What is the BIIAB Award for Personal Licence Holders?



BIIAB is the awarding body of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the professional body for the licensed retail industry. It specialises in work-based learning, providing a range of commercial vocational qualifications, including the BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders.


What is the BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders?


The BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders is aimed at those wanting to work in licensed premises where alcohol is sold. As with all BIIAB regulated qualifications, this award has been developed based upon industry feedback as to the fundamental knowledge necessary to work at the required level.

The award provides the successful candidate with a licensing qualification with which they can then apply for a personal licence.


Why is the BIIAB award necessary?


Under the Licensing Act 2003, if you are a private business proposing to sell or supply alcohol under a premises licence, you must have a designated premises supervisor (DPS) who holds a personal licence.

A DPS is usually the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the business and is specified on the premises licence as responsible for authorising the sale and supply of alcohol.

Anyone who authorises the sale of alcohol to the public in England and Wales must, in almost all cases, obtain a suitable licensing qualification to confirm his/her occupational competence. This includes the BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders or a similar accredited qualification.


Who is eligible to apply for the BIIAB award?


To apply for a personal licence an applicant must be aged 18 years or over. Accordingly, the BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders is aimed at the following candidates:

a. Those aged over 18
b. Those wanting to apply for a personal licence.

There are no entry requirements for this qualification. However, learners must be assessed to ensure they have a reasonable chance of achievement.


What is required to gain the BIIAB award?


The BIIAB candidate will be required to undergo guided learning in relation to a range of topic areas relating to the licensing system and how it works.

This includes the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities within the framework of the licensing objectives, as well as the role and responsibilities of the personal licence holder and the DPS.

The candidate will also learn all about the personal and premises licence, including penalties for any failure to comply with the law, together with additional related topics such as temporary licensable activities, rights of entry to licensed premises and prohibitions for the sale of alcohol.


How is the BIIAB award assessed?


The BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders is a single day course or 8 guided learning hours. These are the required number of hours that learning should take place under the immediate guidance or supervision of a tutor or other appropriate training provider.

Upon completion of these hours, BIIAB candidates are assessed by way of a 40 question, 40 minute, multiple-choice examination, in which s/he will need to correctly answer 28 out of 40 questions to successfully complete the course.

Set out below are three specimen style questions used to assess candidates:

Example 1

An application for a personal licence must be made to the relevant:

A. Environmental Health authority
B. Government department
C. Planning department
D. Licensing authority

Example 2

Which of these is a licensing objective?

A. Prevention of alcohol addiction
B. Prevention of crime and disorder
C. Prosecution of known drug dealers
D. Prosecution of underage drinkers

Example 3

Under the Licensing Act 2003, which of these is a licensable activity?

A. Provision of fund raising raffles for charity
B. Provision of live televised football
C. Supply of alcohol on club premises
D. Supply of tobacco products.


What are the benefits of gaining the BIIAB award?


The BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders will allow the successful candidate to demonstrate the required level of knowledge of the legal and social responsibilities as a personal licence holder.

Employers and licensing authorities can also rely on the knowledge provided as meeting nationally recognised standards within the relevant alcohol legislation and for responsible retailing.

This knowledge includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The roles, responsibilities and functions of licensing authorities – for example, licensing policies and the purpose of a licensing hearing.

The licensing objectives – for example, understanding these objectives in the context of the licensing system, as well as the content and purpose of operating schedules and how these can be used to promote the objectives.

The role and responsibilities of the DPS – for example, the responsibility of the DPS to carry out a risk assessment in order to promote the licensing objectives.

The application process and legal duties when applying for a personal licence – for example, the eligibility criteria for a new licence, whom may object to the grant of a personal licence, and the duty on the applicant to declare ‘relevant’ and ‘foreign’ offences.

The legal duties of a personal licence holder – for example, if charged or convicted with a relevant or foreign offence after the licence is granted, the penalties for breaching any legal duties, and the consequences for a personal licence holder if convicted of a drink driving offence.

The rights and legal duties of the responsible persons in relation to operation of licensed premises – for example, the duty to refuse the sale of alcohol to a drunken person, who is legally responsible for preventing disorderly conduct on licensed premises, and the penalties for allowing drunk and disorderly conduct.

The law in relation to licences premises – for example, the four licensable activities defined by the 2003 Act, the mandatory conditions attached to all premises licences that authorises the sale of alcohol, and the penalties for breaching conditions on a premises licence.

The nature, purpose and period of validity of a personal licence – for example, understanding what a personal licence is and what it entitles the holder to do.

The law in relation to Temporary Event Notices (TEN) – for example, the circumstances under which the police and/or environmental health officers can object to a TEN.

The law in relation to the protection of children on licensed premises – for example, the presence of children, the consumption of alcohol by children, and the penalties for breaching the law in relation to the protection of children on licensed premises.

The powers of the police and other authorities in relation to licensed premises – for example, to close identified licensed premises in respect of disorder or nuisance, as well as which authorities have a right of entry to licensed premises and when they can exercise these rights.

The prohibitions and exemptions in relation to licensable activities – for example, which types of premises are prohibited from selling alcohol, and which forms of entertainment are regulated and which are exempt.

The nature and strength of alcohol and the effect on the human body – for example, how the strength of an alcoholic drink is measured, defining the terms ‘alcohol-free’ and ‘low alcohol’, and the intoxicating nature of alcohol.

The BIIAB Level 2 award for Personal Licence Holders will not only allow the successful candidate to apply for a Personal Licence, s/he will be armed with the necessary information as to how to go about this, what this process entails and how to comply with his/her legal duties as a licence holder.


Legal disclaimer


The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.




Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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