Why Every Bar in Pennsylvania Should Require RAMP Certification

One of the most common questions in the industry is as to why do bars require RAMP certification, especially when a bartender may already have been ServSafe or TIPs certified. This is despite many TIPs affiliates altering the truth and claiming to be an approved course in Pennsylvania (the only approved alcohol programs in Pennsylvania are led by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board).

The reason for why every bar in Pennsylvania should only require their bartenders to be RAMP certified can be summed up with the PLCB's own writing:

  • Possible reduction in the fines and penalties issued by an Administrative Law Judge to the licensee for serving a minor or a visibly intoxicated patron, as long as the licensee was in compliance at the time of the violation and had no citations for either of those two violations in the previous four years.
  • Possible liquor liability insurance discount.
  • Knowledgeable, well-trained alcohol service staff and management.
  • Recognition as a responsible licensee in your community.
  • Less likelihood of dram shop liability.

To clarify some of the more confusing items:

While the PLCB can't guarantee a discount, many insurance companies do in fact give one out as long as the bar promises that at least 50% of their alcohol serving staff is certified. For some of the bigger policies, these contracts could be savings of thousands of dollars each year. Another major reason, is that licensees will regularly get charges reduced when they are caught acting out of compliance if they are RAMP certified.

The reason other alcohol server certifications are not endorsed in the state of Pennsylvania is because they are not directly regulated by the PLCB and this could be just as complicated as not having PLCB training for bars or insurance companies. As a result, most managers will ask all of their bartenders to become RAMP certified even if they are already certified in TIPs or ServSafe.