Qualification aims to improve standards in entertainment pubs
A new qualification to encourage best practice among licensees running entertainment pubs is aimed at improving the trade's reputation.
The Entertainment Licensee's National Certificate (ELNC) was unveiled this month by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII).
The certificate, awarded by the BII's awarding body, the BIIAB, was launched in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - where the scheme has been piloted since last summer. It is expected to be adopted by local authorities around the country.
"We want licensees to become part of the solution and not part of the problem," said Mary Curnock Cook, director of the BII. "Our sector is tired of being blamed for all society's ills and this qualification will play an important part in helping the licensed sector work closely with local authorities to fight crime and disorder."
The launch of the ELNC coincides with The Publican Newspaper's Setting the Standards campaign which is also aimed at encouraging best practice in the trade.Georgina Wald, spokeswoman for the BII, said the Institute supported the Setting the Standards campaign.
"The BII is all about high standards and professionalism and anything that helps the industry maintain standards across the board should be welcomed," she said. "The campaign backs up what the Institute has been shouting about for years."
The ELNC, which is aimed at licensees of premises with a public entertainment licence (PEL), has been developed through a partnership with organisations including the British Entertainment and Discotheque Association (BEDA), the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
There is a handbook for candidates, which contains all the information they need to pass a 50-question exam, and covers issues ranging from the responsibility of the licensee, to the laws governing noise nuisance and fire safety.
Jane Chevis, from the Local Government Association, said: "The safe and responsible operation of any licensed premise is a difficult task. This should help."In Kensington there is a year-long programme to ensure all holders of a PEL also hold the ELNC and some authorities are considering making the ELNC a condition of holding a PEL.
In Westminster, where the scheme has also been piloted, there has already been an improvement in relations between the community and pubs.
Along with the ELNC, the BII has also launched its Door Supervisor's National Certificate (DSNC ), a two-stage qualification awarded jointly by the BIIAB and City and Guilds.
Stage one is a handbook and exam covering basic knowledge, including licensing law and social skills. Successful candidates then receive a passport-type certificate with a photograph.
The second stage includes five modules - first aid, fire safety, drugs awareness, conflict management and physical intervention. They can be taken at any time after stage one and can also be recorded on the passport.