Best practice for licensed premises

Cheltenham is proud to be the holder of its purple flag status, a recognition of the commitment of many to provide a safe and vibrant evening out, and raise standards within the town centre nighttime economy.

There are various different licensed premises in Cheltenham, all of which have an important role to play in making this vibrant town unique.

We recognise that many larger businesses have access to their own in house training teams dedicated to providing advice on licensing law and best practice measures, but simply, we want all businesses to have access to this information and be the best they can be.

Premises inspections

In Cheltenham, all licensed premises are inspected. During the inspection, premises are risk rated, with the score then used to determine the timeframe of future inspections.

During the inspection, officers will consider what type of business you have, the rateable value of your premises, and your hours of operation. Other aspects of the inspection include compliance with legal requirements, including the conditions of your licence, and the implementation of best practice measures.

To help you be the best, and get the best scoring on your inspection, we have a list of templates and posters for you to use, including some that you can personalise to your business. You can find these below.

If there’s anything you need, think we’re missing and want to add, or if you have any questions regarding what is expected of you as a licence holder or designated premises supervisor, please contact licensing directly at [email protected]

Cheltenham Safe   

Cheltenham Safe is a business crime reduction scheme, working in partnership with the Police, Cheltenham Borough Council, the Chamber of Commerce and other key partners.

It also provides a platform for members to share good practice, discuss local issues and collectively exclude offenders from businesses.

Benefits of membership include:

  • The services of a dedicated coordinator
  • Optional Radio link scheme providing direct contact with other members, Police and CCTV control room
  • Radios are fitted with an emergency button enabling staff to summon assistance in cases of emergency
  • Offender exclusion scheme
  • Access to secure members database and smartphone app allowing viewing of photographs of target and excluded offenders, alerts and news items
  • Regular intelligence meetings and reports/updates on persistent offenders
  • Regular licensing updates
  • Online facility to view Police sourced photographs of excluded persons

Challenge 25

Trying to guess a person’s age can be tricky. Challenge 25 is a scheme that encourages staff to ID anyone buying alcohol who looks under the age of 25, allowing for a greater margin of error.

Communicating to your customers that your premises had adopted the Challenge 25 scheme gives customers the heads up that if they’re lucky enough to look under 25, they will be requested to produce acceptable ID to prove they are over 18 before the sale of alcohol can be made. 

You also want to communicate to your customers that your premises operates a Challenge 25 scheme. You can be as creative as you want- put it on a chalkboard, paint it on the wall, wear badges, and put it on your drinks menu. You can also use the Challenge 25 poster below.

Don't forget, you will also want to ensure that your staff receive regular training on this policy so they know what is expected of them. This training must be recorded, and signed by the staff member, and made available for inspection.

Challenge 25 poster – drink aware

Challenge log

Businesses that sell age-restricted products have a legal responsibility to ensure that they protect their customers who are underage from accessing these products. Premises also have responsibility to ensure they do not sell alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated, or where it is believed the item is intended for someone underage.

Most modern till systems have the facility to be able to prompt staff members to consider the customers age and their suitability for sale, when attempts to purchase age related products are made. This may be in the form or a prompt box reminding staff to implement ‘Challenge 25’ or to check if the customer is intoxicated.

These systems also have the ability to record all challenges made and provide a report of these challenges for training purposes and evidence gathering.

If you don’t have a till system that can do this, don’t worry. You can use this template to print off a log, which you can kept behind the till for all staff to access. Don’t forget to train staff members on what is expected of them, and ensure they know where the log is kept. Position the log near to the point of sale, where every staff member has access.

It is important to remember that, whilst recording under age challenges of sale is important (i.e if you believe the customer to be under age and ask for ID), it is just as important to record where you have refused the sale of alcohol because you believe the person to already be too intoxicated, or you believe that an adult is intending to provide the alcohol to a minor (proxy sale).

Even if you ask for ID on the sale of an age restricted product and valid ID is provided, it is very good practice to record that you have asked for this information and you have seen it every time a challenge is made. It shows that you are regularly checking which is great for due-diligence and you may even see a pattern emerge which could allow you to tailor your staff resourcing accordingly.

Refusal log template

Challenge 25 poster – drink aware

Can’t get served poster – too drunk

DPS expressed consent form

The DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor) is a person who holds a personal licence and has been given, and accepted, the responsibility to oversee the day-to-day management of the business, including the responsibility for the authorisation of the sale of alcohol at the premises. The DPS must be nominated by the premises licence holder to carry out this responsibility.

Whilst there can be many personal licence holders at one premises (and this we encourage) there will only be one person with overall responsibility of the sale of alcohol and the responsibility to ensure that the premises complies with the licence conditions and that the licensing objectives are properly promoted.

That being said, it cannot be expected that the DPS will be at the venue at all times that the premises are open and therefore it is good practice to provide expressed consent for named individuals to sell alcohol in their absence. These persons do not need a personal licence, but must have completed relevant and up-to-date training relating to licensing legislation.  

Staff members should then sign to confirm that they understand their responsibilities. It is even better practice if, when the DPS is not at the premises, at least one personal licence holder is available to authorise alcohol sales.

DPS expressed consent form

Award for personal licence holders (APLH)

If you’re looking to sell or authorise the sale of alcohol by retail on licensed premises, you must hold a personal licence. To obtain your personal licence you must first complete your APLH qualification.

This course will cover licensing law, licensed premises, personal licences, protection of children, powers and enforcement, Temporary Events Notices (TENs) and responsibility in alcohol retailing (best practice).  

Whilst the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) will have completed their APLH qualification and have their personal licence, it is good practice to have more than one individual at the premises that holds this qualification.

In fact, the APLH course should be taken by anyone who works in a role that requires them to authorise the sale of alcohol to the public (as per the legal requirements).

  • Managers
  • Assistant managers
  • Supervisors
  • Staff seeking promotion to one of these positions

Cheltenham Borough Council offer the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) course at a very competitive price, which can be taken in conjunction with our personal licence application service. After you have completed the course, you can apply for your personal licence.

Gloucestershire Police posters

Our police licensing partners at Gloucestershire Police have provided a number of posters for you to use. 

Ask Angela

The campaign encourages those who feel unsafe when they`re on a night out to ask for support from bar staff using the ‘Ask for Angela’ code word. Bar staff should be trained, using the training also provided below, to help the customer get out of that situation discreetly.

Ask Angela poster and staff training

Police drink driving poster

Police drug driving poster

Drug use poster

Other media tools available

Proxy purchase poster 

Think again poster (sexual consent)