SCPLHR – Scottish Government News Release

The Scottish Government has asked me to circulate the following news release concerning refresher training (SCPLH). This will be live on their website from next week.


Licensing training

Licence holders have one year to take refresher qualification.

Alcohol licence holders who received their licence when the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 came into effect on September 1, 2009 are being reminded they have one year to take refresher training and submit evidence of this to the relevant Board.

Personal licence holders will already have undertaken mandatory training at initial application but must update this after five years.

This is to ensure that those who authorise the sale of alcohol have an understanding of recent legislation and the most up-to-date evidence regarding the impacts of alcohol on health, especially when training other members of staff.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“If you lose your personal licence it means you can no longer train staff, authorise alcohol sales, be named as a premises manager, or apply for another personal licence until five years have passed. If the premises manager loses their licence then the premises may have to stop selling alcohol until another personal licence holder can be named.”

Paul Waterson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said: “Good quality, up-to-date training is essential for the licensed trade. Personal Licence Holders should undergo refresher training as soon as possible and send in their relevant details to their Licensing Board. As refresher training is mandatory if you delay too long, there is a real possibility your Personal Licence will be revoked.”

Marc Robertson, editor of website (Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders), said: “’The new five year refresher course has been written to meet the needs of the licensing sector. Offered by a range of Awarding Organisations, and backed by the main trade associations, the course is available to take now across Scotland. Whether Personal Licence Holders take it with a trainer or online, what’s important is that they know when they must complete their training and sit their qualification.”


The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires those who authorise the sale of alcohol to possess a personal licence. All premises licence holders must possess a personal licence. The personal licence has effect, subject to conditions, for a period of ten years from the date on which it is issued.

The Scottish Government commissioned independent consultants People 1st to lead the work to create the refresher training. The specification of the refresher course was designed by a steering group consisting of licensed trade bodies (representing both the on and off sale sectors), awarding bodies, alcohol harm charities, and other stakeholders.

The refresher course is now available from a variety of different training organisations. It is a half day course with a multiple choice exam and the content is focused on aspects of the main course which are particularly crucial or have been updated over recent years.

Once licence holders have gained the refresher qualification, they must produce to the Licensing Board that issued the licence: their refresher certificate (or a copy), full name, address, date of birth, and licence number.

Before sending in any details, personal licence holders should check with the relevant Licensing Board if there are any specific local requirements regarding this process, for example some Boards may require the original personal licence to be sent in for amendments.

Refresher training is available now. Further information about courses can be found at – or by consulting local Licensing Boards.


Donna Rafferty:  0131 244 2939 /  07919 301 421


About Stephen McGowan

Leading Scottish licensing solicitor at TLT LLP.
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