Concern over refresher rates

THE deadline has now passed for Scottish holders of alcohol retailing personal licences, who were issued licences on or before 1 September 2009, to have completed mandatory refresher training and gained the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders Refresher (SCPLHR)qualification.

Scotland’s first personal licence holders (PLHs) had to gain the SCPLHR certificate by the end of last month.
Those who did so must now present evidence that they hold the new certificate to the licensing board who granted their original licence by 1 December this year.
But anyone who did not complete the refresher training and gain the SCPLHR certificate by 31 August now stands to be banned from holding a personal licence for a minimum of five years.
Scottish Grocer understands that figures for July showed a little more than 23,000 PLHs had, by then, taken courses.
That is likely to have meant that many thousands of PLHs would have to gain their certificate in August or have their licences revoked.
It isn’t yet clear how many PLHs may be facing the loss of their licences.
Proposed changes to the licensing laws currently going through the Scottish legislative process include plans to do away with the five-year ban. But there are, at present, no plans to grant a retrospective amnesty to any PLHs who find themselves banned.
John Lee, public affairs manager of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, thinks it would be worth trying to find an MSP to propose an amendment that would grant an amnesty.
But the other important thing to consider, he stressed, was that as the refresher training system has now been triggered every PLH in Scotland has to complete the training and gain the certificate within five years of the date that their original licence was issued.

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