Find answers to commonly asked questions about the Smart Serve Responsible Alcohol Beverage Service Training Program.
From your homepage click on the “Redeem Token” button, then enter the token number.
If you see a message that says ‘could not find course token’:
- You may have already redeemed your token. Please check your training status in the top right hand corner. If it says ‘Not Enrolled’, click ‘Enroll’ and begin your training.
- If not, please contact your school/employer to verify the token number is correct and ensure the token is still available.
As of July 1, 2017, all employees of liquor licensed establishments are required to be Smart Serve certified prior to their first day of work.
No. Currently, Smart Serve certificates do not expire.
No. At this time, Smart Serve is the only program approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as a valid server training program for the Ontario hospitality industry.
No. You can take the training from anywhere in the world.
This training can be taken at any age; However, an individual must be 18 years of age or older to serve, sell or handle alcohol in Ontario.
The online training is $34.95 (plus HST) for a total of $39.49 CDN.
We accept the following forms of payment: Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard, Amex and pre-paid credit cards. Some of the pre-paid cards must be activated first. Please be sure to follow the instructions on the back of the card first.
It takes approximately 4.5 hours to complete the entire training program. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting. You can work at your own pace over the 30-day period from the date you purchased your training.
No. You have 30 days from purchase to complete it.
The passing grade is 80%.
For each purchase you get two (2) attempts at the final test.
You will be required to re-purchase the training at the regular price and re-do the entire course content before another two attempts at the test become available to you.
No. The online test must be written without the aid of a workbook or notes.
No. However, on average it takes approximately 30 minutes to write the final test.
Yes. You can review the course material as many times as you wish before writing the final test.
It takes up to 2 hours after the final test is submitted for the system to notify you of the results.
The final score is revealed to you on screen right after you submit the final test.
No. At this time we do not offer a printable version of the certificate.
You must allow up to 3 weeks for the certificate to arrive by mail.
Online Training Language options include:
English with audio track available in:
Course material, including quizzes videos and certification test are in English
In-Class Training language options include:
This program is Flash based and will not work on mobile devices, including tablet computers.
Before you begin the training you need to turn off your pop-up blocker.
For detailed information on how to turn off the pop-up blocker please click on the link which best corresponds with your browser.
Yes you can. However, be sure to create the account under your name. You will have the opportunity to enter the credit card holder’s information before you make the actual purchase.
Tokens are given to organizations that purchase the online training. They are for distribution to employees/students to grant them access to the online training and certification test.
Individual tokens expire 30 days after purchase. Bulk Purchase Tokens expire 1 year after purchase. Once redeemed by the individual ALL tokens expire after 30 days.
This item is available for purchase to organizations only. If you wish to facilitate the in-class training, you must purchase or have previously purchased, and be in possession of the DVD kit in order to purchase the certification kits.
Only one coversheet per batch of tests is required when submitting tests for marking and processing.
We generally recommend setting aside 4-5 hours to facilitate.
All in-class tests must be submitted to Smart Serve by the organization facilitating the training program.All tests must be marked in office by Smart Serve staff members.After processing, certificates and retake tests will be mailed back to the organization to be distributed to the participants.
Proctored tests are overseen by an impartial individual (called a proctor) who monitors or supervises a student while he or she is taking the final test.
The identification must have a photo, date of birth and a valid expiry date. The document must also be government issued.The Personal Health Information Protection Act prevents Smart Serve Ontario from accepting Health Cards as valid identification.
Yes. However, the information must be legible to an English-speaking proctor and it must have a valid expiry date.
Yes. Having a webcam is the only way to successfully complete the integrity check during the final test.
Our proctors are available 24/7.
The proctor needs to verify that your identity matches the information provided during registration.
The proctor will use the webcam to validate your identity and monitor your immediate surroundings during the final exam.
Yes. You can take the final test (not the training) with a computer, tablet, or mobile device -24/7. A strong internet connection is recommended and you must enable your camera and microphone, as all final tests are Proctored.
Please ensure you are logging in at www.smartserve.ca. This could be a time-out issue. To resolve, please follow these steps:
- Close out of all open internet browsers.
- Open a new browser and ensure you are logging in at www.smartserve.ca
- If you are still unable to login, click on “forgot password” at sign in page, and follow the instructions to reset your password
Users who leave their accounts idle for an extended period of time will experience time-out issues. To end this follow these steps:
1. Log out of the course and your Smart Serve account.
2. Close all other applications.
3. Clear browsing data.
4. Log back into your Smart Serve account and click on the “Continue Training” button.
It may take up to two (2) hours for your training status to update.Once your certificate is issued, you will receive an email with a certificate number, or instructions for contacting us.
Certificate numbers can be retrieved from the home page under the “View Your Account” section.
Receipts can be retrieved from the home page under the “View Your Account” section.
No. At this time we do not offer a printable version of the certificate.
Ideally, the in-class sessions should be facilitated by an experienced leader in responsible alcohol service. This could include: managers, owners or professional trainers. Further, the appointed trainer should be in possession of a Smart Serve certificate.
If you plan on offering the in-class training to members of your community, you must first be granted permission by Smart Serve. Please contact our office for further details.
The in-class format consists of three components: DVD, Workbook and Certification Test. The DVD supports the content of the Workbook and is used in preparation for the final test. All materials must be purchased directly from Smart Serve.
We generally recommend setting aside 4-5 hours to facilitate the in-class training.
We do not accept returns. All sales are final.
All tests are marked by Smart Serve.
No. Only original tests will be processed.
No. All participants are required to view the DVD prior to writing the final test. Test questions are based on information presented in the DVD.
No. We only process original tests.
Yes. Once you make the purchase, you will be provided with a list of tokens for distribution to your staff/students/volunteers.
Special Occasion Permits
Under a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) Smart Serve certification may and may not be mandatory, depending on the location of the event. If the event is held on a licensed premise then all servers are required to have their Smart Serve certification as per current Ontario liquor law regulations. If the event is held on municipal property, the municipality has the authority to enforce the certification through their Municipal Alcohol Policy guidelines.
The permit holder, event organizer and the venue are equally liable for the safety of all guests.
My Rights and Responsibilities
No. You may not refuse service based on medical issues.
As alcohol impairs judgment and affects the ability to serve alcohol responsibly, it is strongly recommended that staff not consume alcoholic beverages while on duty.
Supplying staff with a complimentary alcoholic beverage after a shift is not permitted. You can only provide complimentary liquor, according to the Liquor Licence Act Reg. 719 Sub.20.2:
Yes. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that all patrons consuming alcohol are of legal drinking age. Further, it is against the current Ontario liquor laws to serve to the point of intoxication or to serve to an intoxicated person.
Anyone who serves, handles or sells alcohol, as well as security staff, must be in possession of a Smart Serve certification.
To reduce risk it is strongly recommended that persons selling beer/liquor tickets be Smart Serve certified as they are seen as the first line of defense to ensure that alcohol is being sold according to the Liquor Licence Act & its Regulations.
You must be 18 years of age and older to serve alcohol in Ontario.
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19.
All licensees involved in the day-to-day operations of the establishment must be Smart Serve certified.
Yes. This requirement applies to full-time, part-time, contract employees and volunteers.
Yes. Liquor delivery licence holders must ensure that managers and persons involved with taking liquor orders and/or supplying liquor to customers have successfully completed the training. This requirement applies to full-time, part-time and contract employees, as well as any licensees who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Yes. Even though golf course marshals do not serve alcohol, they do however, fulfill the role of security and therefore must hold a validSmart Serve certificate.
As long as patrons keep their drinks restricted to the licensed areas, they may walk around with their drinks.
Using the “Chat & Check” method taught in the online training, we suggest casually asking your table when they order their first round of drinks if anyone will be driving later; this way you can tailor your service to that information.
Anyone who engages in serving or providing alcohol to patrons/guests must ensure that no over service takes place. In the event that a guest does become intoxicated and insists on driving, it is your legal duty to do everything in your power (within reason) to prevent that individual from getting behind the wheel; even if it means calling the police.
No. Only Smart Serve certified staff can open and serve alcohol in a licensed establishment.
Yes, it is your responsibility to be able to identify a fake ID and to ensure that everyone you serve is of age.
No. The ID must have a valid expiry date.
Currently, Smart Serve Certification does not expire.
To order a Replacement Card, please Login or Register to your online account, select “Lost Card” and follow the prompts to attach the required documents to submit for account validation. You will then be notified by email once the account has been validated and you will be able to proceed with the purchase of your replacement card.
You can still order a replacement card. You will be provided with an opportunity to change your address at the time of purchase.
You will not be asked to provide this information.
Your certificate number is located on the“Home Page” of your online account.
We accept the following forms of payment: Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard, American Express, and other pre-paid credit cards.
Please allow 7-10 business days for your card to arrive.
No, we are unable to accept orders over the telephone.
The certificate number alone is not considered as sufficient proof of certification; you are expected to have your wallet-sized certificate with you at all times while working.
Retail Alcohol Sales Training Manual
The Retail Alcohol Sales Training module is designed to ensure that grocery store and manufacturers’ retail store employees understand their individual responsibilities and obligations under the current Ontario liquor laws when selling or serving alcohol to the general public.
- Designated employees of an authorized retail store who sell or handle alcohol
- Manufacturers’ representatives and staff at on-site and off-site manufacturers’ retail stores that are involved in the sale, service and sampling of alcohol
No. If you currently hold a valid Smart Serve certificate you have the option to access the Retail Alcohol Sales module only. Those not yet certified under Smart Serve will be required to complete the entire Smart Serve Training program, which includes the current content as well as the new retail training.
Valid Smart Serve certificate holders can access this module at no cost directly from their online account.
It takes approximately 45 minutes to complete this module.
No. A desktop or a laptop computer is required.
No. You can work at your own pace as long as the module is completed within 30 days of activation.
This module has one final quiz. The final quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions and is designed to test your knowledge only. You are required to complete the quiz only once.
No. The final quiz in this module is not proctored.
You will be issued an updated version of your current certificate number. The new version will contain a “RS” suffix. (e.g. If your current certificate number is (e)010102030405, the updated number will be displayed as (e)010102030405RS).
Please allow up to two (2) weeks for delivery.
No. This module can only be accessed online.
You are required to create an online account first. To create an account, return to the Homepage of this site and click on the “Register” button and follow instructions.
Before attempting to access the module, be sure to allow the flash player in your browser settings.
- From your online account, select “purchase now” in the “Purchase Training” bucket.
- On the purchase page select the “Retail Alcohol Module” and then “Start Now”.
- If necessary, update your shipping information.
- Choose the language option, and click on “Continue to Course”.
- Work at your own pace and when ready, complete the final quiz within 30 days of enrollment.