The Benefits of
RAMP Certification

You own or operate a licensed alcohol establishment in Yourtown, PA. Your staff is in compliance with their server/seller training and they’re awesome. Your business is doing pretty well! But is there anything else you could be doing? Something to give you an edge, or at least protect your investment? Well, yes - there is. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has a program called RAMP Certification (read our blog on the differences between training and certification). It’s a voluntary program (except in some circumstances, which we’ll explain in a minute) and you really don’t have to certify your business. It’s just that - well, the benefits are really too good to pass up, to be honest. It can improve your training and education programs for your staff, protect your patrons, and even raise your standing in the community. Pretty great, right?

So - just to get this out of the way - RAMP Certification for your business is NOT mandatory (like Server/Seller Training is for employees) except in the following circumstances: an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may require your business to become RAMP certified after an infraction of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code, like serving a minor or an intoxicated patron (read our blog “Selling to Minors in Pennsylvania - PLCB Guidelines & Consequences” for more info on this), as part of a Conditional Licensing Agreement (see an EXAMPLE CLA), or as part of a Wine Expanded Permit (WEP). But RAMP Certification isn’t a punishment or a hoop to jump through to satisfy the PLCB. It’s actually exactly what its name says it is: a Responsible Alcohol Management Program. Let’s take a look at the requirements and the benefits.

What Are the Requirements of RAMP Certification?

1. Owner/Manager Training – An owner OR the PLCB-approved manager must take and complete this training. Per PLCB: “Training topics will include creation of house policies and procedures for staff and the public, as well as aspects of the Server/Seller training”.

2. Server/Seller Training – You probably already know the rules on Server/Seller training. Here’s an interesting point though. The PLCB says: “At least 50 percent of the licensee's alcohol service staff must be trained before certification can be granted. This percentage must be maintained at all times.” This isn’t what it sounds like, and you can’t just have HALF of your RAMP-required staff trained at any one time. Read our blog “The RAMP Rules - Let's Clear Some Things Up” which addresses this phrase (and a few others).

3. New Employee Orientation – New-Hire Training, sometimes referred to as “Onboarding” is required of all current alcohol service staff and each new employee within 30 days of hire. It also includes an acknowledgement form, the “New Employee Licensee Orientation Form” which must be signed by each employee and kept on file as long as the employee works there. This training and accompanying documentation are a good start to a comprehensive training program, with procedural “house rules” policies, training for different positions, and overall organization of your staff and their performance, if you don’t have those in place already.

4. Signage – At least two signs must be posted and maintained at all times in the establishment, (where patrons can easily see them) advising guests on the rules for acceptable ID and serving to minors or intoxicated customers. You can order PLCB approved signs through your PLCB+ account. Or you can use your own signs, as long as they abide by PLCB guidelines.

5. Application for Certification – Once you’ve got the above 4 things done, you can apply for Certification. These instructions are provided by PLCB to guide you through it. Per the PLCB: “A licensed establishment is not RAMP-certified until all requirements are met and certification is granted by the PLCB.”

So that’s how we get started on the road to RAMP Certification, but what exactly does it get us?

What are the benefits of RAMP Certification?
Per the PLCB: “Benefits of RAMP certification to the licensee include:
● Knowledgeable, well-trained alcohol service staff and management
● Recognition as a responsible licensee in your community
● Less likelihood of dram shop liability
● Possible liquor liability insurance discount
● Possible reduction in fines and penalties issued by an Administrative Law Judge for serving a minor or visibly intoxicated patron (as long as the licensee was RAMP-certified at the time of the violation and had no citations for either of those two violations in the previous four years).”

So, here’s the deal on RAMP Certification. It’s a program that helps you put training systems in place for your staff and the daily operations of your business, helps to educate and inform your patrons and staff on the importance of responsible alcohol service and sales, lowers your liability in case of an incident, and very effectively protects your business against harsh penalties when infractions happen. It’s sort of a win-win situation for your establishment, and you may want to seriously consider becoming RAMP Certified for the benefits it brings with it.

If you have any questions at all concerning RAMP Certification or RAMP Server/Seller Training, we’re here to make your life (and your business) worry-free. We’re currently offering a FREE 15-minute telephone consultation with our Compliance Expert, in which you can talk about anything and everything RAMP related, and get solid business advice. No Strings Attached. You can grab this opportunity just by clicking here and reserving a calendar spot, or fill out the form below to have us call you directly. Either way is fine - and it’s up to you! is the largest and most widely used online RAMP Server/Seller training provider in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with over 75,000 people trained. Our team collectively has over 25 years of regulatory compliance training experience and 95% of our users pass the RAMP course on the first attempt. We’re experts in the industry and we’re here to help you and your business succeed.

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