Examining the difference between ABC Server Training and RBS Training.

RBS vs. ABC Server Training - What’s the Difference?

2 Min Read

Alcohol server training can go by different names, depending on the state you live in. Here we decode two of the most popular names you might have heard.

As an alcohol server or an employee or trainer of alcohol servers, you’ve likely spent some time diving into the different training and certification requirements you need for your role. In some states, training is recommended, but not required, and in some states, it is mandatory to take a training course and pass a certification exam.

Trying to sort through the requirements by state can be difficult, as different states refer to programs under different names, and the governing bodies in some states fall under different titles. Two such examples can currently be found in California, where you may hear the terms RBS and ABC Server Training. Below, we explore what each term means and whether or not they're different. 

Are ABC server training and RBS training different?

To answer that question, let’s start the governing body of alcohol in the state. Within California, the manufacturing, sale, and service of alcohol is regulated by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC.

Per its website, “The mission of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of the State through licensing, education, and enforcement.”

Within the purview of the ABC: alcohol server training and certification. In 2017, California passed Assembly Bill 1221, requiring the ABC to create the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act, or RBS Training Act. The goal of Responsible Beverage Service training is to teach alcohol servers to serve responsibly and to lessen and prevent incidents of harm related to alcohol in California communities. The course includes topics such as impacts of alcohol on the body, laws and regulations surrounding the service of alcohol, and prevention of service to minors.

The act requires that all alcohol servers and managers of servers, as well as those required to check ID for alcohol service (such as bouncers or security) operating on licensed premises obtain RBS training and certification. The requirement came into effect on July 1, 2022, and compliance enforcement within 60 days of that date. Any new servers starting employment after July 1, 2022 will be required to complete training and certification within 60 days of their first day of work. Once a server has completed training, they are required to pass an RBS exam provided through the ABC to complete their certification.

In summary, ABC server training refers to the government body requiring its completion, whereas RBS training refers to the name of the alcohol server training itself. In California, as the example, both terms ultimately refer to the same alcohol training.

Userve offers alcohol server training in many states, including California RBS. Ensure you’re finding the right course for you or your staff with Userve.

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