Holyrood Clarifies PLH Refresher Training Deadlines



Readers of this blog will be aware that I raised concerns regarding the provisions relating to the duty of personal licence holders to undertake a so-called “refresher” training course after five years. These concerns were aired in my peice “PLH Refresher Training – a Ticking Timebomb“.

The Government set up a task group (of which I am a member) to design the training specification for the refresher course and work has been ongoing on that for some months now. Part of that work was to try and address the concerns as to when exactly the training needed to be done. The Government has now moved to quell fears and clarify what needs to be done and by when, in a press release issued by People 1st yesterday, who have been overseeing this process on behalf of the Government.

I am therefore pleased that I am now able to confirm the following:

Personal Licences issued before 1 September 2009
If your personal licence was issued prior to to 1 September 2009 it will now be treated as if it was issued on 1 September 2009 itself. This will capture a high proportion of Scottish personal licence holders who had all applied in advance of the 2005 Act regime coming into force. The Act requires the refresher certificate to be produced at the 5 year anniversary but there is a 3 month grace period. In other words, if your personal licence was issued prior to, or on 1 September 2009, then you must produce evidence of your refresher training to the licensing board which issued your personal licence on or before 1 December 2014.

Personal Licences issued after 1 September 2009
Any personal licence granted after 1 September 2009 will have a 5 year anniversary from the date the licence was granted. In other words, if your personal licence was granted on 10 January 2010, your deadline (remembering the 3 month grace period) would be 10 April 2015. And so on.

Spread the Word
It is absolutely vital that all involved in the licensed trade know about this requirement. If the refresher training certificate is not produced by the deadline the licensing board has no option but to revoke the personal licence. Although licensing boards have an obligation to send reminders to personal licence holders about this, the duty is firmly on the personal licence holder to ensure it is done so not receiving the board reminder letter is not an excuse. We therefore need to spread the message far and wide, so if you are reading this please pass the message on.

This is also an opportunity for a timely reminder to personal licence holders to make sure the licensing board has your correct address details. You are obliged to tell the board if you move house within 1 month (and send your personal licence back to be updated with the new address); failure to do so is a criminal offence. Make sure you are up to date.

What is the Refresher Training?
The exact detail of what the training will consists of will be announced at a special launch event on the afternoon of Monday 4th March 2013 at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Anyone wishing tickets for this event should contact lorraine.birrell@people1st.co.uk or on  0131 654 0687. Refresher training will then be rolled out by training providers such as BIIAB and those of us who need to do the refresher training can start to get booked up – including me!


About Stephen McGowan

Leading Scottish licensing solicitor at TLT LLP.
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2 Responses to Holyrood Clarifies PLH Refresher Training Deadlines

  1. What if one handed in a Personal Licence obtained before 1 Sept 2009, then got a new one (using same qualification) say Jan 2013? Would that mean the refresher requirement would run from the date of the latter licence despite the original qualification being so many years older?

  2. The refresher training requirement would run from the date of the new personal licence, the old one having been surrendered; the date of the qualification is irrelevant.

    Almost thinking aloud, your comment flags two wider issues:

    What you suggest would seem be a way to “avoid” the refresher training requirement, at least pro tem. But would someone really wish to surrender their current personal licence when there is no guarantee the new application will be granted? Remember the police powers of objection are wider than back on 1 Sep 2009. Surrendering the licence will also have adverse consequences if you are a named premises manager. Seems to me to be more hassle than it’s worth.

    There is another wider issue. Although the actual training specification for the main SCPLH is being updated at the same time as the refresher version, and the “new” version will be available in due course, there is nothing to stop me using a certificate I gained in 2007 to apply for a personal licence in January 2013. I don’t have to sit the new course. I can rely on my old certificate. That is an anomaly in as much as there is no requirement that the personal licence applicant must have gained the certificate within a particular period.

    Thanks for your comment.


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