The Province is launching an in-person education program to help licensees better understand their responsibilities and the rules for serving liquor in British Columbia.
The optional program is the result of consultation with liquor-industry members who expressed that a government-led program would help ensure licensees are running their businesses in a safe and responsible manner. Each two- to three-hour seminar will cover a range of topics including:
- Updates on recent liquor policy changes
- Providing safe and responsible service
- Keeping a licence in good standing
- Steps to a successful liquor inspection
“During consultation with industry during the Liquor Policy Review, it became clear to me that many compliance issues were a result of licensees misunderstanding a law or policy,” said John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform. “I hope all licensees will take advantage of this new education program so that all parties are confident B.C.’s liquor laws are understood and being followed.”
The new Licensee Education Program fulfils the Province’s Liquor Policy Review recommendation to offer licensees and their staff education on B.C.’s liquor laws.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will offer education sessions throughout the province, including: Metro-Vancouver, southern Vancouver Island, Prince George, Fort St. John, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and in many smaller communities. Initially, education sessions will be offered to liquor and food primary establishments, which represent 80% of all licenced establishments in B.C. Over time, the program will grow to encompass all licence types, including liquor retailers and manufacturers.
“We want to provide licensees with the tools to succeed. Liquor licences come with a lot of responsibility and these seminars will give licensees the opportunity to refresh their knowledge on liquor laws and policy, ask questions, and help them operate safe, lawful establishments,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.
“This training will be helpful for our members and their staff to refresh their knowledge of liquor laws and their responsibilities when it comes to serving alcohol,” said Poma Dhaliwal, president of Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC). “Most licensees are trying to do everything by the book and it’s great that the policy experts will be touring the province and speaking with business owners directly.”
The licensee education program builds on other social responsibility initiatives that government has introduced. Public health and safety are guiding principles as the Province continues to modernize B.C.'s liquor laws. Socially responsible retailing, public education, encouraging moderation and keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors are top priorities. As well, the Province has enhanced and expanded its mandatory server training programs to include everyone who sells or serves liquor, and all liquor retailers and licensed establishments are now required to display government-produced social responsibility materials related to alcohol use for their customers.
- The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has taken several steps to make it easier for licensees to understand B.C.’s liquor laws, such as updating and simplifying the Terms and Conditions handbooks and branch website.
- With today’s announcement, 66 of the Liquor Policy Review’s 73 recommendations have been implemented.
- Over one-quarter of the Liquor Policy Review recommendations focus on protecting health, safety and social responsibility.
To register for an upcoming session, licensees should contact the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch at: LCLB.Education@gov.bc.ca.
For details about the Licensee Education Program including the program schedule: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/liquor-regulation-licensing/health-safety-education/licensee-education-program
Read the full list of Liquor Policy Review recommendations: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/liquor-regulation-licensing/liquor-policy-review