Act on renewals before it’s too late

Licensees advised to book refresher training immediately

Time is short to renew personal licences
Time is short to renew personal licences

PERSONAL licence holders across Scotland have been warned against committing a “costly mistake” and urged to book themselves on a refresher training course immediately.

Any personal licence which expires on August 31 this year must be renewed by May 31. In order to renew the licence the licence holder must sit a refresher training course and submit the certificate along with their renewal application.

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If applications are not lodged by May 31 the personal licence will be revoked.

Licensing lawyer Stephen McGowan of TLT Solicitors said: “The message is clear: get booked on a refresher course as soon as you can and once you have the certificate lodge it along with your renewal application before the end of May deadline.

“The obligation to sort this sits with the individual licence holder.

“If you do nothing else today, check when your personal licence is due to expire and speak to your local licensing board or licensing solicitor if you are unsure.”

The National Licensed Trade Partnership (NLTP) said licence holders  “need to get trained now”.

“Please check your own and your staff or colleagues’ personal licences,” said the group. “You should have the originals or at least a copy on site.

“If a personal licence is due to expire at any time in  2019 it is time to make plans for its renewal.

“You need to take action now to book a course for personal licence refresher training.”

Licensees were warned against leaving their licence renewal to the last minute, as boards are expected to be particularly busy processing the first batch of renewals.

Paul Chase, director of training firm CPL, warned that leaving licence renewal too late could mean “it isn’t processed by the relevant licensing board in time and the licence will therefore lapse”.

“If you are the designated premises manager and you lose your personal licence this means that your premises may lose the right to sell alcohol because a designated premises manager who holds a valid personal licence must be named on the premises licence,” said Chase.

City of Glasgow College lecturer John MacAulay said he reckons there is “a general lethargy as to timescales” across the licensed trade.

“Renewal of licences is absolutely crucial as the licensing boards have made it clear by their communication that leaving renewal to the last minute is likely to result in the licence expiring,” said MacAulay.

The warnings come as it emerged not all licensing boards are accepting multiple types of training certificates with renewal applications.

While some licensing boards are happy to accept either certificates for the half-day refresher training course or the full-day SCPLH, others are only accepting the refresher qualification.

The refresher qualification is believed to be accepted by every board, as refresher training is specifically mentioned in the Scottish Government regulations.