What is a personal licence holder?

A personal licence holder is a person who is licensed to sell alcohol by retail or able to give authorisation to others to sell alcohol. A personal licence holder may also apply to become the Designated Premises Supervisor.
The personal licence is separate from the premises licence, which allows premises to be used for the supply of alcohol. The licensing of individuals separately from the licensing of premises permits the movement of personal licence holders from one premises to another, allowing greater flexibility. It ends the previous outdated regime, under which publicans were tied by licences to the premises where they work. The act also provides the police and licensing authorities with powers to deal with errant personal licence holders.
The personal licence relates only to the supply of alcohol under a premises licence. An individual will not require a personal licence for the other licensable activities, the provision of regulated entertainment or late night refreshment, or for the supply of alcohol under a club premises certificate or temporary event notice (although personal licence holders will be able to give 50 temporary event notices each year instead of the limit of 5 for non-personal licence holders).
A personal licence does not authorise its holder to supply alcohol anywhere, but only from establishments with a premises licence authorising the supply of alcohol in accordance with the premises licence. An individual may hold only one personal licence at any one time.
All premises licences authorising the supply of alcohol must have an identified personal licence holder known as the designated premises supervisor. This ensures there is always one specified individual who can be readily identified at a premises where a premises licence is in force. This person will usually be responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises. More than one individual at the licensed premises may hold a personal licence, although it is not necessary for all staff to be licensed. But, all supplies of alcohol under a premises licence must be made by or under the authority of a personal licence holder.
A personal licence is issued for ten years in the first instance and can be renewed on application for a further ten years if the licence holder has not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence.
Applicants for personal licences will need to obtain an accredited qualification first. The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol. Personal licence qualification providers are accredited by the Secretary of State. (see links below for a list of providers)
Applicants are also required to apply for a basic criminal record check.
Basic criminal record checks can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland for further details call their helpline number 0870 609 6006, or their website (see link below).
Disclosure Scotland Website

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