Personal Licence grant

What is a Personal Licence?

Personal licences are granted to individuals to sell or to authorise the sale of alcohol. All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of, a personal licence holder. Not everyone who makes a sale has to hold a personal licence, so long as a personal licence holder has authorised the sale. This does not apply to sales that take place at premises which hold a club premises certificate, certain community premises or premises operating under a Temporary Event Notice.

A personal licence does not authorise its holder to sell alcohol anywhere, but only from establishments with a premises licence authorising the sale of alcohol in accordance with the premises licence. An individual may hold only one personal licence at any one time.

Applications for a personal licence must be made to the Council in whose district the applicant lives.

More than one personal licence holder can work at the same premises. Applicants may also choose to become a personal licence holder if they wish to apply for more then five Temporary Event Notices a year.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)?

If the application for a premises licence includes consent to sell alcohol, a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) must be named on the application form. This is the person that will be the first point of contact for the Council or Responsible Authorities should they have concerns regarding the operation of the premises. 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.

A person cannot become a DPS unless he is also a personal licence holder.

Although qualifying clubs do not need a DPS to supply alcohol to members and their guests, this exemption does not apply if the premises are hired out for functions such as wedding receptions and birthday parties. A full Premises Licence is required for these activities (unless only a small number of events are held, which can be authorised under a Temporary Event Notice) and therefore a DPS would also be required in these circumstances.

What is the meaning of the term “relevant offence”?

'Relevant offence' refers to the offences listed in the Licensing Act 2003 that could, on conviction, rule out the grant or renewal of a personal licence to the applicant concerned. The full list of relevant offences can be found in Schedule 4 to the Act.

When applying for the grant of a personal licence the applicant must include details of any relevant or foreign offences for which they have been convicted.

What if I am convicted of an offence while holding a personal licence?

The Act makes provision for the holder of a personal licence charged with a relevant offence to produce his licence to the court or, if that is not practical, notify the court of the existence of the personal licence. Where a personal licence holder is convicted of a relevant offence, the court may order forfeiture or suspension of the personal licence.

If a person is convicted of either a relevant or foreign offence while holding a personal licence, they must as soon as reasonably practicable inform the licensing authority which granted the licence of the conviction.

If an applicant for the grant of a personal licence is convicted of a relevant or foreign offence during the application process, they must also notify the licensing authority of the conviction. Failure to notify a licensing authority is an offence.

How do “foreign offences” differ from relevant offences?

Relevant offences mean those offences listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act. Convictions for offences (other than relevant offences) under the law of any place outside England and Wales, including other parts of the United Kingdom such as Scotland and Northern Ireland, are counted as foreign offences. Details of these will also need to be given. The reason for the separate terms is that offences under the law of places outside England and Wales, which are equivalent to relevant offences, will not necessarily exist in exactly the same form as relevant offences.

How will licensing authorities check relevant and foreign offence records?

Each personal licence application will have to include details of records of any relevant or foreign offence for which the applicant has been convicted. Where an applicant has been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence, the Council as Licensing Authority must give notice to the chief officer of police for that area. The police will then consider the conviction.

For relevant offences the police will consult either their own records or those of the relevant police force if the offence was committed in a different area. The chief officer of police will then notify the licensing authority if he is satisfied that granting the personal licence would undermine the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder.

For foreign offences the police will take steps to contact their counterparts in the region or country where the conviction occurred.

What information must the Council give to the Audit Commission?

To help with the prevention and detection of various types of fraud the Council is required, by the Audit Commission, to take part in the National Fraud Initiative.

Every 2 years the Council has to provide particular sets of personal data, which include details of Personal Licence holders. These records are then compared with other records held by the Council and other bodies.

More information about the Audit Commission’s legal powers and why it compares particular information can be found on the Audit Commission's website.

How do I apply for a Personal Licence?

All applicants must be over 18 years old.

The following must be provided with all Personal Licence applications:

  • The certificate detailing the licensing qualification held by the applicant. The qualification must be accredited by the Secretary of State; this is currently:
    • BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • CIEH Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • HABC Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • IQ Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • LASER Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • Pearson Education Ltd Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • QNUK Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • SQA Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • Training Qualifications UK Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
  • The aim of this provision is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol
  • A DBS check. Please note that any certificate or search result must have been issued no earlier than one calendar month prior to submission of the application
  • A statement made by the applicant detailing any forfeiture of a personal licence or foreign offences
  • Proof of your right to work in the United Kingdom. Acceptable documents are detailed in Note 2 of the application form
  • The fee £37. You'll need a debit or credit card to pay the fee.
  • Two photographs which are:
    1. Taken against a light background so that the applicant’s features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
    2. 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres
    3. Full face uncovered and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to his/her religious beliefs, without a head covering
    4. On photographic paper
    5. Endorsed by one of the following:
      1. The chief executive of the licensing justices for the relevant licensing authority
      2. A solicitor or notary
      3. A person of standing in the community
      4. An individual with a professional qualification

The application must be sent to the Council’s Licensing Team at the address on this page.

If there are relevant offences, the Police can make a representation against the application on crime prevention grounds. If there is a representation by the Police, the application will be determined by the Council’s Area Licensing Panel, an elected body of Councillors. They will listen to evidence from both sides before deciding whether to grant the licence.