Alcohol licensing: personal licences

Documents relating to alcohol licensing: personal licences.


  1. Documents

You are not required to have a personal licence to be employed in a pub or other business that sells alcohol.

Premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a designated premises supervisor, who holds a personal licence. The single exception is a community premises that has successfully applied to disapply the DPS requirement under section 41D of the Licensing Act 2003.

Anyone who does not hold a personal licence must be authorised to sell alcohol by a personal licence holder. There is no such requirement for the supply of alcohol in a members’ club.

Personal licences allow you to sell alcohol on behalf of any business that has a premises licence or a club premises certificate. The relationship is similar to the way that a driving licence permits the driving of any car.

About the licence

The licences are designed to ensure that anybody running or managing a business that sells or supplies alcohol will do so in a professional fashion.

Once you receive your personal licence, you can act as the designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol.

Who can apply

In order to apply, you must be aged 18 years or over, and (in almost all cases) hold a licensing qualification; for example, a BII level II examination certificate or a similar accredited qualification such as the EDI NCPLH level 2 qualification.

If you are applying for a personal licence, you must 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 involved in the sale of alcohol. Personal licence qualification providers are accredited by the Secretary of State.

Your local council will want to know of any relevant criminal convictions, and these may impact on whether or not you are found to be suitable as a licensee. You will also need to provide a basic criminal conviction disclosure form.