Awright lets get moving on Refresher Training.

I had to cancel a course the other week for lack of numbers.  And the cost to me and other providers of training materials goes up on 1st April by about 8 quid so the fees will rise.

Here’s what my client Paul at the CCA said on reading the below:- “Hi Robin, you’ve succeeded in freaking me out with this!”

BOOK NOW – see HERE for upcoming course dates, and either email or call me on 07870 590909 to book.

Here’s the full text of my chat to the SLTN of 20 February on the subject.

SLTN’s questions are in bold with Robin’s responses normal type.

With the deadline for the first ‘batch’ of Personal Licence Holder refresher training fast approaching, we’d like your comments on the following points (where appropriate):

In your view, how has the uptake for SCPLH refresher courses been so far?

Pathetic, to be frank – most people in the trade have no idea. The bigger operators are more clued up and I’ve been getting more calls this week. It is genuinely a worry for those who were issued Personal Licences on or before the Act coming in to force on 01 September 2009. They don’t seem to know or care. They need to get the finger out. Us training providers and licensing lawyers are doing what we can to remind people. In their case the training needs to be done by 31 August 2014 and the Board’s records updated by 01 December 2014.

What’s your advice to operators to ensure they meet the relevant deadlines?

Register for Refresher Training now!! Do not delay – the system will not cope!!!

What are the consequences for operators who fail to meet the relevant deadlines? What could it mean for their bar, restaurant or hotel business?

Not only do you have to do the training and pass the exam but then you must send your Refresher Training certificate to the Licensing Board so they can update your training record on your Personal Licence, all within a specific timescale. I am worried that Licensing Boards will get clogged up with last minute requests to update the Personal Licence Training Record page.

If you do not do this within the timescale then your Personal Licence is revoked which has 2 very serious consequences:-

1: If you are a Premises Manager, that appointment ceases and the premises cannot sell alcohol.

2: You cannot re-apply for another Personal Licence for 5 years. This means you can’t authorise staff to sell alcohol or hold a management position. Your income earning capacity is drastically reduced.

What does the refresher training course cover?
About 2/3rd s of the main Personal Licence course in half the time but the same exam and 70% pass rate. You need to read the handbook too ahead of the course. It is worth noting also that there have been many piecemeal changes to the original Licensing Act (such as Challenge 25, more irresponsible promotions, new forms of ID) so there is plenty of new material in the exam questions! In other words, you can’t just swan in and do the exam…..

How much does the refresher course typically cost?

Around £75 to £85, plus VAT if applicable. There may be deals to be done for bulk!  But the costs may well go up in March when the SQA and other providers are scheduled to hike up the cost to Trainers of providing the paperwork.

Does the refresher training course have to be completed in a training centre?

As with the main Personal Licence course the Refresher course has to be provided by an “Approved Trainer” via a Training Centre. But it can be done at the client’s premises, providing the “exam conditions” can be met.

How long typically does the refresher training course take to complete?

It has to be a 3 hour course with a 1 hour exam. Plus pre-study of the handbook.

What rules and deadlines should operators be aware of when it comes to mandatory staff training?

First and foremost all staff members selling alcohol have to complete the mandatory staff training course before serving alcohol to the public. There has to be a certificate to this effect, worded in a particular way, signed by the trainer and trainee and kept in the premises where it can readily be inspected by Licensing Standards Officers and Police. The training covers 16 bullet points and must last 2 hours. It can be conducted by a Personal Licence Holder or a Training Provider. There need not be an exam at the end. Remember also Age Verification Training has to be completed in respect of each staff member and a signed certificate be kept in the premises. I have no doubt that, sooner rather than later, LSOs will carry out a splurge on this subject.

With major events like the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup fast approaching and some operators likely to take on additional staff, what advice would you give them regarding staff training for new and/or temporary recruits?

Its not just the Mandatory Staff training but also Age Verification training that has to be done and certificates be put in place. Bizarrely for pop up venues with occasional licences the mandatory conditions do not include staff training but staff do still have to be authorised to sell alcohol by a Personal Licence Holder and to have Age Verification training. “Best practice” would include the 2 hour staff training in my view.

How would you sum up the commitment shown by operators to staff training in the Scottish trade?

Again there is no doubt that staff training in all aspects of service, conflict management, first aid, food hygiene – not just licensing – is a major part of the multiple operators’ game plan. However we all need to impress on the trade as a whole that enhanced staff knowledge of the law, their responsibilities and potential liabilities as servers and their role in sustaining the public health objective, can only be achieved by staff being properly and thoroughly trained.

 What are the benefits to operators of investing in staff training beyond the minimum legal requirement?

Happier and safer customers who will ultimately spend more time and, therefore, cash in the operator’s premises.


As a rule of thumb, the courses will take place twice a month.

On each day courses start at 10am and last for 4 hours. Phone 07870 590909 or email to book.

Fees £75 per person – reductions for 3 or more from same company at a course, e.g. 3 for £210.

  • March 4th
  • March 18th
  • April 1st
  • April 15th
  • April 29th


On each day SCPLH courses start at 10am until 5pm. Phone 07870 590909 or email to book.

As a rule of thumb, these courses take place on the second Tuesday and last Wednesday of the month, or by appointment.

Standard course fee is £125, but is reduced to £110 when courses are booked for 2 or more people.

  • February 26th
  • March 11th
  • March 26th
  • April 8th
  • April 30th
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