Don’t leave licence renewals too late

PLHs affected by the ten-year renewal deadline should undertake refresher training as soon as possible, writes Scottish Government minister Ash Denham

Ash Denham
Ash Denham, Minister for Community Safety, said the sooner licensees take action the better

THE Scottish people are justifiably proud of our licensed trade and its success both internationally and at home.

As well as playing a significant role in our economy and tourism sectors, pubs and clubs can play an important role in fostering strong communities and providing a welcoming venue for people to socialise with friends and family.

Personal licence holders play a vital role in the licensed trade.

If the premises manager does not have a valid personal licence there can be no sale of alcohol. In many premises, other members of staff also acquire personal licences so that they too can supervise and authorise sales, conduct staff training, and as a matter of general best practice.

The next few months are a critical time for many licence holders.

The personal licence is valid for a ten-year period, so if your personal licence was issued on or before September 1, 2009 you will need to take immediate action to renew this.

May 31, 2019 is the absolute deadline to submit your renewal application but if you leave it that late you risk losing your licence because the processing of your application may take three months or longer.

If a personal licence holder fails to renew their licence they will not be able to train staff, authorise alcohol sales or apply for occasional licences. If the premises manager fails to renew their licence, the premises could lose the right to sell alcohol until a new premises manager with a valid personal licence is named.

In addition to this, personal licence holders must also undergo refresher training every five years to ensure that their licence remains valid.

To make the process as simple as possible we are recommending that licence holders submit evidence to the licensing board that they have undertaken refresher training, at the same time as undertaking the renewal process.

I urge you to undertake the half-day refresher training course as soon as possible as there is likely to be high demand as we approach the renewal deadline and it may become more difficult to book your place.

If you leave it too late to undergo the refresher training before the deadline, you should still submit your licence renewal application before May 31 and then carry out the refresher process separately as soon as possible afterwards.

We are continuing to work with the industry to support the operation of the renewal process, respond to queries and ensure that there is clear communication about what is necessary from personal licence holders.

Should you have any questions on the process and need further guidance I would recommend you contact your local licensing board in the first instance, or further details are available online at the Scottish Government website.

We want this process to run as smoothly as possible for licence holders and the sooner you take action the better.

Our advice is simple: if your personal licence was issued on or before September 1, 2009 then we recommend that you undertake a refresher training course immediately and send the certificate to the relevant licensing board along with the renewal application and the £50 fee as soon as possible.

• Ash Denham MSP is Minister for Community Safety.