Responsible liquor sale, service and delivery training

Every person involved in the sale, service, sampling or delivery of liquor or in taking orders for the sale of liquor needs to be Smart Serve certified.

The Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor (Interim Standards) legally require that licensees must ensure that the following persons hold a valid certificate demonstrating successful completion of a training course approved by the Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO):

  • Every person involved in the sale, service, sampling or delivery of liquor or in taking orders for the sale of liquor;
  • Security staff employed by the licensee or used by stadiums; and  
  • Employees selling or serving liquor from motorized vending carts, as well as course marshals, for Golf Course Endorsement holders. 

It is recommended for all liquor licensees to keep a copy of their and their employees’ certifications. AGCO Inspectors may ask a licensee for proof of a staff member’s certification at any time. 

Requirement to hold a Valid Training Certificate

In Ontario, all liquor training certifications need to be renewed every five years. This ensures that individuals update their training to keep their certificate valid. 

AGCO Board Approved Programs

Smart Serve® Training Program

Smart Serve® (the Smart Serve Ontario training program), is the only AGCO Board approved sales and service training program in Ontario.

The Smart Serve program is available online. It can be completed individually, or in a group in-class session offered by an approved organization. All final tests are proctored and must be completed online. 

For more information please visit:

Head Office:

Smart Serve Ontario
5090 Explorer Drive, Suite 800
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 4T9

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



Open Call for Additional Liquor Retail Employee Training Programs 

To support the province’s plans for an expanded liquor retail marketplace, the AGCO is offering more options for social responsibility training programs for liquor retail employees.

Applications are now being accepted from those interested in providing an AGCO Board-approved liquor retail employee training program.  

It is anticipated that up to five new training programs will be approved by AGCO Board of Directors. For application information, visit the ConnectAGCO webpage.

Smart Serve will continue to be the only AGCO Board-approved training program for the broader liquor sector, including for liquor sales licensees and their employees.  Staff who currently hold a valid Smart Serve training certificate can sell liquor in retail settings until their certificate expires. Once it expires, they must recertify with Smart Serve or obtain a new certificate from another Board approved liquor retail employee training program to continue to sell liquor in a retail setting.  

Please return to this webpage to learn about new Board-approved liquor retail employee training programs as they become available.