Government is taking further steps to safeguard the health and safety of British Columbians, reinforcing the importance of social responsibility in tandem with the added convenience resulting from updates to B.C.’s liquor laws.
The changes highlighted today will protect health and public safety by expanding and enhancing Serving it Right (SIR) requirements and implementing mandatory social responsibility signage in licensed establishments.
To help ensure those serving or selling alcohol have the necessary skills and techniques to deal effectively with challenging liquor service related scenarios, the Province is extending SIR to everyone who serves or sells alcohol. This will include, for the first time, all servers in B.C.’s more than 5,600 licensed restaurants, as well as staff at BC Liquor Stores, rural agency and wine stores. A new Special Event Server (SES) training program is also currently being developed for licence holders, managers and servers at all special occasion licensed events that have less than 500 guests.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch is currently working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to make alcohol health and safety information available in licensed establishments that encourage healthy decisions around alcohol use. This work follows targeted industry consultations on how to best approach mandatory social responsibility materials - specifically, what type of materials will work for industry, and the role that industry associations will play.
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice -
“As recommendations from the Liquor Policy Review are put into place, we are focused on raising awareness and developing strategies to reduce the potential harms associated with drinking - addressing the call for continued health and safety protections.
“As we make changes to B.C.’s liquor laws that increase convenience and selection, it’s imperative that we strike a careful balance - that’s why we are taking steps to ensure that the health, safety and best interests of British Columbians are protected.”
Audio of Minister Anton on Serving it Right changes: https://soundcloud.com/bcgov/minister-anton-liquor-health-and-safety-recommendations-december-19-2014/s-0nifM
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform -
“More than one-quarter of the recommendations coming out of the Liquor Policy Review are focused on health and safety, taking into account valuable feedback I received from health and safety officials during my consultations. These changes reflect thoughtful consideration of how best to move forward with the convenience and modernization of B.C.’s liquor laws that people have asked for, while at the same time ensuring that the health and safety of British Columbians are protected.”
Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia -
“Hand-in-hand with changes that increase the accessibility to alcohol should be information about how to minimize the potential harms associated with its consumption. I applaud government’s choice to boost education and training for those who serve and sell alcohol in our province and to mandate social responsibility materials in licensed businesses - it’s a clear move to protect the health of many British Columbians.”
Arlene Keis, CEO, go2hr -
“The expansion and enhancement of Serving It Right provides well-rounded knowledge about responsible beverage service to a broader audience of sellers and servers of alcohol. These changes will further instill skills and techniques for hospitality workers and others to effectively promote responsible consumption.”
- SIR is a self-study course provided by go2hr for the hospitality industry that teaches the legal obligations of anyone who sells and serves liquor in B.C.
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch fact sheet on Serving it Right: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/sir-2015-changes.pdf
go2hr, B.C.’s tourism industry human resources association and Serving it Right administrator: https://www.go2hr.ca/
Factsheet on B.C.’s commitment to protect health and public safety: http://ow.ly/ujJte
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Serving it Right changes
Over one-quarter of Parliamentary Secretary Yap’s recommendations from the Liquor Policy Review focus on health, safety and social responsibility. Government is taking action to increase server responsibility through expanding and enhancing the Serving it Right (SIR) program.
Additional responsible service information:
- Effective Sept. 15, 2015, SIR certificates will be issued with an expiry date, and will have a five year renewal cycle.
- Current SIR certificates with no expiry date on them will be valid until Sept. 15, 2020, allowing five years for recertification.
- Servers holding SIR-equivalent certificates from other jurisdictions with no expiry date will continue to be exempted from the SIR training requirement until Sept. 15, 2020.
Who needs Serving it Right certification?
As of Sept. 15, 2015, all of the following will need SIR certification:
- All licensees, managers and servers in liquor-primary and food-primary establishments
- All paid staff within liquor-primary clubs, such as legions, as well as managers, servers and volunteer staff who serve alcohol
- All licensees, managers and servers of licensed caterers
- All sales and service staff at private liquor stores, wine stores, BC Liquor Stores, rural agency stores, and duty free stores as well as their licence holders, agents, managers, and servers
- All liquor manufacturers, managers and servers who work in sampling areas, lounges, and special event areas
- Licensees and managers of Special Occasion Licence (SOL) events with more than 500 people expected to attend
- Flight attendants and servers on aircraft that hold a liquor licence
Who needs Special Event Server (SES) certification?
As of September 15, 2015, all of the following will need to have completed SES certification:
- SOL license holders, managers, and servers of events with less than 500 attendees.
- All SOL servers - paid or volunteer - regardless of the number of attendees.
- Individuals who hold a valid SIR certificate do not need to take SES.
What costs are associated with SIR and SES training and re-certification?
- The cost for SIR is $35 for the online course, $40 for the paper course, and $10 for recertification.
- As recommended by Parliamentary Secretary Yap, the fees will be reviewed.
- The tuition fees for SES certification and recertification have not yet been set, and are pending further consultations.
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement