Host responsibility

Host responsibility means creating a responsible drinking environment and looking out for your customers while they are on your premises. 

Host responsibility is based on six key concepts, a responsible host:

  • Prevents intoxication
  • Does not serve alcohol to minors
  • Provides and actively promotes low-alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives
  • Provides and actively promotes substantial food
  • Serves alcohol responsibly or not at all
  • Arranges safe transport options

Requirements for current licence holders

If you hold an alcohol licence, your premises should have a host responsibility policy documenting your commitment to host responsibility practices. The Licensing Inspector may ask to see this policy as part of the licence renewal process.

While a host responsibility policy outlines your premises’ commitment to the principles of host responsibility, this should be followed up with an implementation plan outlining how staff will apply the policy.

Host responsibility policy guidelines 

Manager’s checklist

  • Your host responsibility policy is written specifically for the premises, ideally with staff input.

  • The policy is clearly visible to patrons and staff.

  • Staff are aware of the policy, are suitably trained and receive obvious support from management, including the ongoing discussion of issues that may arise.

  • Food is available at all times when alcohol is sold. Menus are clearly visible. It is a condition of all licences that food and non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks are available at all times alcohol is sold or served.

  • The safe and healthy use of alcohol is encouraged: 

  1. Various food promotions and specials are available cheaply and quickly.
  2. Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks are promoted and readily available  and staff  have a   positive attitude towards these drinks.
  3. The premises supports a designated driver scheme.
  4. Safe drinking and driving levels are actively encouraged.
  5. Tea, coffee and iced water are available at the bars. Water is free of charge.
  6. There is clear signage about the size of spirits served – doubles or singles.
  • Clear and obvious notices about the laws relating to serving minors and intoxicated persons are displayed.
  • Staff are trained to recognise and understand intoxication and practical interventions. They are encouraged to intervene early, either directly or through friends, and instructed not to continue serving alcohol to any customer who appears to be getting intoxicated.

  • A telephone is readily available so patrons can call a taxi easily.

  • There are no promotions that encourage intoxication.

Guidelines for licensed premises

To view the guidelines for licensed premises please visit health promotion agency's alcohol website.

A sample host responsibility policy is available below in both PDF and Word version. This sample contains the type of information that should be included.