Running a Pub

shakeIn the recent past, running a pub was simply made through arrangements with a brewery to supply you with alcohol or with a pub company that ran a chain. Those people that became pub landlords or landladies used to have some experience in the trade, but this was not always the case as long as they were regarded as “responsible” citizens.

Many workers in the public sectors who could take early retirement, like Policemen and Railway workers, dreamt of owning a Public House. With recent legislation things are now quite different. For a start you will need to hold the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) to be granted a Personal Licence to enable you to serve alcohol.

If you can gain the right qualifications, you will find that most Pub Companies are always on the look out for qualified individuals to work in their properties. If they believe that you are talented enough, there is also the possibilty that you might be offered a tenancy or leashold agreement and end up operating your own pub.

By getting yourself some effective training and qualifications in how to successfully work in a pub, you can get yourself ahead in the game. By taking the initiative, you will increase your opportunities. 

Anyone authorising the sale of Alcohol in the UK must now hold a personal licence, (this is different from the premise licence). In order to obtain a personal licence the applicant must first have a relevant licensing training qualification, such as the APLH.

When you have successfully passed and receive your training certificate you can apply directly to your local council for your personal licence or use a specialist like Pubshop Training School to help you fill out and complete all the relevant paperwork.

Detailed Steps to getting a Personal Licence

Personal Licence Detailed StepsPlease remember that if this appears a little bit daunting, that  we can help you with all or just a part of the procedure and we are just a telephone or email away, if you need any advice or help. You are welcome to use our years of experience.

Since the change in the Licensing Act (2003) it has now become necessary for any man or woman wishing to run a licensed premises like a Pub or Off-licence to be a holder of a Personal Licence. (This is besides have an alcohol premises licence).

To get your own Personal Licence you will have to carry out the following steps. First you must obtain the right qualifications. This is not as scary as it sounds and you will not have to go back to school!  You will however, have to attend a one day course to obtain a APLH Award. This used to be known as a NCPLH or National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders.

Check out this website to see if there is a course being held near you. At the end of the day long course, there is a multiple choice exam and when you pass, you will issued with a certificate. Please note it can take about three weeks to receive your certificate.

Next, you must obtain a "Personal Licence" application form and a "Disclosure of Convictions" form, from the Local Authority where you live. You will need these to submit with your certificate along with a current reference check. Once you have done the course and received your BllAB/APLH Certificate, you will need to apply for a Standard CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) reference check. There will be a fee for this and only CRB checks less than 28 days old will be accepted by Local Authorities. It will take at least two weeks for you CRB reference check to arrive, so timing is of the essence here. Arranging all this for you is probably where we can help you the most.

When the CRB reference check does arrive you must immediately complete and return the Personal Licence Application with the other required attachments to your Local authority. They will require the original copy of your CRB check, the original copy of your Personal Licence Holders Certificate. The original copy of your Convictions & Declaration Form with two endorsed passport sized pictures.

Then, usually within 8 weeks the Local Authority will send you a letter confirming they are in receipt of your Personal Licence Application.

Once you have your Personal Licence it will be valid for 10 years. This means that you can now act as a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) of any property licensed to retail alcohol.
Again, we know this can seem a bit overwhelming, especially co-ordinating the right times to obtain and submit forms, but we can help you through this if you want.

Personal Licence Training APLH/NCPLH

Personal Licence Training

Personal Licence & Why Do You Need One?


In the United Kingdom, the Law requires that any alcohol sales on any licensed premises, be that a pub, restaurant, off-licence or supermarket, has to be made or authorised by a Personal licence holder. This means that no licensed premises can sell alcohol unless they employ a Personal Licence holder.

To apply for your own Personal Licence you will have to pass an accredited licensing qualification. So first you will have to take a National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders and Award for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH/APLH) course. There are about 70 training venues around Britain where we can book a course for you, so there is usually one in a town or city near where you live. You will be sent the handbook that accompanies the course in advance so you can read up on it. At the end of this course you will sit a 40 question exam. To pass you have to get at least 28 answers correct. The exam is to make sure you understand what you have been taught on the course.


Feel you need a hand?


We know that applying for your Personal Licence can appear a bit of a complicated task but if you want we can reduce the stress by applying to the Licensing Authorities on your behalf. We will e-mail or post a list of questions for you to fill in and return. We will then fill out the necessary forms for you and post them to you, for you to sign.

Then you return the forms in the pre-paid envelope supplied along with a couple of photo's which need to be signed on the back. We will use these to apply for your CRB Certificate. After we have received this CRB Certificate and the Training Certificate to say you have passed your exam, we will send all the paperwork off to your relevant local authority. They then send us your personal licence and Certificates which we then send on to you.

Our friendly and helpful team are only an email or phone call away if you need any help. The whole process usually takes between 6 – 8 weeks and we charge £270 which includes the training course, examination, certification, Personal Licence, CRB and VAT. If you would like us to apply for the Personal Licence on your behalf or you have any other queries please do not hesitate to phone us on 01305 786639 or email us at