A personal licence allows you to authorise the sale or supply of alcohol.

A licensed alcohol premises must have at least one personal licence holder. One of these will be named the designated premises supervisor (DPS). This person is then responsible for:

  • the sale or supply of alcohol at the premises
  • the day to day running of the premises

Every sale of alcohol under the premises licence must be authorised by the DPS or by another person who has a personal licence.

On 1 April 2015 the requirement to renew personal licences was abolished, which means that they do not expire. You can use them throughout England and Wales.


You will not need a personal licence if:

  • you sell or supply alcohol at a premises and are authorised to do this by someone else who has a personal licence
  • you sell or supply alcohol at a premises with a club premises certificate
  • you sell or supply alcohol under a temporary event notice

Who can apply?

To apply for a personal licence:

  • you must be 18 or over
  • you must eligible to work or remain in the UK
  • you must not have had a personal licence forfeited in the past 5 years
  • you must not have been convicted of a relevant offence or a foreign offence
  • you must have an approved licensing qualification

Licensing qualifications are important to ensure that you are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol.

How to get a qualification

The council offers the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence holders.  Alternatively, the government has published details of the course syllabus and accredited the following qualifications.