Operators face notification ‘maze’

Refresher training documentation required by boards varies wildly

• Licensees must notify their board they have completed refresher training.

By Gillian McKenzie

PERSONAL licence holders who completed refresher training by Sunday’s (August 31) deadline now face a notification ‘maze’ with boards requiring different documentation and details.

Information compiled by licensing lawyer Janet Hood shows the documentation required by different licensing boards to notify them of completion of personal licence holder refresher training varies across the country. PLHs who completed refresher training by August 31 must notify their relevant board by November 30.
The Licensing Act states that when a board receives evidence of refresher training it must “amend the personal licence held by the licence holder so as to include in it the prescribed details of the training”.
The Personal Licence (Training) (Scotland) Regulations, which came into force on October 8, 2013, state that evidence of compliance with personal licence holder refresher training requirements “must consist of the original or copy of” the refresher training certificate and be accompanied by the PLH’s full name, address, date of birth and licence number.
However, the information obtained by Hood shows some boards require the original licence while others do not; some stipulate that the original of the refresher training certificate must be presented; and some boards require an accompanying form while others do not.
Hood said there are “major differences” in the documents different boards require.
“This is a nightmare for multiple operators and for premises licence holders whose staff come from all over Scotland,” she said.
“They have to be able to work their way through the notification maze. The differences are legion. Some boards require the whole original personal licence and original training certificate; others require copies; some require a form be completed; some just say they must be notified but do not specify precisely what they need.”
Jack Cummins, of Hill Brown Licensing, said the differences in board requirements represents “more burdensome inconsistency” for the trade.
“Licensing boards will inevitably take diverse approaches on policy – local discretion is hard-wired into the system,” he said. “But when it comes to procedures, the lack of a uniform approach generates needless complication and confusion.”
SLTA chief executive Paul Waterson said: “It’s difficult to understand that with all the technology we have these days, we can’t get boards to come together and come up with a uniform system.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “The alcohol licensing regime is administered at local authority level by licensing boards taking account of their own local circumstances, and it is a matter for them to determine their own procedures in compliance with the laid down legislation.”