It is usually nice to get surprises at Christmas time but towards the end of last year, hundreds of Personal Licence Holders received an unwanted present in the mail: a letter advising them that their personal licence had been revoked with immediate effect.
The festive period is already one of the most stressful times for the trade and it was made all the more challenging by managers being left without licences at this key time. This instantly meant that they:
- Could not act as a premises manager
personal licence holder
- Could not apply for occasional licences or hold occasional licences in their name
- Could no longer deliver mandatory training to staff
- Could no longer be considered the Personal Licence Holder on duty where a condition on the licence requires there to be one on the premises i.e. post-1am
Where a premises manager was impacted by a revocation many licence holders were able to act quickly and notify the Board within seven days, giving them a six-week grace period before an application to name a manager had to be made.
I understand that the primary reason for the majority of the revocations was a failure to complete refresher training within five years and provide evidence to the Board. Extremely frustrating for many of those affected who had, in fact, sat and passed the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders Refresher Course (SCPLHR) but were unaware that the certificate had to be sent to the Licensing Board to complete the process.
Also, some of those impacted diligently lodged their renewal applications in time for the May 2019 deadline using their original SCPLH training certificate but then sadly failed to meet the November 2020 deadline for submission of their latest refresher training certificate.
While it is very tempting to blame Licensing Boards for taking this extreme step, l would caution against this. They had no choice but to do so in the circumstances as their hands are completely tied by the legislation. They have no discretion. Failure to provide the training certificate to the Board within set timescales equals revocation of a personal licence.
If you find yourself in a similar situation please be assured that all is not lost as it is possible to reapply for your personal licence immediately. The five-year restriction has long since disappeared.
- As this is treated as an entirely new application sadly you can’t use your recently obtained SCPLH refresher certificate if you have one. You will have to sit the full SCPLH course again and produce that certificate to the Board unless your original SCPLH certificate is dated after 1 August 2013. If that is the case you can lodge your new application with your original certificate so somewhat ironically do not need to do any training at all!
- Most Licensing Boards will take longer than six weeks to grant a personal licence so even if a notification was, or is, made within seven days it’s recommended that you have a back-up personal licence holder on standby to act as premises manager if time is not on your side.
- In the interim period, while you wait for your new licence to be granted you must have a statutory training record on the premises as you don’t qualify for the personal licence holder exemption after revocation and before grant.
- Much of early 2019 was spent warning of the 10-year deadline and the impending personal licence “disaster” and in some ways the focus on the May date distracted from the fact that refresher training and renewals is an ongoing process. While 31 May was the deadline for many, every single personal licence holder has their own timeline for training and renewal which they need to be aware of.
The Glasgow Licensing Board calculator is a great way to work out your dates https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/alcohol/renewal and can be utilised by anyone regardless of where your personal licence was issued.
As always, the team at Hill Brown Licensing are available to provide support and assist with any questions you might have on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 280 6299.
Audrey Junner, Partner, Hill Brown Licensing