How important is it to have a personal licence? Well, if you are the designated premises supervisor (DPS) of premises that sell or supply alcohol, it is essential.
It may, of course, be a condition of your licence that you need to have a personal licence holder present at all times alcohol is on sale. However, for many smaller operators, the cost of sending staff on the personal licence course is one they wish to try to minimise.
Whatever your reasons, it is still good practice to provide training in the basics of licensing, especially for those occasions when you are absent from your business.
Of course, the extent of that training will depend upon the nature and location of your business, as well as the number and experience of your staff members. Here are some tips on the main areas of licensing and enforcement law and regulation that your staff should have some knowledge of if they are not planning to obtain a personal licence:
- The licensing objectives. Because these provide a framework for all alcohol and entertainment licensing in England and Wales, it is vital all your staff are aware of them and their importance.
- A brief outline of the law relatingto the service of drunken people and how to spot the signs of intoxication.
- Your underage sales challenge policy. If you sell or supply alcohol, it is a condition of your licence that you have an age verification policy. A model policy can be found in the latest Home Office guidance on mandatory licensing conditions. Your staff should also know how to check for ID.
- Counterfeit alcohol. Ensure your staff are trained to know the signs of when alcohol may be counterfeit.
- Children. Your staff should be familiar with the law relating to the admission of unaccompanied children and if you offer food, they should be familiar with the law relating to the service of alcohol with a table meal.
- Cigarettes. You will need to train your staff that it is illegal to sell cigarettes to a person under 18. They should also be aware of your policy on electronic cigarettes.
- Drugs. Even if you believe your premises are at low risk of drug activity, a brief outline of the types of drugs commonly used, and their effects is advisable.
- It is good practice to train your staff in the strength of the alcoholic drinks available in your premises.
- Measures. Ensure your staff are familiar with the need to be able to serve smaller measures to your customers.
- Licence conditions — both the mandatory conditions relating to irresponsible drinks promotions and the conditions on your premises licence. Once training has taken place, we recommend that each staff member signs and dates a record of their training.