Personal Licence Refresher Training: A Wake up Call


As avid blog readers will have noticed in my earlier post today, the number of Scottish personal licence holders has now exceeded 52,000. I estimate that around three quarters of these (or thereabouts) will be people whose personal licence was issued on or before 1 September 2009 and who therefore need to sit and pass the SCPLHR by 31 August 2014, and present the certificate to the relevant licensing by 1 December 2014.

The Scottish Government has confirmed to me that, according to their research with awarding bodies, as of March 2014 only 1238 people had taken the course.

Only 1238 people.

A very conservative estimate (we don’t know exact figures) of the total amount of people who need to take the course is 39,000 (this figure is purely my own estimate and may be much higher) who require to take this course. 1238 equates to about 3%. This is depressingly low and confirms that personal licence holders are either ignorant, uninterested, or procrastinating when it comes to the refresher training requirement.

I estimate I have personally trained around 120 people for client operators so I am aghast to learn that as things stand, I have trained around 10% of everyone who has sat the course to date.

I hope that the trade and personal licence holders will wake up! Yes, there is a lack of proper communication to the trade about this but I know that specialist solicitors like me, and training providers like the BIIAB, have been working hard to get the message out there. There will be people out there who simply do not know about this, especially small independent operators, but there are also licence holders out there who are putting this off.

There is going to be a Gaderene rush for training which will inevitably create a log jam not only in relation to a shortage of courses and trainers, but also with the issue of certificates as awarding bodies try to deal with the rush.

The message is clear. If you hold a personal licence you should be taking steps NOW to ensure that you meet the training requirements otherwise your licence WILL be revoked and you will be barred from applying for a new one for 5 years. If you are named as a DPM, your name will be removed meaning alcohol sales would have to stop until a new DPM with a personal licence can be named. If you are unsure of when you need to do the training then contact a training provider such as the BIIAB, visit the website, or seek specialist licensing advice.

It is up to you! You cannot rely on a reminder from your licensing board or anyone else.

I have cancelled all leave from 31 August 2014 as I foresee a rush of emergency DPM changes; with licensing lawyers trying to save their clients’ business in the mess that this will surely become, unless the message is properly communicated to those affected.

If you are reading this, then I urge you to carry the message forward to the trade and to personal licence holders all over Scotland.


About Stephen McGowan

Leading Scottish licensing solicitor at TLT LLP.
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One Response to Personal Licence Refresher Training: A Wake up Call

  1. Nick Rennie says:

    Excellent blog Stephen. We at abv Training, one of the UK’s leading training companies, have also been trying to get the message out there to people who need to refresh their Personal Licence qualification this year. There hasn’t been a great deal of coverage in the press about this issue but there is no doubt that there will be a desperate rush to get on courses as the deadlines loom. We have had steady uptake on our refresher courses in Glasgow and Edinburgh and we will be running them every month. But places are, of course, limited so we can’t stress loudly enough that people need to book as early as possible. Your figures that only 3 per cent of those who need to refresh training have actually done so thus far are frightening for the industry.

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