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Smart Serve Certificates are Expiring This Summer - Here’s What you Need to Know

If you operate a foodservice business in Ontario, you know how important it is to have your staff Smart Serve certified. The certificate is mandatory for any employee selling or serving alcohol in the province so all bar staff, waiters, and kitchen workers in licensed premises have to have a current license.  

 But the definition of a current license is about to change, thanks to an overhaul of the certification system that could catch business owners unawares.  

What’s Changing About Smart Serve Certification? 

All Smart Serve certificates now come with an expiry date in line with changes to Ontario’s liquor legislation. Both current and new certificates will be valid for just five years so if your expiry date is approaching you’ll have to retake your test.  

  • Smart Serve certificates issued before July 1, 2018, will expire on June 30, 2023 
  • Smart Serve certificates issued on or after July 1, 2018 will expire five years after date of issue  

The new feature is designed to keep servers up to date with current liquor laws and any changes to the sector. Going forward, your staff will have to keep a close eye on their certificates, being sure to renew them every five years so that your business stays compliant.  

How to Get Yourself, Or Your Team, a Smart Serve Certificate 

Getting your Smart Serve doesn’t have to be a hassle. FoodSafetyMarket makes it easy - with options for individuals looking to update their license and businesses wanting to ensure all their staff are up to date. 

The Smart Serve Certification course takes around 4 hours to complete but participants can pause the training and restart as they work through the modules to learn at their own pace. Once students have completed the program, they’ll be directed to the Ontario Smart Serve website to take a proctored exam.  

Smart Serve for Businesses 

With over three decades in the industry, FoodSafetyMarket is highly experienced at offering training tailored to teams. We work with all kinds of foodservice organizations to ensure their employees have the certifications they need. So whether you’re a large chain with franchises across Ontario or a single-location business, we can help. 

Our Smart Serve course can be delivered via our virtual campus, or your company’s own Learning Management Platform - complete with your own branding, corporate information, and URL.  

We also offer in-house training for employees who prefer not to learn online. Our certified trainers will help you set up your own classroom and guide your team through the course until they’re ready to take their exam. Request a Smart Serve training session here. 

Smart Serve for Individuals 

You don’t have to be a member of a team to take your Smart Serve. You don’t even have to be currently employed in the foodservice sector.  

Given that the certificate is mandatory for anyone serving or handling alcohol, it’s a must-have for anyone looking to start their foodservice career or simply pick up a summer job in a bar or restaurant.  

We offer coaching and support for anyone taking the Smart Serve course so you’ve everything you need to sail through the exam. When you train with us, you can start and stop the course as needed, have access to helpful supporting materials and resources, and get two attempts at the final test. Head over to our virtual campus to enroll now or find out more!