This time of year, in Sydney Australia, whilst being a time of celebration and enjoyment, also marks the sad anniversary of the “one-punch” death of Daniel Christie on New Years Eve 12 months ago.
Following that tragic event, sweeping changes were passed through NSW legislation that tightened up many aspects of night life in inner city areas of Sydney. Many of these focussed around “lockout” times for local establishments and certain hot-spot areas. But one of the lesser known changes related to the training of hospitality workers, with the so-called “Responsible Service of Alcohol” (or RSA for short) course.
The change related to the online version of the NSW RSA course, which was released as a trial earlier in 2013. With concerns being raised about the validity of the assessment processes, the online program was withdrawn early 2014, as part of the “one-punch” reforms.
In the last week of December 2014, innovative Australian RTO Australian Club Training, after many months of working with OLGR NSW, released an RSA Course almost as convenient as the previous online course, but using content and assessment delivery methodologies that overcome the objections raised with the previous course, but still maintain the convenience of being able to complete the qualification from home. The new course modality is referred to as “Distance Learning” and is different from the online course in that students learn from a Student Handbook, and the assessment requires them to type their own answers and email them to trained assessors who then evaluate the student’s understanding of the various competencies.
Peter Cutforth, co-Director of Urban E-Learning, the parent RTO company of Australian Club Training said: “Despite the perhaps valid concerns over the previous online course, NSW residents seeking to start working in the hospitality industry during 2014 have been frustrated to find their only option was the somewhat outdated face-to-face, classroom style training.”
“This innovative new approach of distance learning is a marked improvement over the previous OLGR NSW online trial, especially in terms of the rigour of the assessment process, which now involves our assessors manually assessing each students’ written answers to ensure they demonstrate the required understanding.” Cutforth stated.
“Australian Club Training already provides a leading national RSA course, which uses similar assessment principles, and we believe this new distance learning course and its assessment process sets the benchmark for alternate training modalities for RSA in NSW.” he said.
With the anniversary of the tragic one-punch death marked at this time, plus alcohol-fuelled violence continuing to be in the news, the importance of quality training for young people coming into the hospitality industry is particularly highlighted.