Tardiness could have “dire consequences” for operators
By Dave Hunter
LICENSEES have been urged to complete their personal licence refresher training immediately, amidst fears of a “meltdown” later in the year.
By law, anyone who received a personal licence on or before September 1, 2009 must have completed refresher training by September 1 this year.
However, last week it emerged that as few as 1200 people may have completed the training.
This means thousands are still to undergo the training.
Under the Licensing (Scotland) Act, anyone failing to secure their refresher qualification will have their personal licence revoked.
SLTA boss Paul Waterson said it is particularly important for premises managers to undertake the training.
“If somebody loses their licence they can’t take it [the training] again for a period of time,” he said. “So our advice to everybody is not to worry too much about when their training is actually due under the Act – just get it done now.
“If you’re a premises manager don’t wait any longer, because the ramifications are as bad as they can get.
“You’ve got no flexibility here.”
Joanne Worrall, director of Twist Training, said availability could become an issue for licence holders who wait until the summer.
“August is traditionally a holiday month, Edinburgh is busy with the Festival and many people, including myself, choose to take holidays at this time and so it can easily slip by into September,” she said.
“I recommend people book up their training as soon as possible.”
Licensing lawyer Stephen McGowan said the low uptake of training was “frightening”, and warned of a “horrendous backlog” later in the year.
And SLTN legal columnist Jack Cummins said there could be “dire consequences” for operators who don’t undertake training, including “premises closed until a new premises manager can be appointed, possible prosecutions for trading without [a personal licence] and loss of employment for those whose job depends on having a personal licence”.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the number of licence holders who have completed the refresher training is “substantially less than the numbers required to have completed it by September 1”.
“We urge personal licence holders to undergo their refresher training and submit certificates and other details to the relevant licensing board as soon as possible,” she said.
“If personal licence holders miss their deadlines their licences will be revoked.”