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Special Event Server

What is Special Event Server?

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The Special Event Server (SES) course is British Columbia's mandatory self-study course for serving alcohol at special events. The course provides information on legal responsibilities and effective techniques for recognizing intoxication and preventing problems related to over-service. The SES course is administered by go2HR - BC's tourism industry human resource association.

Who Needs the Special Event Server Certificate?

All servers both paid and unpaid serving at special events must be SES-certified regardless of the number of event attendees. Managers and Special Event Permit holders for events with less than 500 people are also required to take the SES course. For anyone currently holding a valid Serving It Right Certification there is no need to also complete the SES course.

How Do I Get a Special Event Server Certificate?

Certification is obtained by taking the SES course and passing an exam. The course can only be taken online at www.specialeventserver.com. The online program takes approximately an hour, and offers quizzes and interactive features to help you learn the materials. The cost is $20 and you will receive your test results immediately. Upon successful completion, you can also print out your SES certificate right away.

Does My SES Certificate Expire?

As of September 15, 2015 all SES Certificates will come printed with a 5-year expiry date from completion. All SES Certificates completed prior to this date will be deemed to have expired on September 15, 2020.

Do I Also Need Serving It Right?

For any event with more than 500 attendees all managers and Special Event Permit holders must take Serving It Right. For a complete list of those requiring a Special Event Server or Serving It Right certificate, as well as those exempted from this requirement, please see What certification do I need?

If you have any questions about the Special Event Server course, please contact us via the online form.

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