RAMP Certification consists of four program prerequisites, that upon successful completion, enables licensees to apply for RAMP Certification which is then approved by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). Completion of the program provides certification to the licensed establishment for two years.
RAMP Certification is voluntary for many licensees but it can be mandatory under the following circumstances:
  • For any licensee who has been found guilty by an Administrative Law Judge of sales to minors or visibly intoxicated persons.
  • As part of a conditional licensing agreement (CLA).
  • Prior to obtaining a wine expanded permit.
There are four prerequisites of RAMP certification which include: Owner/Manager Training, Server/Seller Training, New Employee Orientation, and Signage.
1. Owner/Manager Training
The first component of RAMP certification is completion of Owner/Manager Training by an owner and/or the PLCB-approved manager, those most responsible for daily operations and determining policies for a licensed establishment. Licensees may choose to complete the Owner/Manager Training online or in a classroom setting. Classroom trainings are offered by the PLCB weekly throughout Pennsylvania.
Note: Beginning October 1, 2021, the first time an individual enrolls in Owner/Manager Training, they shall enroll and attend the Owner/Manager Training in a classroom setting. Subsequent training may be completed in class, virtual or online.
Newly approved managers of certain license types are required to complete Owner/Manager Training within 180 days of approval of appointment by the PLCB, unless the appointed manager has successfully completed training within two years prior to being appointed a manager. Furthermore, the PLCB-approved manager must renew Owner/Manager Training every two years.
2. Server/Seller Training
This component is the focus of this online training. In order to fulfill this requirement, at least 50 percent of the licensee’s alcohol service staff – including anyone who serves or sells alcohol and/or checks IDs, as well as owners or managers who perform these duties – must complete this training before RAMP certification can be granted. This percentage must be maintained at all times. Upon completion of the course, trainees are required to complete a course examination and receive a score of 80 percent or better in order to receive credit for this course. Training is valid for two years.
Licensees may choose to attend classroom training conducted by a PLCB-approved instructor or complete an online training course offered by a PLCB-approved provider. A list of approved trainers and online providers is available on the PLCB’s website. The list changes periodically, so please make sure you have an up-to-date list before scheduling training. Classroom trainings open to the public can be found in PLCB+.
Although server/seller training is one component of RAMP certification, this training by itself is also mandatory for:
  • All staff serving alcohol at an off-premises catering event.
  • All cashiers selling wine at an establishment with a wine expanded permit.
  • All new alcohol service personnel hired on or after August 8, 2016 who are not RAMP-trained must be so w/in six months of being hired and be re-trained before their current training expires.
  • All new alcohol service personnel hired on or after August 8, 2016 who are already RAMP-trained must be re-trained before their current training expires.
  • All employees hired before August 8, 2016 who are not RAMP-trained but transfer into an alcohol service position on or after August 8, 2016 need to obtain RAMP-training w/in six months of assuming their new duties.
3. New Employee Orientation
The third component consists of orientation for all members of the alcohol service staff. Licensees are required to conduct a new employee orientation within 30 days of employee’s hire. The PLCB will provide the orientation form and appropriate learning materials. It is the sole responsibility of the licensee to ensure that an owner, manager or a designated instructor conducts the orientation. Licensees shall maintain these records for all employees for the duration of their employment.
4. Signage
The fourth component consists of displaying posters or signs regarding responsible alcohol service. Appropriate signage is available from the PLCB. However, the licensee may use other signage, providing that it is equivalent in size, number, and content of the PLCB’s signage. Signage must be prominently displayed so that it can be easily observed by patrons. Licensees shall be responsible for posting and maintaining the signage at all times.
Signage must include, at a minimum the following information:
  a. Acceptable forms of ID; and
  b. Refusal of alcohol service to minors and visibly intoxicated patrons.
Apply for RAMP Certification – After successful completion of the four program prerequisites, the licensee must apply for RAMP Certification in PLCB+. Licensee will receive certification providing all requirements are met.
Maintaining Compliance
Once an establishment has become RAMP-certified, it’s up to management to maintain compliance by observing the following:
  • If the owner or manager who completed the Owner/Manager Training changes, the new (or another) owner or manager has 60 days to complete training.
  • If the number of server/seller-trained employees falls below 50 percent, additional employees must be trained within 60 days.
  • New employee orientation must be completed within 30 days of the employee’s hire date (it is recommended that the orientation be completed on or before the first day of employment as a member of the licensee’s alcohol service staff).
  • All new employees must be added to the alcohol service staff roster.
  • The licensee must maintain posting of signs at all times.
Note: Failure to maintain these guidelines may void the establishment’s certification.
Benefits To The Licensee Include:
  • Knowledgeable, well-trained alcohol service staff and management.
  • Recognition as a responsible licensee in your community.
  • Possible liquor liability insurance discount.
  • Less likelihood of dram shop liability.
  • 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.