Do I need a Personal Licence? Q & A

Do I need a Personal Licence? Q & A

Do all my staff need a Personal Licence?

It is not necessary for all staff who work in licensed premises to hold a Personal Licence.  However, it is good practice to ensure that all staff who are involved in the sale of alcohol are trained to a high standard.  This means that staff are able to recognised under age purchasers and potentially drunk customers.  Should anything go wrong at the premises a proper training plan ensures that operators are able to show adequate training has taken place.
Hills Licensing recommends the use of British Institute of Innkeeping training, specifically the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH). 
Frequently asked questions:

Do I need to hold a Personal Licence to sell alcohol?

No, but all sales of alcohol must be “authorised” by a Personal Licence Holder.  For example a pub or restaurant may have a Manager who holds a Personal Licence but 3 or 4 staff who don’t hold a Personal Licence.  The Manager “authorises” those staff to make sales of alcohol on his behalf.
If you want to become the Designated Premises Supervisor at the premises you will need to hold a Personal Licence.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor?

This is the person (usually the Manager but not always) who is in “day to day” control of the premises and is also a Personal Licence Holder.

Do I need to sit the Award for Personal Licence Holders course?

Yes, if you are to go on to become a Personal Licence Holder and Designated Premises Supervisor.

Do I need to have any previous experience or qualifications to sit the course?


How long is the course?

The course is usually taught in a day but some college providers will teach the course over a longer period.

Is there an examination at the end of the course?

The exam is a written multiple choice examination of 40 minutes of which a candidate must obtained 28 out of 40 to pass the exam.

What happens after I pass?

Once the Certificate is obtained the candidate can go on to apply for their Personal Licence through their local Council.  Hills Licensing can assist you with this process.

Are there any reasons why I might not be able to apply for a Personal Licence after I have sat the course?

The course content covers restrictions on those not able to hold a Personal Licence and this includes those persons with relevant convictions such as recent drink driving convictions who may not be able to hold a Personal Licence.

What about Scotland – do they have Personal Licences?

Yes, but there is a separate course available (Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders) if you wish to sell alcohol in Scotland.

How long does the Certificate and Personal Licence last?

The course is only ever needed to be passed once, provided there are no changes in the law in the future.  The Personal Licence, once granted lasts for 10 years and is renewed for further 10 year periods.