SITHFAB021 – Provide responsible service of alcohol

Home Hospitality Units SITHFAB021 – Provide responsible service of alcohol

SITHFAB021 Provide responsible service of alcohol

In this unit of study you will learn how to;

  1. Sell of serve alcohol responsibly
  2. Assist customers to drink within appropriate limits
  3. Assess alcohol affected customers and identify those to whom sale or service must be refused
  4. Refuse to provide alcohol


The consumption of alcohol has been part of human society for many thousands of years; as far back as 6000 BC grapevines were being cultivated in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas for the specific purpose of making wine. The Middle Ages in Europe saw an extensive development of choices of wines, beer and mead although wine remained the most popular choice in the areas of the continent that became Spain, Italy and France. During this time Monks began to brew nearly all the beer of good quality, which now used hops plus wine for celebrating mass. Beer manufacturing began to grow in Germany with many cities competing for the best products.

So alcohol has been part of society for much of recorded history. People down through the ages got together to have a drink to be sociable and to relax. And this has lasted to this day.

There is, however, a negative side to social drinking; when people drink too much and begin to behave in unacceptable and aggressive ways. This type of behaviour endangers not only the drinker themselves but, potentially, those around them.

Working in an environment in which alcohol is served, you will be legally obliged to impose restrictions and good sense on those who are either unwilling or incapable of doing so for themselves.

Sell or serve alcohol responsibly

Selling and serving alcohol is what working in a bar is all about. People will come in to your establishment to socialise with friends and enjoy themselves. It is part of your job, however, to serve these customers responsibly. To help you do this each State and Territory, in Australia, will have specific legislation that regulates the sale and supply of alcohol in their region. Some of these can be found on the following websites;

As an employee in the hospitality industry it is essential that you be aware of your legal obligations while at the same time offering friendly and courteous customer service.

Selling or serving alcohol according to legal obligations

Responsible service of alcohol is a vital component in any business that serves intoxicating beverages and you have very specific legal obligations; serving alcohol, particularly to patrons who have had too much to drink, will have an impact not only on that drinker but on the larger community around them.  Patrons may cause disturbances and behave in aggressive or even violent ways once leaving the premises. If you have continued to serve them after it becomes clear that they were intoxicated to, potentially, dangerous levels you may be contributing to their subsequent behaviour.

As you will learn, people who are normally quiet and friendly can turn aggressive and behave in a manner that is unbalanced and outside their normal patterns. So you must be aware of public interest reasons for practicing responsible service of alcohol and this will include government and community concerns over alcohol misuse and abuse as well as crime, violence and anti‑social behaviour associated with alcohol abuse.

This means you must have knowledge of the key provisions of liquor laws and regulations of your state or territory at a depth relevant to your job and your responsibility within licensed premises.

These may include some of the following:

  • understanding the definition of intoxication. While this may be difficult to define exactly it is generally said to be “A state in which a person’s normal capacity to act or reason is inhibited by alcohol or drugs”.
  • requirements for proof of age and obligations to minors under local legislation as well as provisions for retaining and reporting falsified proof of age documents
  • provisions for requiring someone to leave the premises
  • transportation options that can be used and offered as and when required
  • barring procedures for patrons behaving in an unacceptable manner
  • the role of individual staff members and supervisors or managers in providing responsible service of alcohol. This may include seller or server duty of care and liability
  • the requirement to adopt and use statutory signage (and its content) on the premises for the entire range of circumstances applicable to the organisation
  • requirements for the remote sale and delivery of alcohol sales generated via the telephone, fax, email or mail
  • opening and closing hour provisions
  • requirements for monitoring noise and disturbances in and around licensed premises
  • requirements described by any in‑house policy, standard or code of practice or conduct
  • training and record keeping requirements of the establishment
  • banned or undesirable products such as alcoholic ice blocks, aerosol products or vapour
  • personal and business implications of breaching any laws, regulations, government or industry-driven codes of practice or conduct as well as offences and penalties relating to offences

We will cover many of these points in more detail as we move through the unit.

For purchase information go back to hospitality unit page


Leave a Reply