PGB report

Pubco audit: Concerns over BDM training and new agreement waivers

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

The report expressed concern on the number of waivers granted on Pre-Entry Awareness Training and submission of business plans for new tenants
The report expressed concern on the number of waivers granted on Pre-Entry Awareness Training and submission of business plans for new tenants

Related tags: Industry framework code, Public house, Tavern

There is still room for improvement in the training of business development managers (BDMs) by pubcos as less than two thirds are properly qualified, according to the annual compliance report by the Pub Governing Body (PGB).

The PGB’s annual audit of the main tenanted and leased pubcos Admiral Taverns, Enterprise, Greene King, Marston’s, Punch, Spirit (now Greene King) and Star Pubs & Bars - is part of a commitment under version six of the Pub Industry Framework Code. It aims to highlight standards of compliance and areas in need of improvement.

The report states: “The board was disappointed that there had been no improvement in the rate of qualification of BDMs which remained around 63% across the board (2014: 65.4%) and where there was still room for some improvement. They have acknowledged however that there is still a lack of training capacity. BII are taking a lead and working with training providers to improve this.”

Engagement

According to the report, there were 21 rent reviews referred to the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme and one lease review, and 13 referrals to Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICA-Service). The report also shows good levels of engagement with the Industry Framework Code of Practice with the majority of lease reviews resolved on time or within three months of the due date.

However concern was expressed on the number of “significant” waivers granted on the requirement to complete the Pre-Entry Awareness Training and the submission of business plans for many new tenants.

The number of complaints recorded by individual pubcos was not significantly different from the year before (351 vs 2014: 344). Resolution of complaints within the timescales set out in pubcos’ codes of practice fell from 74.9% the previous year to 67.4%.

‘Work to do’

PGB chair Sir Peter Luff said: “Our first audit highlighted areas of concern around BDM training, increasing use of contracted out agreements and potentially inappropriate use of waivers from pre-entry requirements. The second report reveals the work the pub companies have done to address the latter but there is still more work to do in respect of both and especially BDMs.

“As a Governing Body we continue to challenge the sector to strive for ever higher standards of compliance. We are also pleased, then, to see good levels of engagement on the part of pub companies and their continued assistance with the audit.”

The period covered by the audit was May 2014 – April 2015.

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