Ontario’s Smart Serve Training Program Has Been “Refreshed”


Updates to Ontario’s Smart Serve® Responsible Alcohol Beverage Sales & Service Training Program have been released. It is important for licensees, owners, managers and staff working with alcohol, to be aware of the changes.

It is not required to recertify your training with this release (or at any time in the province of Ontario); However, understanding current liquor laws and having up-to-date training, might help reduce the risk and provide a safe and responsible environment.

The addition of a “Cannabis Signs of Use” learning module expands on the knowledge of how to identify intoxication. Recent liquor reform law changes have been updated, new role-playing games, videos and interactive quizzes help make a more modern-day e-learning experience.

5 Things You Should Know:

  1. FREE Re-Certification is being offered. Anyone who was recently certified, between July 15, 2018 and July 14, 2019, will receive a FREE Re-Certification Course! Simply login to your online account to see if you qualify.
  2. NEW – Cannabis Signs of Use. This new module provides specific information on what you might see, hear, or smell as it relates to recreational cannabis use. It is important for you to pay attention to the signs and help those that appear to be intoxicated (by alcohol, cannabis, illegal and legal drugs) are not served alcohol and steps are taken to make sure they are safe and do not leave and operate a motor vehicle.
  3. Learn in six languages: The training and final test are fully translated (text, audio, and video) in: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, and Spanish.
  4. All Final Tests are proctored and completed online: Eliminating the need for paper tests ensures integrity and reduces wait times for test results. This allows people to become certified and start working sooner (you must be certified as of your first day of work).
  5. It might be time for you to REFRESH your training! Individual online training costs $34.95 +hst and a voluntary Re-Certification course costs $24.95 +hst. It takes about 4-hours and you must receive a passing score of 80% or higher on the final test. You are given two attempts at the test and have 30-days to complete. A web camera and valid government issued identification are required to access the final test online. If you do not have a web camera, you can use your tablet or smartphone!

As a Licensee, owner or manager, you can take additional steps to help reduce your risk and liability that will also benefit all employees:

  1. Invest in staff education – Register with a Smart Serve Organizational Account and purchase individual online course tokens. Ask your staff to complete the training course and become re-certified. Don’t forget to update your house policy and hiring process. You can ask staff to voluntarily recertify or complete the updated training, prior to hiring.
  2. Share with your staff – Let staff know about the new educational information and where to go. Share a link in your internal communications or post these back-of-house information posters: English & French Posters
  3. Update your house policy & procedures – It is important to know how to handle difficult situations and what processes are in place to help keep everyone safe. Ask your staff to review and sign-off on any new policies. Duty of care includes a customer/guest who may be showing signs of intoxication, even if you have not served them any alcohol. Learn more in our Managers Library.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

You will need an online account. Login or Create a new “Individual Online Account”. If you are already certified but don’t have an online account, you can “Register” for one and your online profile will be linked to your certification number. You may be required to complete an additional validation step.

Remember, it is currently not mandatory to complete a Re-Certification training course however; it might be time to “REFRESH” YOUR TRAINING AND REDUCE THE RISK.

If you have any questions about the updates to the training program, please visit smartserve.ca/refresh.

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