For more information about the ProServe program, please see the questions below. If the answer to your question isn't here, check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or SMART Programs Training Requirements pages. If you need more help, please contact us.

1. What is ProServe Liquor Staff Training?

ProServe is Alberta's responsible liquor service and sales training program. Certification is mandatory for workers in specified positions.

Since 2004, ProServe has helped liquor industry workers understand how to serve and sell liquor responsibly. Certification is mandatory for workers in specified positions.

ProServe does not replace the on-the-job training, knowledge or experience provided or required by a worker's employer or special event licensee. It does not include information on all liquor laws or AGLC policies.

2. Why was it created?

ProServe is a social responsibility training program designed to reduce:

  • Underage drinking
  • Over-consumption of liquor
  • Impaired driving and
  • Liquor-related harms and violence

A bit of history: In 2004, AGLC launched ASIP, or the Alberta Server Intervention Program, an industry-led responsible beverage service training program for all workers who serve or sell liquor. ASIP was created from other responsible liquor service training programs to provide standardised social responsibility training to liquor industry workers across Alberta.

In 2008, ASIP was renamed to ProServe.

3. What are the benefits of having a ProServe certificate?

Successfully completing ProServe helps ensure workers understand what duty of care is and how to prevent foreseeable harm to customers, guests, co-workers and the public. It also helps staff and volunteers understand some of Alberta's liquor laws and AGLC's policies so they can provide safe, responsible liquor service.

Private clubs and special events licensees have the same legal responsibilities as businesses that sell or serve liquor for profit. Insurance companies may require that people selling or serving liquor at these locations are ProServe-certified. Contact your provider or review the terms of your rental agreement for more information.

4. Who has to be ProServe-certified?

ProServe certification is mandatory for the following full-time and part-time staff:

  • Positions where liquor is provided under the authority of a Class A, B, D, E, F and Duty Free licence (excluding Class D - Sacramental Wine Resale licence):
    • Licensed premises owners that are responsible for directly managing a licensed premises
    • Managers and supervisors
    • Liquor retailers
    • Bartenders and servers
    • Greeters and hosts
    • Security staff (directly employed or contracted by the licensee)
    • Owners and managers of a company contracted to provide security
  • Positions where liquor is provided under the authority of an SEL Public Resale - Commercial liquor licence:
    • Managers, supervisors, bartenders, servers and drink ticket sellers;
    • Security staff (directly employed or contracted by the licensee); and
    • Owners and managers of a company contracted to provide security.
  • Positions where liquor is provided under the authority of an SEL Public Resale - Community liquor licence:
    • The licensee and designate(s); and
    • A minimum of 25% of all bartenders/servers on-site.
  • Persons registered with the AGLC as a liquor agency and their employees whose duties include the sampling of liquor products.

Other SMART certification(s) may be required for the work you do.

5. When do I have to be certified?

Persons requiring ProServe certification must be certified within 30 days of their employment start date or before the expiration date on their certificate. Liquor industry workers selling or serving liquor for Commercial Public Resale Special Event must be certified before the event.

More information about ProServe policies can be found in Section 1.6 of the AGLC Liquor Licensee Handbook, General Merchandise Liquor Store and Retail Liquor Stores Handbooks, and in Section 2.3 of the Liquor Agency Handbook at aglc.ca.

6. Who does not need ProServe certification?

ProServe certification is not required for staff working full-time or part-time:

  • As kitchen staff, bus persons and cleaning staff in licensed premises
  • Where liquor is provided under the authority of a Private Special Event licence
  • Where liquor is provided under the authority of a Class C licence (Note: the Board may require the licensee to meet ProServe training requirements if the Class C licensee has violated the GLCA, GLCR, or Board policies)
  • Where liquor is provided under the authority of a Class D Sacramental Wine Resale licence.

MINORS: Minors (anyone under 18 years of age) do not require ProServe certification. From Section 5.5 of the Liquor Licensee Handbook:

  • No minor may enter a Class A Minors Prohibited licensed premises or any other licensed premises where minors are prohibited, except as specified in Sections 5.513 and 5.5.14.
  • No minor may work as staff in a Class A Minors Prohibited licensed premises; a Class D licensed retail liquor store, a hotel off sales room, a manufacturer's off sales room, a Class F ferment-on-premises facility; a duty free store; or any other premises where a "minors prohibited" condition has been imposed on the licence.
  • A minor employed as table staff in a Class A, B or C licensed premises where minors are allowed may not sell or serve liquor.
  • No minor may be employed in a Class E licensed premises.

For more information, see AGLC's liquor policies, online at aglc.ca

Class C and Private Special Events licensees: Private clubs and special events have the same legal responsibilities as businesses that sell or serve liquor for profit. Insurance companies may require that people selling or serving liquor at these locations are ProServe-certified. Contact your provider or review the terms of your rental agreement for more information.

ProServe is available to Class C and private special event licensees at no charge. For more information, contact us. Toll-free in Alberta, call 1-877-436-6336, Mondays through Fridays, between 8:15 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

7. What happens if I do not comply?

Licensee staff and public special event workers must provide proof of ProServe certification at the request of an AGLC Inspector. Failure to show proof of certification (card, Personal Information page, image or photo saved to a mobile device/phone) may result in disciplinary action.

Licensees with uncertified staff could face penalties such as a warning, fine, liquor licence suspension or termination.

Liquor legislation and policies are online at aglc.ca.

8. What do I need to know after I'm certified?

An industry worker's ProServe certification will be placed into conditional status* when an employee at a licensed premises is found to violate any of the following:

  • Section 75 GLCA: give, sell or supply liquor to a minor;
  • Section 75.1 GLCA: sell or provide liquor to an intoxicated person, permit an intoxicated person to consume liquor or take part in a gaming activity or provincial lottery that is conducted in the licensed premises; and
  • AGLC Board policy: failure to ask for proof of age for those persons who appear to be under 25 years of age.

Policy and program content may change after industry workers are certified. Industry workers are responsible for reviewing the program content and the Liquor Licensee Handbook, Retail Liquor Stores Handbook, General Merchandise Liquor Stores Handbook, or Liquor Agency Handbook (at aglc.ca) periodically to keep their knowledge current.

Licensees must keep a log of employees who are ProServe-certified, including the following information:

  • Employee name as it appears on the certification card
  • SMART Training registration number; and
  • Expiry date

Note: Logs are subject to review by the AGLC.

AGLC's liquor and gaming policies are online at aglc.ca.

9. I have questions about my ProServe certification. Where can I go to find more information?

More information is on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Contact Us pages.

You can also contact SMART Programs office:

Phone: Toll-free in Alberta at 1-877-436-6336, Mondays through Fridays, from 8:15 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Fax: 780-651-7626, addressed to the attention of the SMART Programs.
Email: info@proserve.aglc.ca
Mail: SMART Programs
c/o AGLC
50 Corriveau Avenue
St. Albert, Alberta T8N 3T5
In Person: We're at the AGLC Head Office in St. Albert. Click on the map to find us.

Note: The SMART Programs office is closed on weekends, statutory holidays, and from Christmas Day through New Year's Day.