THE Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has now officially launched two revised and one new alcohol licensing qualifications aimed at personal licence holders and their staff, to enable them to comply with the requirements of the Alcohol (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010.
The qualifications, available from SQA’s network of approved centres from last month, are: Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders; Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher); and the Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol.
For many existing personal licence holders the most important part of the changes is the launch of the refresher qualification.
Personal licence holders must undertake refresher training within five years of their licence being issued, though they have a further three months to provide evidence of said training to their licensing board. Failure to do so will result in their licence being revoked. Achieving a Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) qualification is the only recognised way of showing the necessary evidence.
SQA is offering the refresher qualification at a reduced rate until 1 April 2014 to encourage personal licence holders to meet the requirements well ahead of the deadline.
The organisation said training managers had been working with it to become familiar with the new qualifications in advance of the August implementation.
One training organisation that‘s already heavily involved in providing the necessary Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) courses is Tennent’s Training Academy.
The academy organises training to cover a wide range of retail and hospitality requirements – from mandatory licensing training to health and safety, first aid, food hygiene, customer service, team leading, problem solving, managing change and more.
And although based at Tennent Caledonian’s Glasgow headquarters it will be delivering the refresher course at venues across Scotland.
Gayle Johnstone, licensed trade account manager at the Tennent’s Training Academy was keen to stress that all personal licence holders and all companies and outlets that require personal licence holders should ensure they complete the required courses with time to spare
“Plan a schedule now. Start looking at your training records and ensure that you have a document to show when expiry dates are due so that you can book in for training at the academy well in advance,” she said.
“The consequences of failing to do this can be quite severe. If your licence is revoked, you cannot apply for a new one for five years,” she said.
The Tennent’s Training Academy is one of a number of organisations that provides courses accredited by the BIIAB and that organisation has also stressed how important it is to gain the refresher certificate in good time.
BII and BIIAB CEO Tim Hulme said: “As the professional body for the licensed hospitality and retail industry BII and BIIAB want the process of mandatory refresher training to be as stress-free as possible for licensees.
“By obtaining the SCPLHR qualification as soon as possible, licensees will be able to avoid the rush and will be able to move forward to the December 2014 deadline secure in the knowledge that their personal licence is valid for another five years.
“Failure to meet the deadline would have disastrous consequences for individuals and businesses, as once a licence is revoked, you can no longer be named as premises manager and alcohol sales at the premises where you work must stop immediately until a new manager can be found,” he added.
“All of our registered training centres are ready to provide the qualification and we urge licensees to act now. This is far too important to leave until the last minute.”