RSA - How necessary?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific RSA - How necessary?

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1. Posted by Carrie23 (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


I'm a 23 yr old who is heading out to Oz in Feb 2009 for six months (although I may stay longer). I'm starting in Brisbane to visit a friend and thought I would move down the east coast from there, although haven't made any strict plans. I have a working holiday visa and will only have about £1500 (uk sterling) when I arrive, so will need to work. I figured I would just hit bars with my CV when the money started to run out and hopefully all would be fine, but I've been reading on here about the RSA.

I have a few questions - how necessary is the RSA? And if I need it, should I wait until I get to Australia to get it or is organising it before I arrive the best idea?

Would really appreciate any help people can give me with this.

Thanks in advance,


2. Posted by Matt Bos (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Carrie

I'll be doing something very similar to you in March/April. I'll be interested to see what kind of responses you het about the RSA. I may invest in one just in case based on my own preliminary research.

Question for you though: What will you be doing for health insurance?

3. Posted by Carrie23 (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Matt,

I've done a bit of research and I think I'm going to get insurance from STA, it seems to be the best set up for the kind of thing we are doing, and they are really good with adventure stuff - I want to bungee jump and sky dive whilst I'm out there and they cover all that.

The website is

Hope that helps!


4. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I'm pretty sure that to serve alcohol it is required by law to have the RSA certificate (you might not need it if you work as a bussie though).

If you're keen to work in bars you'll probably have to get it sooner or later. I'm sure that heaps of places do it and either way there shouldn't be any problems.

Getting it done in the UK would make it one less thing to organise in Australia, but the risk would be that if you find a different type of job then it may be a waste.

If you are looking at doing it in the UK, make sure you check that it is recognised in Australia.

5. Posted by Carrie23 (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your help Erik! I think I'll just leave it till if and when I need it, then get it sorted.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by mcounsel (Budding Member 5 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey Carrie,

you will need an RSA to work in pubs and clubs etc..also might be worth getting responsible service of food and beverage as well, if you are handling food. they dont cost much from memory and they last a couple fo years at least, so if you come back you can still use them. Also instead of STA travel insurance have a look at they seem to be pretty cheap and give a 25% discount on the policy option, so that might help to.
bar work in australia should be easy to find, but make sure that you don't get screwed around by the owner, they can sometime pay to little or against the award, so make sure you know your work rights. have a look at this as well, you might even be able to land a job before you leave.
have a good trip

8. Posted by andrewg09 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I wouldn't be bypassing the Great barrier reef if youre into scuba, I got my learners ticket in victoria a bit cheaper with mc's aussie travel saver , through S.S.I, Queenscliff, nice bunch! and would love to be going there, Hervey Bay NSW, is a marine sanctuary, and well worth droping in on too!

9. Posted by lavenlaar (Budding Member 46 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Ok - im a licensee of a liquor store, and the Responsible Service of Alcohol is needed BEFORE you even apply for any alcohol related jobs. And a RCG (Responsible Conduct of Gaming) is needed for Casinos/Hotels with Poker/Slot Machines. You can do both in one hit - takes about 1 day and about $100. Test is EASY - its common sense and out of a book !
Here is one course provider

Office of Liq, Gaming & Racing to get the facts and the courses

Eg question;
"If a patron is visably intoxicated and swaying on their feet, do you...."
(a) Serve them more alcohol?
(b) Politely suggest that they have had enough alcohol and suggest a coffee/water/soft drink?
(c) Ignore them?

Thats the jist of it ....

Safe Travels

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 22, 2008, at 6:07 PM by lavenlaar ]

10. Posted by Oliver08 (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Carrie.

As Brendan says, RSA is required, and also super easy to acquire.

You say you're staying with a mate. The easiest thing to do would be to get them to book you into the nearest course. They would probably know where the nearest course is conducted and they could give you the deets (If not it would be very easy for them to find out).

It's a good idea to book it ASAP as there is often a bit of a wait for the course. Just book it for early in your trip, probably whilst you're still staying with your friend. Get it out of the way!

Another good form of work is fruit picking. Grapes would probably be a good option around the time that you'll be running out of money, so don't forget to explore that option. It pays really well too, if you're fast. Last Easter I was making $30 per hour!

Hope this helps.