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Frequently asked questions about RSA and NSW competency cards

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), the NSW competency card and the interim certificate.

If you help, contact us on 1300 024 720, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, email or visit our office at Level 6, 323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket NSW 2000. 

    New-look NSW competency cards (from May 2018)

    From May 2018, new NSW competency cardholders will be issued a card in the new design.

    Can I continue to use my card if it is not in the new design? 

    Yes, current cardholders will continue to use their existing cards, as these cards remain valid until expiry. As cards are renewed or replaced, they will be issued in the new design.

    Is my digital NSW competency card impacted by the new card design?

    No, Digital NSW competency cards are not impacted by these changes. You can continue to access a free digital version of your card through the Service NSW App, which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store® or Google Play™. 


    How much does the card cost?

    The cost of the card is included in the cost of the course you attend. The cost of first-time RSA and RCG courses vary between different training organisations.

    A digital NSW competency card is free. After completing a course, set up your digital licence via the Service NSW app from iTunes or Google Play.

    How much does it cost to get a replacement interim certificate?

    Interim certificates are issued by the RTOs where training was undertaken. There is no fee for a replacement interim certificate.

    Changes to NSW competency cards

    The details on my card are wrong

    If your name has changed, you need a new NSW competency card issued in that name.

    Use the CC0500 Replacement RSA/RCG NSW competency card form (PDF, 693KB) and email it to us at There is a cost for a replacement card.  Please see our fee schedule.

    Once your details have been changed your digital card will automatically be updated.

    Read the RSA/RCG NSW competency card fact sheet  for more information.

    I've moved. Do I need to tell someone?

    Yes. Use the NSW competency card self-service online portal to update your contact details as soon as possible.

    If you have a digital NSW competency card, you can update your details within the Service NSW App.

    If you can't update your details online, you can complete a paper form and email it to us at 

    I already have one competency and want to add another. What do I do?

    You need to complete a training course with a training organisation who is approved to deliver a NSW RSA or RCG course. 

    Once you have passed your course, you will receive an interim certificate and a new card will be posted to your nominated address within four weeks. You don't need to visit a Service NSW Service Centre or have another photo taken. 

    If you have a digital NSW competency card, your new competency will automatically be added to it. 

    I want to add privacy training to my card. What do I do?

    To add Privacy endorsement to your card to work with ID scanners, first complete the privacy training course and then apply online.

    If you cannot apply online, use the CC0550 Existing RSA NSW competency card: add privacy endorsement form (PDF, 689KB). Please see our fee schedule for the cost to replace your card which will include the privacy endorsement. 

    Be aware that the interim certificate for Privacy training is only valid for 28 days. While waiting for your new card, you need to carry your existing card and the privacy interim certificate. If you're caught working without them, you may get a fine.

    Card issue and replacement

    I've lost my card or my card was stolen. What do I do?

    Report it to the police and apply for a replacement online.

    You can also access a free digital version of your NSW competency card through the Service NSW App. Visit Service NSW for more information.

    If you can't replace your card online, you can complete a paper form and email it to us at

    Please see our fee schedule for the cost to replace your card

    Where's my card? It hasn't arrived in the mail.

    If you have already applied for your card at a Service NSW Service Centre, your card can take up to four weeks to be delivered by post.

    If you have moved or your address is not correct on your interim certificate, the card may not reach you.

    If it hasn't arrived, phone 1300 024 720 or email

    I haven't received my card yet - can I still work?

    Yes, you can work using your interim certificate for 90 days from the date you completed your course.

    If you have applied for your card at Service NSW, you can also access a free digital version of your NSW competency card through the Service NSW App. Visit Service NSW for more information.

    Expiry & renewal

    My card's about to expire. How do I renew it? 

    You can only renew your card online through Liquor & Gaming NSW.

    Renewing your card involves completing online refresher training and paying a renewal fee.

    Reminder notices start 90 days before your card is due to expire. Reminders are sent by SMS and email with the information you need to renew before your card expires. Check your contact details to make sure you receive these important reminders.

    If you have a digital NSW competency card, it will display a renewal reminder.

    Read more about renewing your NSW competency card. 

    My card's expired. Can I still work? 

    No. Working with an expired NSW competency card is illegal and you risk getting a fine.

    I have an older paper certificate - can I still use it?

    No. The last of the older paper certificates for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gaming (RCG) competencies expired on 30 June 2016.

    Using your NSW competency card

    Do I need to wear the card while working?

    You should have it easily accessible and be ready to present the card or digital licence to an inspector or Police when asked. Finescan apply if you don't.

    If you don't have your phone you can log into your MyService NSW app using your secure pin code on someone else's phone and show your digital card to an authorised inspector. You do not need to hand over the phone for inspection. Remember to log out afterwards.

    Set up your digital licence via the ServiceNSW app from iTunes or Google Play.

    Can I work in another state with my card?

    No. Your NSW RSA training and NSW competency card only allow you to work in NSW.

    However, the statement of attainment document you received from the NSW RSA training provide r may be recognised in other states and territories. You'll need to check with the liquor licensing authorities in that state or territory.

    I'm a cook/glassie/bouncer/concierge - do I need RSA?

    If you serve, sell or supply alcohol, you need to have a valid NSW NSW competency card with the RSA endorsement.

    Your roleYes – RSA requiredNo RSA not required
    Cook or chef Duties include selling, serving or supplying alcohol — for example, coming out of the kitchen to serve a glass a wineOnly using alcohol in the cooking process
    (collecting glasses in a licensed venue)
    Duties include serving, selling or supplying liquorOnly collecting dirty glasses or schooners
    Bouncer or security staffDuties include making decisions about whether to allow a patron into the premises depending on their level of alcohol intoxicationRequired at all times for bouncers or security staff
    Concierge or door staff Duties include making decisions about whether to allow a patron into the premises depending on their level of alcohol intoxicationDuties only include working at the sign-in desk or checking proof of age.
    Sign-in desk or checking proof of ageDuties include bouncer or security-type services, serving or supplying of alcohol or making decisions about patron alcohol consumptionDuties only include working at the sign in desk or checking proof of age.
    Working in the high-risk precincts of Sydney CBD or Kings CrossDuties include serving, selling or supplying alcohol, operating an ID scanner, working as a bouncer or security staffN/A

    What's the penalty for working without a card?

    If you fail to produce your NSW competency card to police or Liquor & Gaming NSW compliance inspectors when asked, you could get a fine or your card could be suspended.

    The fines are much higher if you work in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts

    If you are a liquor licensee and allow staff to work without a valid NSW competency card you risk getting a fine.

    Read more about fines

    Interim Certificates

    I've lost my interim certificate - what do I do? 

    Ask your training provider to give you another copy. 

    If you work without your interim certificate, you risk getting a fine.

    Get your competency card as soon as possible. It can take up to four weeks for your card to arrive once you visit a Service NSW Service Centre and complete the application process. 

    The details on my interim certificate are wrong.

    The details on your interim certificate must match the details on your proof of identity documents. If they don't, you need to update your details. 

    To change any details on your interim certificate, use the CC0300 Amendment to RSA/RCG interim certificate form (PDF, 710KB). You can't apply for your competency card until you receive your updated interim certificate.

    ​Related links

    ​Find an RSA training course​

    ​Find an RCG training course

    Find your nearest Service NSW centre

    RSA/RCG Competency Card fact sheet (PDF 193KB)