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TIPS Certified: Serving Alcohol Responsibly

Serving Alcohol

Serving alcohol has legal responsibilities that come with consuming alcohol. In many states, it is required for an alcohol-serving establishment and alcohol server to undergo training for intervention purposes or commonly known as TIPS.

This certification is widely used in almost all parts of the United States involved in the alcohol-serving industry, such as bartenders, waiters, retail vendors, and business establishments.

If you are planning to serve alcohol in your business or wants to serve alcohol as your profession, you might need to learn how to become TIPS certified.

What is TIPS Certification?

Training for Intervention Purposes aims to educate bartenders, waiters, and alcohol servers on the legal responsibilities of selling and serving alcohol, spotting fake IDs, not serving liquor to minors, refusing sales when necessary, recognizing intoxicated persons, and many more.

The Prevent Council has since offered this training program since 2002. It has trained hundreds, or even thousands, of people over that span. The courses are generally centered around the bar and restaurant industries, especially the staff of these establishments.

People who undergo the training program are trained by certified TIPS trainers who also completed their TIPS training programs. After the training program ends, participants must pass the exam to receive their TIPS certificate. The TIPS certificate is valid for three years.

How To Get You Started

Back in the day, participants usually go through in-person training. Still, you can now apply for a TIPS bartender certification online and choose the best type of TIPS certification course, which also depends on the establishment you are working for.

You can complete that TIPS certification program in the comfort of your home, office, or at your own pace. Once you’ve passed, an email will be sent to you within ten business days.

What is covered by the TIPS course?

There are a lot of topics that cover the entire training in prevention purposes program. However, there are three main focuses, Practice/Rehearsal, Information, and Skills training.

Here’s what typically goes through the training program:

  • State Laws – every state law related to serving and selling alcohol
  • How to Check IDS – detect fake IDs and spot proper formats and things to look for an ID to know if it’s legit.
  • Prevention Duties – learn to prevent strategies to prevent alcohol-related problems
  • Behavioral Cues – know the signs that a person is already intoxicated
  • Blood Alcohol Content – The level of alcohol in a person’s body
  • Documentation – Documents need to be taken in alcohol-related situations

Skills Training

The skills training is present in two parts; Evaluating Responses Cues. This typically goes through because participants are given different kinds of scenarios about serving alcohol. Participants are given short videos to evaluate and rate these scenes based on the predetermined chart.

In addition, they are also tasked to explain why they have given such a rating about the video they watched. The Skills Training program is responsible for training participants to assess the behaviors of an intoxicated person, how to address different kinds of alcohol-related scenarios, intoxication levels, and many more. (1)


Participants are now given live scenarios on how to address different kinds of situations related to serving alcohol and assess how they can use effective responses to each varying scenario. The TIPS trainers will evaluate participants based on their actions and intervention techniques.

NOTE: The TIPS training covers many areas related to serving alcohol. Participants can either take the course online or in person.

Why Is Being TIPS Certified Important?

TIPS is mandatory in almost all states in the U.S. it states that alcohol servers should complete the training program within 30 days of getting hired.

What this implies is it serves as your protection when you are involved in an alcohol-related accident while doing your necessary duties obtained through the training program.

In addition, one of the best things about being a TIPS certified alcohol server is you are easily hirable by different alcohol-serving establishments, such as bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and many more.

For the last 30 years, this training program has trained over 3 million individuals across the United States. What makes this training program even more convenient for you is you can enroll through various online courses, and when you pass the exam, you are given a certificate valid for three years. 


If you see yourself working within the alcohol-serving establishments or plan to invest in one, being TIPS certified will do wonders for you and the establishment you have or are working with.

Remember, serving alcohol isn’t the as giving them chugs of beer and enjoying themselves until they are intoxicated. TIPS certification is a reminder that you, as an owner or employee, have legal responsibilities to make serving and selling alcohol safe for the masses. This article should help you know the importance of being TIPS certified. (2)