12 Questions About the Smart Serve Certification Test

What is Smart Serve?
Smart Serve (or SmartServe Ontario) was created with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in 1995 to provide training in responsible alcohol beverage service for the Ontario hospitality industry.

Who needs Smart Serve certification?
Smart Serve is now required by anyone who serves or handles alcohol and managers and security staff in Ontario. Since the early 2000s, all staff, managers, licensees, and security must be certified and carry their Smart Serve card while working.

Where is it valid?
It is an Ontario program, so it’s only valid in Ontario. Other provinces have their certification programs, but the programs’ aim is similar: to teach staff how to serve alcohol to the public responsibly.

I have a serving licence from outside Ontario. Can I use that instead?
No, Smart Serve is the only program approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

How old do you have to be to take the Smart Serve test?
There is no age limit. However, you must be 18 years to serve alcohol in Ontario.

Do Smart Serve certificates expire?
No, they do not currently. However, audits can be done, usually, a few weeks after you’ve taken the test. There is also a recertification test you can choose if you want to upgrade your skills.

How long do I have to get my Smart Serve after being hired?
You are required by law to have your certification by the 1st day of work.

How much does Smart Serve certification cost?
Smart Serve is done as an online test. It costs $34.95 each (plus HST) and gives you two tries at passing the test. Taking the test in a classroom depends on the school.

What do I need to take my Smart Serve certification test online?
You can take the exam on a computer or a mobile device. For a computer, it’s recommended you have Chrome (or Firefox). You can check if your computer meets the requirements by going to: www.smartserve.ca/proctoring-exams and clicking on the online tool.

What languages are the test available in?
The online training and test are fully translated (text, video, audio) in six languages: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish.

How long does the test take and what’s the passing mark?
The test takes approximately 4 hours. If you score 80% or higher and pass the integrity check. Your confirmation and certificate number will be emailed to you within 2 hours. Cards are mailed out after and take about 2-3 weeks to arrive by Canada Post.

If I’ve lost my SmartServe card, how much is it to replace?
The cost is currently $10. You can order a replacement at: www.smartserve.ca/replacement-cards by logging into your account.

Schools Offering Smart Serve Certification Training

Note: since the release of the online testing, several of these locations may no longer offer in-class testing.

SchoolCityContactTelephone
Loyalist College – Bancroft CampusBancroft(613) 332-1743
Sault College – Employment SolutionsBlind River(705) 356-1611
Georgian CollegeBracebridgeTerri Plaxton-Smith(705) 646-7629 ext 4813
St. Clair CollegeChathamDoris Summerfield(519) 354-9100 ext 3260
Georgian CollegeCollingwood(705) 445-2961 ext 2900
Mohawk CollegeHamiltonBonnie Pataran(905) 575-2307
Northern CollegeKirkland LakeGlenda Jackson(705) 567-9291 ext 3624
Bartender OneToronto(416) 461-4441 ext 4203
iTrain – Workplace and Hospitality TrainingTorontoJesse Prasad(647) 477-7978
Toronto Institute of BartendingToronto(416) 862-7272
FoodPrep IncTorontoMelanie Myers(416) 838-2032
St. Clair CollegeWindsorContinuing Education(519) 972-2711

Other Organizations Offering Smart Serve Certification Training

OrganizationCityContactTelephone
Focus Community Development OrganizationAllistonLisa Griffin(705) 435-9821 ext 137
Employment Help CentreBeamsvillePat Stewart(905) 563-9675 ext 2221
Community Employment ServicesBelleville(613) 966-0205
bradfordWORKS-Community Employment ServicesBradfordMartha Greig(905) 778-9058
John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-DufferinBramptonReception(905) 459-0111 ext 317
Employment and Education CentreBrockvilleLesley Cameron(613) 498-2111 ext 222
Town of Bracebridge – Recreation DepartmentBracebridgeChristine Cousins(705) 645-3037 ext 237
Town of CollingwoodCollingwoodMichelle Kusiar(705) 445-9463 ext 3286
Campbellford Community Resource CentreCampbellfordCarolyn Anderson(705) 653-5161 ext 220
London Training CentreLondonKristie Balatsoukas(519) 685-4331 ext 225
John Howard SocietyOshawaSarah Van Niedek(905) 579-8482 ext 240
Employment Planning and CounsellingPeterboroughJessica Deans(705) 748-9110
Goodwill Future FocusChathamReception(519) 354-5888 ext 240
Job GymSt Catharines(905) 682-8372
Aboriginal Career & Employment Ne-Chee FriendshipKenoraPatti Fairfield/Sherry(807) 468-5440
Keys Job CentreKingston(613) 546-5559
On Track Employment ResourcesSmith Falls(613) 283-6978
Town of Richmond HillRichmond HillMichael Watson(905) 884-0855 ext 220
Yes Employment ServicesThunder BaySharon Kovacic(807) 624-1960
Municipality of Chatham-KentTilburyRob Veccia(613) 283- 6978
Employment SolutionsWellandIna(905) 788-3751
Insight Advantage IncWindsorTabitha Hicks(519) 254-1445 ext 101
Unemployed Help CentreWindsorElla/Patti(519) 944-4900 ext 113/103

For the full list, see: www.smartserve.ca/in-class-training-sites