide whether to make the program mandatory for alcohol sellers and servers.
Whether by state or county, alcohol Seller and Server Training is mandatory in Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
|Does not require alcohol server training, but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training. (Certification mitigates administrative penalties)||Training Required||Age Requirement for Serving||Program Name||State Board||Alcohol seller-server certification requirements|
|Alabama||Voluntary||19||Alabama Responsible Vendor Program||Alabama ABC Board website||Does not require alcohol server training but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training. (Certification mitigates administrative penalties)|
|Alaska||Mandatory||21||Alaska Mandatory Alcohol Server Training||Alaska ABC Board||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Arizona||Mandatory for licensees and managers||18||Arizona Title 4 Training||Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control||Mandatory also required for employees of wholesale distributors|
|Arkansas||Voluntary||19||Arkansas Responsible Permittee Program (Certification mitigates administrative penalties)||Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control||Does not require alcohol server training but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.|
|California||Mandatory||18||California Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training||California Alcoholic Beverage Control ABC Board||RBS registration, certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Colorado||Voluntary||18||Colorado Approved Responsible Vendors Training||Colorado Liquor Advisory Group||Does not require alcohol server training but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.|
|Connecticut||Voluntary||18||Connecticut Alcohol Seller and Server Training||Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection – Liquor Division||Does not require alcohol server training but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.|
|Delaware||Mandatory for managerial positions only||18||Delaware Responsible Server Training||Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner (OABCC)||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Florida||Voluntary||18||Florida Responsible Vendors Act||Florida Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Georgia||Mandatory for delivery riders only||18||Alcoholic Beverage Delivery Training Providers||Georgia Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco|
Hawaii County: state-approved training program completion certificate by Hawaii County Department of Liquor Control.
|Hawaii||Regulated at county levels||18||Honolulu Liquor Commission Server Training & Test||Mandatory in certain cities such as Boise and Meridian|
Hawaii County: state-approved training program completion certificate by Hawaii County Department of Liquor Control.
|Kauai County: “You must be familiar with the Rules & Regulations of the Liquor Control Commission of the County of Kauai, as well as the Liquor Laws of the State of Hawaii.”||Kauai Department of Liquor Control||Kauai County: certificate of completion provided by the Kauai Department of Liquor Control|
|Honolulu Liquor Commission’s alcohol server training program||City/County of Honolulu: certificate of completion of the Honolulu Liquor Commission’s alcohol server training program|
|Maui Department of Liquor Control|
Hawaii County Department of Liquor Control
|Maui County: certificate of completion of a state-approved training program for one person 21 years of age or older designated by the licensee.|
|Idaho||Mandatory at certain cities such as Boise and Meridian||19||Alcohol Awareness Training (City of Boise and Meridian)||Idaho Alcohol Beverage Control Board||“For employees working in cities of Boise and Meridian: certificate of completion of city-approved training program|
|Illinois||Mandatory for all on-premises alcohol servers and anyone who checks ID for alcohol service||18||1.) Complete an approved alcohol server training program|
2.) Apply for either a Restricted Employee Permit (if you’re 19 or 20 years old) or an Unrestricted Employee Permit (if you’re 21 or older)
|Illinois Liquor Control Commission||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program, BASSET Card|
|Indiana||Complete state-approved alcohol server training and present a certificate of completion|
Talbot County: requires all employees to complete approved CLASSROOM training
|19||Server Training||Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Division||Mandatory also required for employees of wholesale distributors|
|Iowa||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Compliance Training (I-PACT)||Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division|
|Kansas||Voluntary||18||Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division|
|Kentucky||Voluntary but several cities and counties have ordinances mandating RBS Training||20||Kentucky Server Training in Alcohol Regulations||State Liquor Authority website||City of Bowling Green: requires alcohol server training with an ABC-approved server training, must complete training within 30 days of hire|
City of Lexington-Fayette: requires approved server training for anyone who sells or serves alcoholic beverages. Must complete training within 60 days of hire
City of Russellville: Servers must complete training within 120 days of hire and 60 days for Licensee
The City of Nicholasville (also includes tobacco sales laws): Must complete training within 90 days of hire.
|Louisiana||Mandatory||18||Responsible Vendor (RV) Program (Certification mitigates administrative penalties)|
Server training provider list
|Learn how to apply at The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Maine||Voluntary||18||Maine Alcohol Seller Server Certification||Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery|
|Maryland||Massachusetts||18||Montgomery County Alcohol Server Training|
Frederick County Alcohol Server Training
Counties and states have limited information. Contact the
Maryland Alcohol Licensing Association for the latest information
|Maryland Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission||Mandatory for the licensee and all managers on duty only|
|City of Framingham Alcohol Server Training|
City of Chicopee Alcohol Server Training
Massachusetts Gaming Commission: “Before beginning employment, the gaming beverage licensee or jointly responsible
a person must receive proof that managers or other principal representatives successfully
completed a recognized alcoholic beverage server training program, such as Training for
Intervention Procedures (TIPS).”
|Voluntary||18||Does not require alcohol server training, but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.||Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission|
|Michigan||Voluntary except in the Cities of Branson, Cape Girardeau, Columbia and St. Joseph||18||Alcohol Server Training||Michigan Liquor Control Commission||Mandatory for the licensee and all managers on duty only|
|Minnesota||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Server Awareness Training||Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement|
|Mississippi||Voluntary||18||Responsible Server Training||Alcoholic Beverage Control division|
|Missouri||Voluntary||18||State of Missouri Alcohol Responsibility Training (SMART)|
State Alcohol Server Training
|Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control|
|Montana||Mandatory||18||Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (RASS) Training||Montana Alcoholic Beverage Control division||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Nebraska||Voluntary except in the cities of Lincoln, Kearney, Ogallala and North Platte||19||Responsible Beverage Service Training|
Nebraska Liquor Control Commission
|Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Counselors|
State Liquor Authority:
1550 College Parkway Suite 115
Carson City, NV 89706
Call Center: 1-866-962-3707
4600 Kietzke Lane
Building O, Room 263
Reno, NV 89502
Grant Sawyer Office Building
555 E. Washington Ave Suite 1300
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
2550 Paseo Verde Parkway, Suite 180
Henderson, NV 89074
Las Vegas requires servers to have food-handling certification
|21||Nevada Alcohol Awareness Training Service Providers||New Hampshire||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Does not require alcohol server training, but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.||It is mandatory for the licensee and all managers on duty only||18||Alcohol Server Training||NH Liquor Commission|
New Hampshire State Liquor Commission
Robert J. Hart Building
P.O. Box 503
Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0503
|Complete state-approved alcohol server training and present certificate of completion|
|New Jersey||Complete state-approved alcohol server training and present a certificate of completion||18||Alcohol Beverage Control Licensee Handbook||New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control||Voluntary except for the City of Hoboken|
|New Mexico||Mandatory||19||Alcohol Server Education||New Mexico Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control||Does not require alcohol server training, but there may be perks for going through approved alcohol server training.|
|New York||Voluntary||18||A.T.A.P. (Alcohol Training and Awareness) program||New York Liquor Authority|
|North Carolina||Mandatory for licensees.||18||Responsible Alcohol Seller/Server Program|
Alcoholic Beverages Control Division
|Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|North Dakota||Mandatory in areas such as Williston, Dickinson, Grand Forks, Fargo, Watford City, and West Fargo.||18||Server Training||North Dakota Attorney General||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Ohio||Voluntary||19||Alcohol Server Knowledge Program (ASK)||Division of Liquor Control||It is also required for hotel employees who stock hotel room mini-bars|
|Oklahoma||It is mandatory for sellers/servers, employees checking ID, and valet parking staff.||18||Server Training||Oklahoma ABLE Commission||Complete a certified training program and pass the final exam within 14 days after receiving an ABLE Employee license.|
|Oregon||Mandatory||18||Alcohol Server Education||Oregon Liquor Service Division||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Pennsylvania||Mandatory||18||Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP) Seller/Server Training||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Rhode Island||Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Website||18||Alcohol Server Training||Liquor Enforcement and Compliance Division||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|South Carolina||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Server Training||Pennsylvania Liquor Board|
|South Dakota||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Training||Alcohol Division website||RLPS Server number, certificate of completion of the state-approved training program|
|Tennessee||Mandatory||18||Alcohol Awareness Training||Alcoholic Beverage Commission||Alcohol Server Training (Incentive includes immunity against administrative penalties for selling to a minor)|
|Texas||Voluntary||18||Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
1. On-premises server training: is required for employees who serve alcohol consumed on-premise
2. Eliminate Alcohol Sales to Youth (E.A.S.Y.) training: required for store clerks that sell alcohol for off-premises consumption
|21||Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Vermont||Voluntary||18||1st Class Server Training||Vermont Liquor Control Department||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Virginia||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Server Training||Apply at their Alcoholic Beverages Commission website||Certificate of completion of the state-approved training program, Class 12 permit (for ages 21 and older) OR Class 13 permit (for ages 18-21)|
|Washington||Mandatory||18||Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST)||Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB))|
|West Virginia||Voluntary||18||Alcohol Server Training||Alcohol Beverage Control Administration|
|Wisconsin||Voluntary||18||Responsible Beverage Server Training||DOR Alcohol Beverage Division||Certificate of completion of state-approved training program|
|Wyoming||Voluntary except City of Cheyenne, Douglas, and Torrington||18||Alcohol Server Training||Liquor Division|
Mandatory Alcohol Server Training
The extent to which alcohol server training is mandatory varies from state to state.
For example, in Washington, servers and their supervisors must take the training.
A “server” serves, mixes, or sells alcohol.
Washington’s rules apply to on-premise consumption of alcohol, as opposed to selling liquor in a dedicated liquor store.
MAST is required by law for persons who serve, mix, sell, or who supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption and for those conducting alcohol tasting in authorized locations. For further detail regarding MAST requirements, please see Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 314-17.
Training to Prevent Alcohol Sales to Minors
Whether mandatory or voluntary, training protects the sellers, servers, consumers, and communities where alcohol is sold.
Training Protects Minors and the Community
The main objectives of the RVP are to reduce sales to minors, improve responsible selling practices, and foster collaborative efforts between licensees and the community to ensure compliance with alcohol sales regulations.
By participating in the training, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to responsible alcohol sales and help protect the well-being of their customers.
The RVP Programs’s Goals:
- Reduce alcohol sales to minors
- Improve responsible selling practices
- Foster relationships between sellers and the community
Training to Prevent Alcohol Sales to Minors
The RVP is intended to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors.
The training includes hands-on methods to prevent sales to minors for the safety of the children and community members.
Training to Previous Serious Alcohol-Related Accidents
This has nothing to do with being a killjoy. Underage drinkers are more likely to have impaired judgment and risk serious accidents. They are at risk of serious long-term health issues and death from unsupervised drinking.
Training to Reduce Risks of Businesses that Sell to Minors
Selling alcohol to minors is not only a moral obligation but also a legal responsibility.
Businesses that sell alcohol to individuals under the legal drinking age can face severe legal consequences, including fines, license suspensions, or even revocation.
These penalties can greatly impact the reputation and profitability of the establishment.
By participating in the RVP, businesses can proactively prevent underage sales and avoid the legal repercussions of such actions.
Techniques for preventing alcohol sales to minors include:
- age verification
- false identity recognition
- vendor policies that deter underage sales
Training to Reduce Sanctions and Fines
One of the key benefits of RVP training is the potential for reduced sanctions in the event of public safety violations.
Training of servers and supervisors demonstrates a commitment to responsible alcohol sales.
By participating in training, your business shows that it is committed to public safety. A business that doesn’t train its employees might be judged as negligent should a safety violation occur during an on-premise alcohol-serving event.
Participating in the training program can help mitigate the negative impact of violations and allow businesses to rectify any mistakes.
Potential protection against civil actions
RVP training also offers potential protection against civil actions related to alcohol sales.
Training employees in responsible alcohol serving and selling shows a commitment to community safety.
Showing a commitment to training employees in safe alcohol serving demonstrates that you, your employees, and your business operate in good faith and are, therefore, not engaging in negligent behavior.
This can serve as a defense in the event of any civil actions, reducing the risk of legal liability and potential financial losses.
Training to Ensure Employee Compliance
Businesses that participate in the RVP must maintain employee training records.
This includes keeping track of the dates and details of training sessions and maintaining copies of employee certifications.
By keeping thorough records, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to responsible alcohol sales and ensure compliance with program requirements.
Benefits of accessible training materials
The availability of accessible training materials is crucial in ensuring that all employees have the opportunity to receive adequate training on responsible alcohol sales practices.
By providing training resources in multiple languages and various formats, the RVP eliminates language barriers and makes training accessible to individuals with different learning preferences.
This ensures that businesses can effectively train their employees and promote responsible alcohol sales practices within their establishments.
Responsible Vendor Training FAQs
What is a Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) class and how does it help my business?
A Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) class is a course designed to provide training and certification to individuals who sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Taking this class helps your business by ensuring that your staff is well-educated on important topics such as alcohol laws, responsible service practices, and the prevention of alcohol-related incidents. By completing the RVP class, your business can demonstrate a commitment to responsible alcohol service, reduce liability risks, and potentially qualify for benefits such as lowered insurance rates.
How do I get a Responsible Vendor Program certificate?
To obtain a Responsible Vendor Program certificate, you need to complete an approved RVP class. After successfully finishing the course and passing the final exam, you will receive a certificate recognizing your completion of the program. This certificate can be displayed in your business to demonstrate compliance with the responsible alcohol service requirements.
What topics are covered in a Responsible Vendor Program class?
A Responsible Vendor Program class covers a variety of topics including state and local alcohol laws, alcohol sales and service procedures, recognizing and preventing intoxication, the health effects of alcohol, proper identification checking, and strategies for handling difficult patrons. The course outline typically includes information on responsible alcohol service practices, customer service skills, and best practices for maintaining a safe and regulated environment.
Can I take the Responsible Vendor Program class online?
Many Responsible Vendor Program classes are available online. Online training offers convenience and flexibility as you can access the course materials and complete the training at your own pace and on your own schedule. Online courses often include interactive elements such as quizzes and videos to enhance the learning experience.
How long does it take to complete the Responsible Vendor Program class?
The duration of the Responsible Vendor Program class can vary depending on the training provider and the individual’s pace. On average, the course can be completed in a few hours to a full day. Online courses offer the flexibility of completing the training over multiple sessions, allowing participants to switch back and forth between the course material as needed.
Is there a final exam at the end of the Responsible Vendor Program class?
Most Responsible Vendor Program classes include a final exam. The exam assesses your understanding of the course material and serves as a criterion for certification. To successfully pass the final exam, it’s important to study and comprehend the information provided throughout the course.
Can I take the Responsible Vendor Program class on a mobile device or tablet?
Many Responsible Vendor Program classes are designed to be accessible on mobile devices and tablets. This allows you to conveniently complete the training using a device of your choice, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
Can I become a member of the Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) even if I’m not a business owner?
Individuals who are not business owners but are interested in promoting responsible alcohol service can become members of the Responsible Vendor Program (RVP). Membership certification demonstrates your commitment to responsible alcohol service and can be beneficial for individuals pursuing careers in the service industry, such as bartenders or servers.
Whether Responsible Vendor Program training is mandatory or voluntary, your business can benefit from participating in alcohol server training best practices. Training benefits businesses, employees, consumers, and the community.
It protects everyone from underage drinking, customer overconsumption, and fatal car accidents. The training might give your business reductions in insurance premiums and protection against sanctions and fines.