Personal Licence e-learning

Published on November 16th, 2012 | by Dean Carr


Can I complete my alcohol licence training through online e-learning?

Online training programmes (e-learning) are becoming an increasingly popular staff training tool for licensed retailers. E-learning is particularly effective for basic, level 1 qualifications, but can also be applied effectively to more advanced courses.

You can complete your alcohol licence training (APLH or SCPLH) through e-learning, but you must sit an invigilated examination at a registered test centre. We present an introductory consumer guide below.

Distance learning

‘Distance learning’, ‘e-learning’ or ‘online training’ is an alternative to traditional classroom courses, although it may still be tutor led. Companies tend to offer one of the following formats:
• Interactive learning material, downloadable or hosted online
• Electronic files or PDFs emailed to the learner or hosted online
• A course book, posted to the user.
The format of delivery significantly affects the quality of the course, as we discuss below.

Invigilated exam

Remember that you must sit an invigilated exam to pass the APLH/SCPLH qualification and attain the certificate (this does not apply to basic level 1 staff training). A distance learning APLH/SCPLH alcohol licence course has no accredited value without the exam. Consider the locations of the exam centres offered when booking the course.

Don’t be caught out on the pricing- the price of the course should include an invigilated exam.
It can be worded in any number of ways. You’re looking for:
• Online course and invigilated exam
• Online course with free invigilated exam
• Invigilated exam with free online course
They all mean the same thing: you’re paying for a course and an invigilated exam. The last thing anybody wants is a hidden exam charge at the end of the course.

Quality of the course programme

A personal licence course is a level 2 qualification, which means that it should equate to a solid day of study. With this in mind, it is imperative that you choose a high quality and thorough course that explains the content, rather than simply quoting large sections of the Licensing Act 2003. Remember that the main UK exam boards – and there are only three or four of them – will not water down the exam questions for a watered down course.

The equivalent of a day’s study needs to be interesting. Remember those formats of study listed above? An interactive e-learning programme is likely to be far more engaging that a book or a PDF file.

Elements of the classroom, and contact with a tutor, can be incorporated into an e-learning course. Some points to consider:

• Does the provider allow you to post questions?
• Is technical support offered?
• Can you extend your period of access to the material if required?

PLT APLH distance learning:

Personal Licence Training Ltd have launched an APLH e-learning course. Visit Personal Licence Online for details.

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188


  1. […] instructor led APLH course will usually cost £180-£220, although an e-learning programme may be offered at a cheaper rate. Unlike an alcohol licence, an APLH training qualification does […]

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