If you are considering applying for a BC liquor license, in many cases you (the licensee), managers, sales staff and servers will be required to take Serving it Right (SIR) training. Many prospective BC liquor licensees mistakenly think that SIR training is only required of Liquor Primary license holders and their staff, but most license types require licensees, managers and servers to hold a valid SIR certificate.
BC Liquor Licensees Requiring SIR Training
|Liquor License Type||Who Requires Training?|
|Liquor Primary||Licensees, managers and servers and bartenders|
|Food Primary||Licensees, managers and servers and anyone left in charge|
|Catering||Licensees, managers, and staff serving liquor|
|Licensed Retail Stores||Licensees, managers and sales staff|
|Wine Stores||Any staff member making a liquor sale|
|Duty Free Stores||All managers and servers|
|Manufacturing Sampling Area, On-Site Stores, Lounges and Special
|Licensees, managers and servers|
|Agents||All agents and staff|
|Care Facilities||Staff who serve patients, residents or their guests must have SIR.|
|Special Event Permit||A modified version of SIR, “Special Event Server” (SES) training is required by permit holders, managers and servers at events with under 500 attendees; and all SEP servers (paid or unpaid) regardless of the event size or type|
See “Who must have a SIR certificate” for more information. Read our “Top 10 Questions About Obtaining a Liquor License in BC” (PDF).
About Serving it Right
SIR is a self-study course. To work in many BC liquor licensed establishments, employees will be required to complete and pass the course. The course materials are free, though at the time of this writing there is a $35 fee for the online exam and $40 fee for the print version of the exam. If the exam is failed, participants can retake the test for $10. The exam questions (30 multiple choice questions) are generated randomly so no two exams are alike. The exam is not timed and you can log out of the online exam and log back in to continue at any time. You must achieve a grade of at least 80% (24/30 questions correctly answered) to receive a certificate.
What You Learn
The SIR course teaches you about your responsibilities as a licensee, manager, or server in an establishment with a BC liquor license. The course has four broad chapters, including:
- Getting started
Covers signs of intoxication, legal liability, duty of care, creation and enforcement of responsible beverage policies.
- Alcohol Effects and Intoxication
- Alcohol and the Law
- Responsible Beverage Service
The course is followed by a review and final exam. Serving it Right reminds you that your responsibility does not end when you pass SIR certification. They recommend ongoing training and practice. You can preview the online SIR course for free at any time without taking the exam.
Effective September 15, 2015 all the SIR numbers were issued an expiry date of September 15, 2020. Any card issued after this time frame expires within 5 years of the date of issue. Therefore, it’s critical to always carry your card with you and employers now need to keep photocopies of their team’s cards and track these dates.
Who Can Take the SIR Course and Exam?
Although the course and exam are mandatory for most BC Liquor License holders, managers and staff (as noted in the table above), anyone can take the course and exam. There is no minimum age requirement. If you plan on working in BC’s busy and competitive food and beverage services industry, taking and passing Serving it Right training is viewed as a must by potential employers.
Contact Rising Tide Consultants About BC Liquor License Applications or Training
Rising Tide Consultants are expert liquor license consultants. Our services and products are designed to help licensees obtain and retain their liquor license. Contact us if you have questions about BC liquor license application process, training and policy and procedure manual development for your licensed establishment.