My Shout

Related tags Personal licence holders License

John McNamara says it is crucial for hosts to know the important parts of the new Licensing Act I think that we can all agree that the licensed trade...

John McNamara says it is crucial for hosts to know the important parts of the new Licensing Act

I think that we can all agree that the licensed trade needs to continue to be seen as professional and responsible. The bashing we have had recently at the hands of the media makes this even more important. That is why it is crucial for personal licence holders to know the law and the basis on which the Licensing Act has been implemented.

The public, the industry and its regulators must have confidence in those people who actually sell alcohol in the retail environment. To achieve this, there is a requirement for a qualification to support the licensing process, but not all the licensing qualifications in the market are of a similar standard. Some personal licence holders have gone through the process without evidencing knowledge of the most important responsibilities of the Licensing Act, such as not serving underage or intoxicated drinkers, or an understanding of the licensing objectives.

To ensure that the industry is represented by professional, responsible alcohol retailers, the BIIAB, the awarding body for the BII, developed the BIIAB Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) to ensure that it not only met the needs of the trade but also the Licensing Act by ensuring that knowledge of the most important aspects of the Act were compulsory to pass the examination leading to the qualification. This stipulation was recommended by the Licensing Advisory Group for the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) but was not included in the design specification for awarding bodies intending to develop the qualification.

The rationale behind this stipulation was to ensure that individuals who did not know those specific points of law would not be considered suitable to hold a personal licence and, therefore, become designated premises supervisors, responsible for the day-to-day running of licensed premises.

This requirement has not been included in the other qualifications accredited by the DCMS and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). However, the latter organisation has agreed to conduct a comparability review of all the qualifications designed to support the licensing process and we await their findings.

As the professional body for the industry, the BII is concerned that not including these questions in all the qualifications in the market place will negatively impact upon the way in which premises are run and the overall reputation of the trade. The national steering group for the development of the BIIAB qualification and the DCMS advisory group felt that knowledge of the law around these topic areas was essential to the responsible management of licensed premises.

Organisations not affiliated to the BII are actively marketing their qualification as easier to pass than the BIIAB's. It is crucial that we are all operating on an even playing field if the integrity of the personal licence and the NCPLH is to be protected.

Related topics Other operators

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more