People who serve and sell alcohol in licensed establishments will soon be required to complete server intervention training, according to the Saskatchewan government.
Serve it Right Saskatchewan (SIRS) is a course designed to help curb underage drinking, reduce overconsumption, impaired driving and the risk of violence in and around liquor permitted premises.
Training topics include legal responsibilities and liability, identifying intoxication, handling situations involving minors and discontinuing or refusing service or sale of alcohol.
“For years, SIRS training for bar and restaurant staff has been voluntary in Saskatchewan,” said Don McMorris, minister responsible for the Sasketchan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA). “Mandatory training is an important tool that will help ensure the responsible service of alcohol and the safety of patrons in the hospitality industry.”
The training will be phased in over three years:
•By June 30, 2016, all owners and managers will be required to have completed the training and new hires must take the training within 30 days of beginning employment.
•By June 30, 2017, there must be at least one person on each shift who has completed the training.
•By June 30, 2018, all employees involved in the sale and service of alcohol must have completed SIRS.
SIRS is delivered by the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, a division of Tourism Saskatchewan. The course can be completed online as a self-directed course or in group seminars. The cost of the program ranges from $30 to $50, depending on the method used and certification is valid for five years.
Implementing mandatory training was one of 26 recommendations of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly’s Special Committee on Traffic Safety. In its final report released Aug. 30, 2013, the committee recommended, that responsible alcohol service training, specifically the SIRS program, be made mandatory for all new employees who serve alcohol.