Case Study: Smart Serve Ontario


Working in the hospitality industry takes energy, focus, problem solving skills and a lot of training and practice. Irresponsible consumption of alcohol can result in accidents causing injury or death and among wealthy countries, Canada ranks number one in alcohol related vehicular deaths. While obligation does need to fall on the individual to not operate a vehicle under the influence, it is the responsibility of the establishment to properly train anyone that is serving alcohol to see and react to irresponsible consumption.

Smart Serve Ontario, a charitable organization established in 1995, is an advocate for responsible alcohol service and certifies as many as 100,000 hospitality workers to develop the ability to safely serve alcohol.


The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has approved Smart Serve as the official program to train and certify every worker that enters the hospitality industry in Ontario each year, ensuring that alcohol service is aligned with public safety. The program consists of a web-based training and a final exam that historically used a person to monitor test takers, leaving room for human error as well as a host of set-up challenges. Smart Serve needed a solution that was easy to adopt, user-friendly and dependable.


Wanting to maintain authenticity and high standards, the leadership team at Smart Serve began investigating an online proctoring service that monitored the examination process. It was important that the provider was Canadian and was able to provide a high degree of customer support for their large user base. When the organization met with Integrity Advocate, they knew it was the right fit.

“One of the biggest resonating factors was the personal connection the Integrity Advocate team brought to the table. We had a lot of questions and they were very responsive to all of our questions and concerns. There was no logging a ticket – the whole experience has been very personal.” ~ Richard Anderson, Executive Director, Smart Serve Ontario


Today’s learner wants to be in-charge of their own online experience. Smart Serve’s new model of certifying workers to safely handle alcohol allows greater flexibility for the user, while instilling confidence in their ability to complete the exam. Integrity Advocate’s solution has saved many hours put into video review of test takers, as it detects when a session demands review, rather than the previous method of reviewing every examination.

With efficiency and confidence increased, Smart Serve is looking to a future of continuously elevated programming and enhanced user experience. The forward-thinking organization will continue to adapt their practices to maintain a high-level of success in their mission to provide safe and responsible education on the consumption and handling of alcohol.