Missed Refresher Training Date 31 August 2014?
Facing Personal Licence Revocation?
The Problem –
Revocation Date for Personal Licences Due to be refreshed by 31 August 2014.
If you have failed to undertake refresher training or if you have failed the refresher exam your local licensing boards will not be able to revoke personal licences until 1 December 2014 as the last date by which they require to be notified that a refresher pass certificate has been achieved is 30 November 2014. So you may have time to try to sort this out.
Before we start this advice note it comes with a health warning. You really need to ask your local licensing board or LSO what they expect you to do to get a new personal licence.
Consequences of taking no action
Failure to take any action at all will result in your personal licence being revoked for 5 years on or after 1 December 2014. This means you will not be able to apply for a new personal licence for 5 years from that date so you would not be able to apply for a new personal licence until 1 December 2019.
Ongoing Refresher Training
The requirement for refresher training is ongoing. You should make sure you know when your personal licence is 5 years old- work back 5 years from the expiry date. The refresher training date is not on the licence. You MUST ensure you have passed refresher training before that date and you must then notify the licensing board which issued your personal licence within 3 months of the 5th anniversary date. Licensing Boards will issue reminder notices in advance. However if you have changed your name or address and not advised the board you will not get the reminders.
You should also remember and make sure your staff remember that it is an offence not to notify the Licensing Board which issued your personal licence within one month of changing your name or address.
Use your diary
Premises managers, premises licence holders and personal licence holders should make sure they know when their own personal licences and those held by their staff and managers are due to be refreshed and renewed and should keep this information in an electronic form if possible with reminders set to ensure that refresher training or renewal training is undertaken and that notification is carried out on time or applications for renewal of personal licences are made on time.
Premises Manager – failure to achieve refresher training
If you are the premises manager and need to preserve your position I suggest that you seek advice from a specialist licensing lawyer who will help you through the maze. However I propose a couple of possible solutions in this article which may be accepted by Boards.
I am sure that there will be a number of potential solutions across the country and the solutions proceed here while workable in law may not be accepted by your local Board.
Possible Solution for Personal Licence Holders who are not premises managers
The personal licence holder who has not passed the refresher training on time should take the full training course as soon as possible and then on successful completion of the course to apply for new personal licence enclosing 2 passport photographs one of which needs to be certified as a true likeness of the individual, a copy of the training certificate and the fee of £50.00 and surrender his or her original personal licence at same time. Make sure the applicant personally signs the personal licence application.
It is possible that some Boards will deal with an application of this nature under delegated powers – that means the administrative staff will grant the licence which they can do unless the applicant has been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence. However some Boards may decide to hold a hearing to decide whether or not to grant the application. During this hearing they will consider why the personal licence has been surrendered. It may be that simple letter might be enough if it states that the personal licence holder failed to achieve the refresher training for whatever reason e.g failed the exam; was off on long term sick or maternity leave; was too busy due to staff shortages to take the course. I cannot really advise as it is up to individual boards to decide what they want to do and as far as I can ascertain there is no advice on Board web sites dealing with this matter. Boards can refuse this application and you are advised to consult a specialist solicitor.
Moved to a different board area from the one which granted your original personal licence?
You need to also remember that if you have moved to a different licensing board area from the one you originally obtained your personal licence you will have to apply to the licensing board where you now live and not to the licensing board which granted your original licence
Premises Managers – what to do? Possible solution No 1.
The most obvious solution is to find another personal licence holder to become the premises manager as soon as possible to preserve the position and enable you to continue selling alcohol.
Premises Managers – what to do? Possible solution No 2.
If the personal licence holder concerned is the premises manager the advice becomes more complex as the Licensing (Scotland)Act 2005 does not deal with this problem directly. Whatever happens if you have not achieved your refresher training on time you need to go through the procedure above – take the full course, surrender your personal licence and apply for a new one at the same time. Failure to do this will result in your personal licence being revoked for 5 years.
If the Board refuses to grant your new personal licence for whatever reason then you need to ask for a statement of reasons for refusal and you may consider an appeal. You are advised to seek the services of a solicitor. In this case again try to engage another personal licence holder and carry out a minor variation to appoint that person as the new premises manager.
Some Boards may require the premises licence holder to notifiy them that there is no premises manager on the premises within seven days of the surrendering of the premises manager’s personal licence and will require an application to replace the premises manager to be made within 6 weeks of the date of surrender of the premises managers personal licence.
Some Boards may not agree that the same person can become the premises manager without an intervening premises manager being in place. So you might have to source another personal licence holder, make a minor variation to appoint that person as the premises manager and then make another minor variation application to get the original premises manager back in place.
Premises Managers – what to do? Possible solution No 3.
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 section 135 permits Boards to take pragmatic decisions to “cure” problems. If they believe that the problem was caused due to mistake, oversight or other excusable reason.
The mandatory conditions state that
(1) Alcohol is not to be sold on the premises at any time when (b) the premises manager does not hold a personal licence,
It is legally possible that the surrender of the premises managers personal licence and application for and grant of a new one would cure the problem and it may be that some Boards may decide to take this course to ensure that business continues in premises in their area.
Janet Hood Consulting is experienced in dealing with problems licensees face and is here to help you. Do not hesitate to email or phone should you require advice on these difficult matters.