Next year – 2019 – marks a milestone year for the licensed trade. It is 10 years since the 2005 Act came into effect which also means it is time for the first batch of personal licences to be renewed.
But there is a problem. The legislation is unclear on many points relating to the renewal process. The trade desperately needs guidance which has been scarcely available from Holyrood and the information which has been released is misleading and inconsistent. Just this week a document circulated by the Government, which was meant to clarify the qualification required for a personal licence renewal, contradicted earlier communications and only served to confuse operators more.
The message may have been unclear up until now but what is certain is that if your personal licence states that it was issued on 1 September 2009 or that it expires on 31 August 2019 you need to take action now. The following applies:
- Your renewal application must be lodged by 31 May 2019 (3 months before expiry);
- Your renewal application must be accompanied by a training certificate, two new photographs, the £50 fee, a declaration regarding your convictions and your current personal licence (or a reason why it has not been produced);
- An old Scottish Certificate for Personal Licenceholders (SCPLH) training certificate would be acceptable.
- As an alternative, the Government is about to allow the use of a refresher training certificate (SCPLHR) certificate for renewals as long as it was obtained on or after 1 September 2014.
Simultaneous to this process the following also applies:
- Refresher training (SCPLHR) must be completed within 5 years from 1 September 2014, so by 31 August 2019. This will be your second batch of refresher training as it is due every five years and the third training course you will have attended.
- Personal licenceholders have until 30 November 2019 to send the SCPLHR certificate to the Licensing Board.
- The best and safest approach is to combine these two processes. Think of it as a BOGOF deal which is actually permitted. This will work as follows:
- Complete refresher training as soon as possible so that you can submit your new SCPLHR certificate with your renewal application by 31 May;
- Do not use an old SCPLH certificate for the renewal.
- There will therefore be no need to make a separate refresher training notification after your renewal.
It is also important to remember that although the bulk of renewals relate to personal licences expiring on 31 August 2019 there will be personal licences which expire shortly after this which can’t be overlooked. Always count back three months from expiry for your deadline.
Licensing Boards are already warning that they will be under immense pressure with limited resources during this time so send all documentation by recorded delivery or keep your receipt safe. One way or another make sure you’ve evidence that the Board has the application. If a licence isn’t renewed by the expiry date it immediately lapses.
For a practical guide on how to renew your personal licence click here
The key advice is don’t wait. Act now to ensure your business doesn’t face yet more challenges next year which can in this case be avoided by taking a few simple steps. For more information you can contact Audrey directly at Hill Brown Licensing: AJ@mshblicensing.com