RSA, RCG, Becoming a student for 2 days in Australia!

I have only lived in Australia for 6 weeks or so and already I have three qualifications to my name! (the two mentioned here, and a “publife” certificate) I didn’t expect that to happen! I thought my days of studying were well and truly behind me. Over the years I’ve spent too much time doing qualifications, and have over 30 certificates, some of them random (Radio DJ Awards, Bomb Safety), some important to have (First Aid, BA Degree) and some essentials (Driving Licence, GCSEs), but the two I’ve gained here in Australia are great as well!


Five days after arriving in Sydney I booked in to do my RSA. I did this at Thinq Training on York Street. RSA stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol and is a must have qualification to work in a bar in Australia. I had my first (and only) job interview the following day in Parramatta for the job in PJ Gallaghers Irish Pub. It would be an excellent thing to turn up for the interview having my RSA, and having been in the country less than 6 days.
I simply went onto the internet and booked myself into the RSA, which was an all day course, with an exam at the end. The course would begin at 9.15 am and end at 4 pm. The cost would be 65 Australian Dollars, which I felt was fair enough, given that I got a certificate, a qualification, something extra for my CV and a day of learning. My mate Daniel Evans decided to do the course as well, and the day before we called in and got him booked in as well. All you needed was the money, your passport and to turn up.

We got our free hostel breakfast and then walked to the venue. It was Thinq Training Centre at 32 York Street on the third floor. Our trainer for the day was Doug. The room was packed and the students were from all over the world. Represented was England, Northern Ireland (well as ever I was the only one), Sweden, Australia, China, Taiwan, Germany and France. Straight away we were given a booklet and we launched into the nitty gritty of alcohol serving in Australia. Given the fact that I had already worked in lots of different bars and outlets over the previous 8 years, it would be fairly straight forward for me. My first bar job was back in 2001, working in McMillens in Bangor. We had a coffee break and a lunch break and then around 3 pm we had the test.


Everything was as I thought fairly straight forward. Questions such as how much is in a measure, who can’t you serve, what are the fines for pubs, what licensing laws change at midnight etc. I wasn’t surprised to get 100% and be awarded with my certificate straight away. I paid an extra 3 Australian Dollars to have my certificate laminated and an extra 2 copies. The next day I went for my interview at PJ Gallagher’s and later got the job – the only job I’ve ever applied for in Australia.


With the RSA done and the job sorted out, the next idea was to get my RCG. For working in a bar, the RSA is mandatory, whereas the RCG is voluntary. RCG is the Responsible Control of Gambling. I wanted to get it as well. Firstly it meant more experience, having the knowledge of gambling. Secondly it meant I could get more shifts in work, by being able to work alone in the TAB room and Gambling Section of the pub. Thirdly it was an extra qualification for me! Once I got settled into the flat in Parramatta and I’d started working in the pub, I sorted out my RCG. I did it in Parramatta. I was working the Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday that week, so decided to do the RCG on the Wednesday evening.


It could be done locally at Alexander Beaumont Hospitality Training College, which was Level 2 at Wentworth Street, just 25 minutes walk from my flat. The course would run from 5 pm to 10 pm. It was in a small room at the top of the stairs in the building beside a bar called the Pink Pepper Pub. I was the first to arrive and there were 4 girls and 4 guys on the course. 6 were Australian, 1 Indian, 1 Northern Irish. Our course trainer was Renee Gower. During this course there was only a very short break. The course involved all the rules and laws with gaming venues, casinos and pubs offering gambling. Questions such as what is the maximum cash pay out for gaming machines, what is a Self Exclusion Scheme, how far must a cash machine be from the gaming machines etc. It was just as easy and straight forward as the RSA. Again I got 100%, passed and was handed another certificate – my RCG!
Gained – Sydney, October 2009
At – THINQ TRAINING, 3rd Floor, 32 York Street, Sydney
Cost – 65 Australian Dollars
Trainer – Doug
Result – 100%
Gained – Parramatta, November 2009
At – ALEX BEAUMONT HOSPITALITY TRAINING, Level 2, 23 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, 2150
Cost – 70 Australian Dollars
Trainer – Renee Gower
Result – 100%
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