Employee Development Co-ordinator, Contemporary Catering
The sale of alcohol has some of the largest profit margins (over 70%) of any industry due to its consistent and widespread demand. It is no wonder then that establishments seek to serve liquor as part of their accumulation of capital. However, serving liquor to a population brings with it a duty to the customer and to larger society to do so with the utmost care. Alcohol has desirable and enjoyable effects on the human body, but it also causes a myriad of health problems as well as seriously depressing a person’s ability to make sound decisions. For this and other reasons, management of licensed establishments in Queensland require the mandatory completion of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) as well as RMLV Training. RMLV refers to Responsible Management of Licensed Venues and focuses around the responsibility that managers hold in minimising harm to customers and surrounding communities.
The basis of RMLV certification is indeed the word “responsible”; to be a responsible business owner or manager means that one has a duty to care for customers and earn their trust. Consumers place a great deal of trust in the establishments in which they purchase alcohol, and it is the responsibility of the management to maintain this level of trust by taking all steps to protect the safety of everybody in and around that establishment. RMLV training acknowledges this trust and gives managers the knowledge and skills to make sure potentially volatile situations are diffused in a polite yet effective manner.
Alcohol generally exacerbates any existing violent or aggressive behaviour in individuals, both based on group dynamics and the “liquid courage” aspect. Given the crowds of people that the service of alcohol generally attracts, individual staff members are often ill-equipped and outnumbered to deal with most potentially aggressive situations. Managers that undergo RMLV training will be far more prepared to understand crowd mentality and aggression and therefore to know how to deal with these situations. It only takes one aggressive individual to cause a domino effect, particularly when alcohol is involved; this is why mangers need to know which individuals may cause problems and discretely monitor their consumption.
In addition to RMLV training, all managers who work in licensed establishments also have to complete basic RSA training, though these can easily be combined and taken at once. A manager is directly involved with the service of liquor and therefore must be equally (in fact, more) trained in customer service and liquor responsibility than all staff members. Managers must be able to work with their staff in order to monitor behaviour and prevent aggression from arising. Managers must be prepared to deal with requests and warnings from staff members; as a higher-ranking member of that establishment, managers hold liability for any injury or damage. Staff members who undergo RSA training are instructed to keep their supervisors or managers aware of potential issues with alcohol service, and thus all managers must be prepared to deal adequately with this.
The role of a manager is both a frontline staff member and a supervisory figure to which staff can seek advice and intervention when needed. For this reason, managers must undergo RMLV training in order to be able to adequately fill both these roles in the work place.