To sell alcohol under a Premises Licence, you need a Personal Licence. Many premises operate where a Personal Licence holder authorises all the other staff (who are not Personal Licence Holders) to sell alcohol. This individual is called the Designated Premises Supervisor. In reality, there need only be one individual at the licensed premises who holds a Personal Licence (ie: the DPS). This is a big mistake. Simply, it means that only the DPS holder knows the law. The other members of staff just think they do!
If you operate licensed premises, you should always have as many Personal Licence holders at the premises as possible. You are then demonstrating that you are serious about promoting the four licensing objectives.
All licence applications must comply with four licensing objectives:
- the prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- the prevention of public nuisance
- the protection of children from harm
Prevention of Crime and Disorder
- Breaches of licensing conditions, authorised activities or authorised hours
- Allowing drug dealing
- Anti-social behaviour
- Fire safety issues
- Injuries or accident in licensed premises
The prevention of public nuisance
Public nuisance is given a statutory meaning in many pieces of legislation. It is, however, not narrowly defined in the Licensing Act 2003 and retains its broad common law meaning.
- noise nuisance
- light pollution
- delivery times
- noxious smells
The protection of children from harm
This objective relates to the protection of children from moral, psychological and physical harm. This includes protecting them from early exposure to:
- strong language
- sexual expletives
- adult entertainment
- drinking alcohol
Whatever the type of premises, a bar, pub, restaurant, supermarket, convenience store etc, the four licensing objectives are of paramount importance.
How to apply for a Personal LIcence
Complete the application forms. I have a supply of these and during the day’s training, I will fill these in with you, to ensure you have done everything correctly for the application to take place without any fuss.
From 6 April 2017, individual applicants and applications from partnerships which are not limited liability partnerships are required to provide documentation to prove entitlement to work/immigration status. (Immigration Act 2016 – right to work and immigration status)
To hold a licence an individual or member of a partnership must be resident in the UK and:
Have the right to live and work in the UK and
Have no conditions preventing them from doing the licensable activity
A photcopy of your passport is the easiest document to prove this requirement to obtain a Personal Licence.
After 6 April if the licence holder no longer has the right to work in the UK the personal licence will be invalid.
The fee is £37, payable to your local authority. You Personal Licence will last indefinitely and does not need to be renewed.
Providing there are no unspent relevant offences the licence will be granted as soon as possible..
If there are any unspent relevant offences, your local licensing authority must consult with the Chief Officer of Police (COP) for them to determine whether the offence has a detrimental impact on the crime and disorder licensing objective. If licensing receive an objection from the COP then the application will need to be considered by the licensing sub-committee.
If you want to apply for a Personal Licence call me, Johnny Walker on 07970 134 730 for free, no-obligation details of how to go about the whole process.
A Personal Licence is required by an individual to supply or authorise the sale of alcohol in any licensed premises. The Personal Licence is separate from the premises licence which authorises the premises to be used for the supply of alcohol. A Personal Licence authorises its holder to supply alcohol only from establishments with a premises licence authorising the supply of alcohol in accordance with the premises licence.
There is an application fee payable when applying for a personal licence. GOV.UK has further information on alcohol licensing. Applications should be submitted to the Licensing team at your local authority, just Google them
To make an application, you will need:
- a completed application form
- a completed disclosure of convictions and declaration
- a basic DBS disclosure certificate (less than 28 days old at the date of application) Current cost £23
- proof of qualification, the Highfield level II certificate from me.
- two passport size photos (one signed to endorse it is a true likeness. Some authorities also request a photo form)
- the correct fee
- proof of your right to work in the United Kingdom (a photocopy of your passport)
Notification of change of address.
The Licensing Act Section 127 (1) states that the holder of a personal licence must, as soon as is reasonably practical, notify the relevant licensing authority of any change in their name or address as stated in the personal licence. The notification must be accompanied by the prescribed fee (£10.50). There is no prescribed form of notification, a letter will suffice but most licesing authorities have a form on their web site for this purpose.
The notice must be accompanied by the personal licence or, if that is not practicable, by a statement setting out the reasons when the licence cannot be produced.
A Personal License holder who fails to give notice of the change in his name or address commits an offence, and on summary conviction, may be fined a sum not exceeding level 2 on the standard (£500).
Renewing your personal licence.
The Deregulation Act 2015 came into effect on the 1 April 2015, and abolished the requirement to renew personal licences. Instead personal licences will carry on indefinitely until such time that they are either surrendered or revoked.
Can I still use my existing personal licence, even though it appears to have expired?
Yes. Because the requirement to renew has been abolished, the expiry date no longer applies. Just ignore the end date on your Personal Licence card.
Can I get my licence updated to remove the expiry date?
Yes. All newly issued Personal Licences will have the expiry date removed, and this will be done automatically the next time you apply to update your licence; for example if you change name or address. However, if you wish to have your licence updated early, you can apply for a newly issued “copy” of your licence. To do so you will need to supply your licensing authority with:
- A written request to replace your Personal Licence, providing your full name, address.
- Your existing Personal Licence or an explanation as to why it cannot be returned.
- The £10.50 administration fee.
Do I need to change my photo?
No. There is currently no requirement to update your photo. However you may run into difficulties if you no longer resemble the photo printed upon your Personal Licence. Therefore I strongly recommend that you get your photo updated at least every 10 years (in line with the requirements of driving licences and passports). As with any change to a Personal Licence, this will incur a £10.50 administration fee. You need only pay a single fee if making multiple changes at the same time.
HMG overview of premises licensing.
Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol in England and Wales must have a licence or other authorisation from a licensing authority – usually a local council. The law and policy governing this area is overseen by the Home Office.
The types of businesses and organisations that need alcohol licences might include:
pubs and bars
village and community halls
The types of licences required are defined as follows:
any business or other organisation that sells or supplies alcohol on a permanent basis needs to apply for a premises licence
anyone who plans to sell or supply alcohol or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol must apply for a personal licence
qualifying members’ clubs (such as the Royal British Legion, working men’s clubs and rugby clubs) need to apply for a club premises certificate if they plan to sell or supply alcohol
To apply for a licence, you will need to complete an application form and send it to your local council, along with the fee. You may also need to send copies of your form (depending on the type of application you are making) to the police and other ‘responsible authorities’. You can apply online if your council accepts electronic applications, please use our licence finder to find the appropriate forms. Otherwise, you can apply by using the postal forms available in the relevant section of this guidance.
Forms are also available for:
temporary event notices
early morning restriction orders
You should also contact your local council for advice on the application process.
local fire and rescue
primary care trust (PCT) or local health board (LHB)
the relevant licensing authority
local enforcement agency for the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
environmental health authority
body responsible for the protection of children from harm
local trading standards
any other licensing authority in whose area part of the premises is situated
Home Office Immigration Enforcement (on behalf of the Secretary of State)
The contact details for Home Office (Immigration Enforcement) are:
Alcohol Licensing Team
40 Wellesley Road
To email immigration enforcement: Alcohol@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
For general enquires on licensing you should contact your Local Licensing Authority, do not use the email address above.
Fees under the Licensing Act 2003
Licence fees are prescribed in regulations (the Licensing Act 2003 (Fees) Regulations 2005). The fees paid in respect of applications for new premises licences and club premises certificates; applications for full variations to premises licences and club premises certificates; and annual fees in respect of premises licences and club premises certificates vary dependent on the national non-domestic rateable value (NNDR) “band” of the premises. You can check your rateable value at the Valuation Office Agency website.
Premises that are exempt from non-domestic rating are allocated to Band A. Premises that do not have a NNDR because they under construction are allocated to Band C.
An “additional fee” may be payable in respect of large scale events, where 5,000 or more people are due to attend at a venue that is not purpose-built.
Determining a licence application
Where an application is properly made and no responsible authority or other person makes representations, the licensing authority must grant the application, subject only to conditions which are consistent with the operating schedule and relevant mandatory conditions in the act. This should be undertaken as a simple administrative process by the licensing authority’s officials.
If representations are made by a responsible authority or other person, it is for the licensing authority to decide whether those representations are relevant to the licensing objectives and not frivolous or vexatious. If the licensing authority decides that any representations are relevant, then it must hold a hearing to consider them.
At a hearing, the licensing authority may:
grant the application subject to modifying conditions that are consistent with the operating schedule in a way it considers appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives
reject one or more requested licensable activities
reject the application
refuse to specify a person as a designated premises supervisor
All decisions of the licensing authority, and any conditions imposed, must be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives. If you disagree with the council’s decision, you have a right of appeal to the magistrate’s court.
A premises licence authorises the use of any premises (which is defined in the Licensing 2003 Act as a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure or any place or a part of any premises) for licensable activities as defined in section 1 of the 2003 Act.
You can apply online if your council accepts electronic applications, there is a separate online application depending on whether you are in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Alternatively you can view the postal forms and other guidance specific to premises licences, including:
premises licence application
premises licence guidance
premises licence transfer application
licence holder consent to transfer
premises licence summary
review of a premises licence or club premises certificate
premises licence format
notification of an interest in premises
interim authority notice under the Licensing Act 2003
provisional statement application
You are not required to have a personal licence to be employed in a pub or other business that sells alcohol. Premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a designated premises supervisor, who holds a personal licence. The one exception is a community premises that has successfully applied to waive the DPS requirement under section 41D of the act. Anyone who does not hold a personal licence must be authorised to sell alcohol by a personal licence holder. There is no such requirement for the supply of alcohol in a members’ club.
Personal licences allow you to sell alcohol on behalf of any business that has a premises licence or a club premises certificate. The relationship is similar to the way that a driving licence permits the driving of any car.
About the licence
The personal licence is designed to ensure that anybody running or managing a business that sells or supplies alcohol will do so in a professional fashion. Once you receive your personal licence, you can act as the designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol.
Who can apply
In order to apply, you must be aged 18 years or over, and (in almost all cases) hold a relevant licensing qualification – for example, the BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders or a similar accredited qualification.
If you are applying for a personal licence, you must obtain an accredited qualification first. The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities involved in the sale of alcohol. Personal licence qualification providers are accredited by the Home Secretary.
Your local council will want to know of any relevant criminal convictions, and these may impact on whether or not you’re found to be suitable as a licensee. You will also need to provide a basic criminal conviction disclosure form.
Businesses buying alcohol from wholesalers
Businesses that sell alcohol to the public will need to ensure that the UK wholesalers they buy alcohol from have been approved by HMRC under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS). They will need to check the wholesaler’s Unique Registration Number (URN) against the HMRC online database.
If a business is found to have purchased alcohol from an unapproved wholesaler, they may be liable to a penalty or could even face criminal prosecution and have their alcohol stock seized.
Designated premises supervisors
A designated premises supervisor (DPS) is the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the business.
All businesses and organisations selling or supplying alcohol, except members clubs and certain community premises must have a designated premises supervisor.
Whoever holds this role must be named in the operating schedule, which you will need to complete as part of the application process, when you apply for a premises licence.
What the DPS does
The person chosen to be designated premises supervisor (DPS) will act as primary contact for local government and the police. They must understand the social issues and potential problems associated with the sale of alcohol, and also have a good understanding of the business itself.
While they need not be on site at all times, they are expected to be involved enough with the business to be able to act as its representative, and they must be contactable at all times.
If the police or local government have any questions or concerns about the business, they will expect to be able to reach the designated supervisor.
Each business may have only one supervisor selected for this role, but the same person may act as the designated supervisor at more than one business.
The Licensing Act requires the supervisor – and all personal licence holders – to take responsibility for the sale and supply of alcohol.
This is because of the impact alcohol has on the wider community, on crime and disorder, and antisocial behaviour.
Because of these issues, selling alcohol carries greater responsibility than licensing regulated entertainment and late night sales of food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Becoming a DPS.
A designated premises supervisor must have a personal licence and must be nominated by the premises license holder for the role of designated supervisor.
You must complete a consent form, which is provided as part of the online application for a premises licence, and can also be downloaded from the designated premises supervisor forms page.
Changing a DPS.
You can apply to vary a DPS by following the online process in the premises licence section above. You can also download the variation form on the designated premises supervisor forms page.
If you run or are involved in a community, church or village hall that wishes to sell alcohol or already sells it, you can apply for the sale of alcohol to be made the responsibility of a management committee instead of a premises supervisor. Or you can also apply to replace the designated premises supervisor, if you already have one, with the management committee. Read the guidance and form to apply for the sale of alcohol to be made the responsibility of a management committee instead of a premises supervisor.
Club premises certificates
Members’ clubs can operate under club premises certificates instead of premises licences.
This means, for example, that they are not required to have a designated premises supervisor, and sales of alcohol do not need to be authorised by a personal licence holder.
To be classified as a club for the purpose of this certificate, a group must meet several conditions.
legitimacy – each applicant must be a real club with at least 25 members:
a membership process that takes at least two days between application and acceptance
alcohol must not be supplied on the premises other than by the club
alcohol must be purchased by a committee made up of members all of whom are at least 18 years old
alcohol for the club must be purchased legally
Other legal restrictions for clubs operating under a club premises certificate are in the Licensing Act 2003.
You can apply online if your council accepts electronic applications.
Alternatively you can view the postal forms and other guidance specific to club premises certificates
How do I change my licence or club certificate?
If you wish to change any aspect of your licence or club certificate once it has been granted, you will need
to apply to your local council for either a full or a minor variation.
The full variation process is very similar to the application process for a new premises licence and the fee is the same. You should use this process if you want to make a substantial change to your licence, for example, increasing the hours when you sell alcohol.
You can do this online using the links in the premises licence and club premises certificates sections above.
Alternatively you can download the postal form and guidance to vary a premises licence and the postal form and guidance to vary a club certificate.
If you want to make a small, low-risk change to your premises licence, you may be able to use the minor variation process. This is cheaper and quicker than the full variation application.
Small changes could include:
removing a licensable activity
reducing the hours you sell alcohol
making small changes to the layout of your premises
If you apply for a minor variation and your application is rejected, you will not be able to appeal. However, you can reapply using the full variation process.
You can apply for a minor variation online using the links in the premises licence and club premises certificates sections above.
Alternatively you can download the postal form and guidance for minor variations to a premises licence or club certificate.
Contact your local council for advice on which process is more suitable for the change you want to make.
If you’re organising a temporary event and want to serve or sell alcohol, provide late night refreshment, or put on regulated entertainment, you’ll need to complete a temporary event notice (TEN). For the purpose of a TEN, a temporary event is a relatively small-scale event attracting fewer than 500 people and lasting no more than 168 hours.
If you are in England and Wales you can apply for a temporary event notice online.
Alternatively you can download the postal form and guidance for a temporary event notice.
Community involvement in licensing.
Any person or business may make representations on premises licence applications or club premises certificate applications.
You can make representations or comments to the council about applications for new licences, variations or reviews.
Comments may be positive or negative, but will only be considered relevant by the council if they relate clearly to the licensing objectives:
the prevention of crime and disorder
prevention of public nuisance
the protection of children from harm
Councils will also reject comments considered to be frivolous (not serious or time-wasting) or if they relate to personal disputes between businesses.
Requesting a review of a licence.
You can also call for an existing licence to be reviewed by the council if you have concerns relating to the licensing objectives.
In addition, the licensing authority must review a licence if the premises to which it relates was made the subject of a closure order by the police based on nuisance or disorder, and the magistrates’ court has sent the authority the relevant notice of its determination. A review must also be undertaken if the police have made an application for summary review on the basis that premises are associated with serious crime and/or disorder.
If the council considers your reasons for making representations or calling for a review are relevant, it will arrange a hearing to consider the evidence. You – or someone representing you – will be invited to the hearing to explain your concerns.
Representations and requests for the review of a licence must be made in writing. Forms can be obtained from your local council.
If you disagree with the council’s decision following a hearing, you have the right to appeal to the magistrates’ court. Your council will be able to provide further details.
All businesses and organisations that undertake licensable activities on a permanent basis must have a premises licence from their local authority.
Sale or supply of alcohol
The sale by retail of alcohol and the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club are both licensable activities.
Regulated entertainment is broadly defined as any entertainment that takes place in the presence of an audience (whether members of the public or a club), or otherwise for profit, and the premises have the purpose of providing the entertaining concerned. It may include:
a performance of a play
an exhibition of a film
an indoor sporting event
a boxing or wrestling entertainment
a performance of live music
playing of recorded music
a performance of dance
You can read information on whether you need approval to put on certain types of regulated entertainment
For further information, see Schedule 1 to the Licensing Act 2003.
Late night refreshment.
Late night refreshment is the sale of hot food or drink to the public to consume off or on the premises) between 11pm and 5am. For further information, see Schedule 2 to the Licensing Act 2003.
Mandatory licensing conditions
The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Conditions) order 2014 banned the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT.
The remaining mandatory conditions are set out in the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) (Amendment) Order 2014:
a ban on irresponsible promotions
mandatory provision of free potable (drinking) water
adoption of an age verification policy
the mandatory provision of smaller measures
For further information on these conditions, please see the guidance on mandatory licensing conditions.
Early morning restriction orders.
Early morning alcohol restriction orders (EMRO) enable a licensing authority to prohibit the sale of alcohol for a specified time between the hours of 12am and 6am in the whole or part of its area, if it is satisfied that this would be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.
EMROs are designed to address recurring problems such as:
high levels of alcohol-related crime and disorder in specific areas at specific times
serious public nuisance
other instances of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour which are not directly attributable to specific premises
You can find the form for a licensing authority to make an EMRO, along with the form to make representations about a proposed EMRO, on the EMRO forms page.
The administration of the Licensing Act 2003, including receiving and determining all applications under the act, is carried out by licensing authorities based within local councils at district or unitary level. All applications made under the Licensing Act 2003 through gov.uk will be submitted directly to the relevant licensing authority, based on the post code entered at the start of the process. The Home Office is not responsible for the way licensing authorities store, process or share data, or for processing subject access requests. The Home Office does not receive, store or share personal data in relation to applications under the Licensing Act 2003, other than for the purpose of carrying out necessary immigration status checks on behalf of the licensing authority, as set out in relevant licensing forms and in the statutory guidance issued under s182 of the Act.
Personal Licence training courses Malvern, Cwmbran, Newport, Gloucester, Hereford, Cardiff. One day training courses for the APLH Personal Licence at Bristol, Stroud, Chepstow, Lydney, Ross on Wye, Ludlow, Llandrindod Wells, Monmouth. To become the DPS, you will require a Personal Licence. Get trained in one day for your Personal Licence exam. The Personal Licence exam takes one hour and you will have to score 28 marks out of 40 to passs. All Personal Licence exam questions are multi choice answers. Any questions about obtaining a Personal Licence? Call Johnny Walker on 07970 134 730.
What is a personal licence?
All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of, a Personal Licence Holder. This means that any individual may sell alcohol provided that the sale has been authorised by a Personal Licence Holder.
You can have as many Personal Licence Holders at a premises as you wish, providing there is only one Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS).
You can also choose to become a Personal Licence Holder if you wish to apply for more than five Temporary Event Notices a year, but otherwise would not require one.
What is a designated premises supervisor?
All premises operating under a Premises Licence to sell or supply alcohol must appoint a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) for the premises. There can only be one DPS per premises.
The DPS will be held as the person in overall charge of the premises. You should therefore choose this person with care.
Applicants must nominate the DPS on their application form for a premises licence. This person does not have to be on the premises at all times, however they must take responsibility for what happens there.
This means the DPS should ensure any staff they appoint are appropriately trained in the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and of any specific conditions attached to the Premises Licence.
A person cannot become a DPS unless they are also a Personal Licence Holder.
How do I apply for a personal licence?
Applicants must be over the age of 18. You must submit the following to the Licensing Authority:
1. Application fee of £37 payable to your local licensing authority (where you live)
2. A copy of a completed Personal Licence application form.
3. A copy of a completed criminal disclosure form
4. Two passport photographs, one of which is signed verifying the likeness of the photograph to the applicant by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification.
5. Proof that you hold a Licensing Qualification that has been accredited by the Secretary of State. Please forward your original certificate. For example the Highfield Personal Licence Holder’s certificate
6. Your Criminal Record Certificate. These can be obtained either from the Disclosure and Barring Service website (apply for a Basic Disclosure) or from Data Protection Unit of the Police. Please ensure that in either case the certificate or search results shall be issued no earlier than one calendar month before the submission of the application to your local licensing authority.
To obtain a Highfield Personal Licence certificate, please call Johnny Walker on 07970 134 730.