What is California Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training?

Navigating California Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Requirements

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) designed Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) regulations to reduce the risks of harm from alcohol in California communities. The California RBS Training requirement helps ensure that anyone who serves alcohol understands the dangers of underage drinking and over-serving intoxicated customers. 

This post explains the legislation behind the training and answers questions to help you determine if this training is a requirement for your job.

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Are you an Alcohol Server or Manager in the State of California? Beginning July 1, 2022, Assembly Bills 1221 and 82 will go into effect. These bills require that on-premises alcohol servers and managers have a valid RBS certification from an ABC-approved training provider and pass the online ABC-administered RBS exam by August 31, 2022. All ABC On-Premises Licensees have sixty (60) days from July 1, 2022 to have their staff trained and certified by...

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What is California Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training?

The passage of Assembly Bill 1221 in 2017 created the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act. The bill required the Alcoholic Beverage Control to create the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program (RBSTP).

This program ensures that servers of alcoholic beverages and their managers learn the dangers of serving alcohol to minors and over-serving alcohol to patrons. This program reduces alcohol-related harm within communities. This new mandate created a new training requirement for an estimated 1,000,000 on-premises alcohol servers, their managers, and licensees.

Beginning July 1, 2022, all alcohol servers and their managers must have valid RBS certifications from an ABC accredited RBS training provider and pass an online ABC administered RBS exam. New employees must complete this training within 60 calendar days from the first date of employment.

What is the mission of the RBS Training Program?

The California ABC’s mission is to ensure effective RBS training for servers and their managers to curb harm related to underage drinking and the overuse of alcohol within California communities.

Who is required to take RBS training under AB 1221?

Beginning July 2022, any ABC licensee who has an “ABC On-Premises License” will need to have their staff (alcohol servers and managers of alcohol servers) trained and certified in RBS within sixty (60) days of the date of initial employment. This classification of licensee includes, but is not limited to, restaurants, bars, fast-casual dining, tasting rooms (including off-sale locations), hotels, and stadiums.

RBS certification means that the alcohol server has successfully completed training by an ABC-approved training provider and passed the alcohol server certification exam (hosted by ABC). Once the server passes the training and exam, certification is valid for three (3) years. The alcohol server certification must be renewed before it expires to remain compliant.

“ABC On-Premises License” means an ABC license that grants the privilege to serve alcoholic beverages to customers who then consume them on the licensed premises.

The following license types have on-premises privileges: Type 1, 2, 3, 4, 23, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 83, 86, 87, 88, 99.

A nonprofit organization that has obtained a temporary daily on-sale license or a temporary daily off-sale license from the department must designate a person or persons to receive RBS training before the event. That designated person or persons are to remain on-site for the duration of the event.

[California Business and Professions Code §25682 [Requirements for Alcohol Servers in California effective July 1, 2022]]

What is the definition of ‘alcohol server’ under AB 1221?

An alcohol server, as defined under AB 1221 includes anyone who does any of the following:

  1. Checks customer identification for purposes of alcoholic beverage service or entry to an ABC on-premises licensed establishment;
  2. Takes customer alcoholic beverage orders;
  3. Pours alcoholic beverages for customers; or
  4. Delivers alcoholic beverages to customers.

How long is RBS training?

There are three (3) steps that must be followed to complete your RBS training and receive a certificate:

  1. Register at the RBS Portal for your RBS exam. You will be required to pay $3.00 for the exam when you register.
  2. Select an ABC-approved California RBS Training course from the providers listed on the state site. You can complete any of these courses in 2-4 hours. The provider will relay your results to the state within 24 hours after course completion.
  3. The state will then grant you access to the alcohol server certification exam through the portal. Complete the exam with a score of 70% or above to receive your certification.

How much does RBS training cost?

The cost to obtain RBS certification varies across providers. The state charges $3.00 for the exam when you register on the RBS portal.

California ABC-approved RBS Training courses can range from $8.95 for a basic level course to $40.00 for a premium course, like our California RBS Training, which helps participants develop intervention skills. Once training is completed and relayed back to the state, you will have access to take the ABC-administered RBS exam. You will have three (3) attempts to complete the exam with a score of 70% or better.

Do managers and servers need the same California alcohol safety training?

Yes. Servers and managers working at on-premise alcohol establishments such as restaurants, bars, fast-casual dining, tasting rooms (including off-sale locations), hotels, and stadiums selling drinks by the glass must:

  1. Complete RBS training from an ABC-approved RBS Training Provider, and
  2. Pass an online ABC-administered RBS exam.

These requirements must be completed successfully by individuals currently holding these positions by August 31, 2022.

You can find answers to other questions you may have related to job role requirements on the California ABC site.

How Do I Get My California RBS Certification?

  • Begin by creating an account on the California RBS Portal to register. 
  • Once you enter the portal, complete the online application for RBS certification and pay the $3.00 application fee.
    • Be sure to write down your ID number found in the Server Certificate Details section. This ID number is needed to register for any course.
  • Visit 360training and select TIPS California Responsible Beverage Server training course.
    • Complete your purchase of the TIPS California Responsible Beverage Server training course using the ID number provided during your California RBS registration.
  • Complete your TIPS California RBS training course and TIPS exam. You can complete this course in 2-4 hours.  
  • 360training will notify California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) of your course completion within 24 hours.
  • Within 48 hours, you will receive an email notification from California RBS indicating that you may begin your state exam. The California ABC administered exam must be completed within 30 days of the date you completed your TIPS course. Complete the exam with a score of 70% or above to receive your certification.

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