Who has to be trained

Ontario law requires employees of retail stores who are involved in the sale, service or sampling of alcohol to complete a server training course approved by the Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). 

This requirement includes the following types of staff or personnel working for an Ontario manufacturer of wine, beer or spirits:

  • Staff at on-site and off-site manufacturers’ retail stores involved in the sale, service or sampling of alcohol
  • Staff who deal with customers in wine boutiques in grocery stores, as well as manufacturers’ representatives or other individuals who conduct wine sampling in wine boutiques
  • Manufacturer’s representatives involved in taking orders from customers for the sale of liquor or in providing samples of liquor to customers
  • Liquor sales licence holders, managers, servers of alcohol and security staff employed by the licence holder (in relation to the manufacturer’s tied house or “by the glass” liquor licence, if any)

Staff are encouraged to carry a copy of their certification card while they are working.  AGCO Inspectors may ask for proof of a staff member’s certification at any time.

Smart Serve Training Program

Smart Serve® Ontario has been approved by the AGCO Board to develop and provide the Smart Serve® Training Program, and is currently the only approved server and sale training program in Ontario.

Please note that the AGCO still recognizes The Server Intervention Program certification issued prior to May 1995.

The Smart Serve® Training Program is available on video or on the Smart Serve® website at www.smartserve.ca.  For more information about the Smart Serve® Training Program, please contact:

Smart Serve Ontario

5407 Eglinton Avenue West, Unit 105

Toronto, ON M9C 5K6

Tel. 416-695-8737  Toll-Free 1-877-620-6082  Fax 416-695-0684

Website: www.smartserve.ca  E-Mail: general@smartserve.ca