Personal Licence Personal licence holder

Published on February 2nd, 2012 | by Dean Carr


What is a Personal Licence certificate?

To legally sell alcohol in the UK, you need a personal licence. To apply for a personal licence, you need a personal licence certificate, a qualification for personal licence holders and applicants. This use of termanology can be somewhat confusing- the term “personal licence certificate” is very often used informally or incorrectly to describe the award that allows you to apply for a personal licence. This award is known in Scotland as an SCPLH (Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders), and allows a person to sell alcohol in Scotland. In England and Wales, the certificate is known as an APLH (Award for Personal Licence Holders). It is worth noting that the APLH was known as the NCPLH (National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders) until April 2011.

The personal licence certificates are open to all candidates who are preparing to work, or who are already working, in licensed retail, who seek employment or self-employment supervising premises with Premises Licences that authorise the sale or supply of alcohol, and other licensable activities. The aim of this personal licence certificate is to enable candidates to develop:

  1. an understanding of the system of licensing and control in respect of licensed premises and licensable activities
  2. an understanding of the legal and social roles and responsibilities of Personal Licence Holders
  3. a knowledge of the minimum legislation requirements and basic operating procedures in licensed premises
  4. an understanding of the licensing objectives and of the Personal Licence Holders’ legal and social responsibilities in respect of the responsible use of alcohol, reducing crime and disorder and preventing drug use and drug dealing and the protection of children

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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. Jeremy says:

    Hi Heather. Technically a barman does not need a licence as long as a personal licence holder is present on the premises. To be able to work by himself though it is wise to obtain his own personal licence. More information can be found here :

  2. HEATHER says:

    my son has been working as a barman at a local golf club, the club manager has decided to take on a bar manager , to lighten his workload..a few of the staff would like my son to take on this job , will he need to apply for a seperate personel licence for himself , or would he be covered by the golf club’s managers licence ??

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