Personal Licence Application

Personal Licence FAQs

This section, Personal Licence FAQs, contains a number of widely asked questions from people looking for help with Personal Licence Application issues. We have tried to give as much detail to the answers as we can, however if your question is not covered here please contact us and we will endeavour to answer it for you.


What is a personal licence?

A Personal Licence legally permits an individual to authorise either the sale or supply of alcohol. Any premise that wishes to serve alcohol is required to employ at least one Personal Licence Holder. One individual at any premise will be named on the Premises Licence as the Designated Premises Supervisor.

Should there be more than one Personal Licence Holder at a licensed premises?

The majority of premises choose to have more than one Personal Licence Holder to guarantee that any alcohol being sold or supplied is done so in accordance with the law. We find that many premises will only allow Personal Licence Holders to sell or supply alcohol.

How does an individual qualify for a Personal Licence?

To qualify for a Personal Licence, an individual must:

• Be 18 or older;
• Possess an accredited licensing qualification (we recommend the BIIAB Award for Personal Licence holders);
• Have not forfeited a Personal Licence within the previous five years;
• Be free of unspent conviction(s) for a ‘relevant’ or ‘foreign’ offence committed either in this country or abroad; and
• Possess a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) Conviction Certificate.

What does the term “relevant offence’ mean?

‘Relevant offence’ refers to offences identified within the Licensing Act 2003 that could, on conviction, rule out either the granting or renewal of a Personal Licence for any applicant. Specifically, these offences include those that:

• Involve serious crime;
• Involve serious dishonesty;
• Involve controlled drugs;
• Concern specific sexual offences; or
• Concern any offences created by the Act

Individuals can find the full list of relevant offences in Schedule 4 of the Act. When an applicant is applying for the granting or renewal of a Personal Licence, they must include details of convictions for any relevant or foreign offences or, pertaining to the renewal of a Licence, have been convicted for since the grant or last renewal of the Licence.

What is the difference between ‘foreign offences’ and ‘relevant offences’?

‘Relevant offences’ refer to offences included in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003. ‘Foreign offences’ are convictions for offences (other than relevant offences) committed under the law of any location outside England and Wales, including locations within the United Kingdom such as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Applicants must provide details of both types of offences. The terms are kept separate because ‘foreign offences’ that are equivalent to ‘relevant offences’ will not necessarily exist in the same form.

How will licensing authorities check relevant and foreign offence records?

Every Personal Licence application must include details for records of any relevant or foreign offence of which an applicant has been convicted. In these instances, the Licensing Authority must provide notice to the Chief Officer of Police for that area. At this point, the police will consider the conviction.

In the case of relevant offences, the police will either consult their own records or records of the police force relevant for the area in which the crime was committed. Then, the Chief Officer of Police will notify the Licensing Authority whether or not granting the Personal Licence would undermine objectives to prevent crime and disorder.

In the case of foreign offences, the police will contact their regional counterparts where the conviction occurred.

What is an accredited qualification?

An accredited qualification refers to a qualification deemed necessary for Personal Licence Holders, such as the BIIAB Award for Personal Licence Holders.

How can I obtain a BIIAB APLH?

You can obtain a BIIAB APLH by sitting a one day course at one of our training centres found throughout the UK.

How much does it cost to take the APLH course?

The course and the exam combined cost £149 plus VAT. You can secure a discount if you book through this site as part of a course and application service by applying the discount code ‘PLAS2012,’ provided that you purchase this with a Personal Licence Application.

Are there any hidden costs?

No, our costs include fees for your course tuition, examination, BIIAB certificate, lunch, refreshments and six months of membership to the BII.

What does the application process for a Personal Licence entail?

Each applicant must submit his or her application form to the relevant Licensing Authority identified in Part 6 of the Licensing Act 2003. The form includes various personal details of the applicant and will require additional information and documents, such as photographs and the fee for the application. During this time, applicants will also be asked for details regarding any relevant or foreign offences.

At this time, the Licensing Authority will process the application. The Secretary of State has created regulations pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003 that identify the format for a Personal Licence. If any relevant or foreign offences are indicated, the Licensing Authority will notify the Chief Officer of Police for the proper area. If no objections are made by the police within a 14 day period, the Personal Licence must be granted.

How much does the Personal Licence application service cost?

Our Personal Licence application service costs £145, which includes your CRB check and council licence fee.

Am I required to have my Personal Licence with me while selling or supplying alcohol?

Yes, you should have your Personal Licence with you at any time you are selling or supplying alcohol. Police officers and any authorised council officers can ask for your Licence and if you can’t provide it, it is considered an offence.

Personal Licences consist of two parts: a photocard and a paper counterpart. We recommend that you should always keep the photocard with you and secure your counterpart in a safe place at your work location so that you can access it if necessary.

Can I still apply for a Personal Licence if I have been previously convicted of an offence?

Authorities only take certain offences, known as ‘relevant offences,’ into account during the Personal Licence application process. For further details, please review the list of relevant offences.

Authorities will disregard prior convictions considered spent pursuant to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If you have an unspent conviction for a relevant offence, you are still permitted to apply for a Personal Licence. In these instances, authorities must consult with the police before we determine an application. Should we receive an objection, an application will be referred to a Licensing Sub-Committee hearing for further consideration. During this process, you will be invited to attend the hearing and address the Committee.

Who can endorse the photographs as a true likeness of me during the Personal Licence application process?

One of the two photographs that you submit should be marked on the back with a sentence such as: ‘This photograph is a true likeness of …’ followed by your name. This endorsement can be made by:

• A solicitor;
• A notary;
• A person of standing within the community (such as a religious leader, doctor, police officer or teacher); or
• An individual with a professional qualification (such as an accountant, architect, engineer, registered financial advisor or company/charity director)

Please ensure that any endorser you use signs the photo, prints their name and provides details regarding their job title or qualification

How long is a Personal Licence valid for?

A Personal Licence is currently valid for your lifetime unless it is revoked for a relevant offence.

What happens if I move house?

If you move or change your name, you must inform the local authority. Moving or changing your name without doing so is an offence.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS?)

A Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is the individual named on the Premises Licence (not necessarily the actual holder of the Premises Licence) who is responsible for authorising the sale or supply of all alcohol at the premises. This person is typically the person responsible for daily operations at the premises. A DPS is required to hold a Personal Licence.

Does the DPS need to be on the premises when alcohol is being served?

No, the DPS does not need to be on the premises when alcohol is being served. However, a DPS should spend significant time at the premises and be readily available should a problem arise.

Who can object to a personal licence application?

The police are the only authority that can object to a Personal Licence application due to interference with the crime prevention objective in the Licensing Act 2003. Should this occur, the police must give the authority an objection notice within 28 days. A hearing must be held within 20 working days at which point a Licensing Committee will decide whether or not to grant your application at a hearing.

What happens if there are no objections?

An application will be granted if there are no objections and the applicant meets all application criteria.

What’s the difference between a Personal and a Premises Licence?

A Personal Licence is granted to an individual that enables them to authorise alcohol sales or supplies from a licensed premises. A Premises Licence permits licensable activities, such as the sale of alcohol, to occur from a particular premises.


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