Licensing Barman

Published on May 27th, 2016 | by Dean Carr


Is my National Licensee Certificate valid to apply for a personal licence?

Can you use your old National Licensee Certificate (NLC) to apply for a personal licence?

In a recent article on my Google + account I explained about the old NLC Licensees certificate no longer being valid so I thought this could make a good article for

I get asked this question quite frequently by people who have been in the licensed trade previously and are looking to return to work in the industry. Unfortunately the old 1964 licensing regime for England & Wales was replaced by the (New) Licensing Act 2003 which came in to force in August 2005. Any form of certification such as BII or British Institute of InnKeeping’s National Licensee’s Certificate or Regional Licensee Certificate is now invalid.

Prior to August 2005 an alcohol licence for a premises such as a pub, restaurant, hotel or off licence would of been granted by a Magistrates Court of law. When the new licensing Act came in to force power was given to local council’s to administer alcohol licensing locally. The new Act also called for professional training and recognised qualifications to be given to Landlords and Licensee’s and the National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders or (NCPLH) level 2 was introduced.

This then became the approved licensing law qualification required by local council’s and their licensing departments. These are know as Licensing Authorities in England & Wales.

The qualification changed it’s name a few years later and became known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders or (APLH) level 2.

This is now the legal qualification you require to become a personal licence holder. Another important factor to consider is the need to prove that the applicant is “A FIT AND PROPER PERSON” this is now achieved by the applicant completing a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to prove they have no relevant criminal convictions under the Licensing Act 2003.

Applicants can apply to their local Council’s Licensing Authority once they are in receipt of their APLH level 2 licensing qualification, basic DBS certificate and have completed their licence application forms.

The cost of a personal licence application is £37.00 once granted the licence is valid indefinitely and is valid to be used anywhere in England or Wales.

One day training courses for the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) level 2 can be booked online at:

PLT also offer a full licence application processing service which includes; Training course, course handbook. BIIAB exam, DBS Check and certificate, application to Council and fees including VAT for just £295. or applicants can choose training and exam only and process their own licence application.

Basic DBS checks can also be completed online I would recommend using Disclosure Scotland as I have done for the last 11 years. These used to be known as CRB checks!

I hope this article helps explain what the legal requirements are if you are looking to return to the licensed trade in England & Wales.


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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

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