Alcohol Licensing Qualifications

Alcohol Licensing Qualifications

SQA's alcohol licensing qualifications support those working in the licensed trade in Scotland. They allow individuals to show that they can work responsibly and that they understand how the licensing process applies to their jobs.

  • The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) is for those who authorise the sale of alcohol, or manage or supervise in premises where alcohol is sold. It is a 'relevant qualification' under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for anyone applying for a personal licence in Scotland.
  • All personal licence holders must complete refresher training within five years of the date that their licence was issued. They must then produce evidence of having completed the refresher training to the Licensing Board that issued their personal licence no later than three months after this deadline. A certificate of achievement for the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) (SCPLHR) qualification is the recognised way of doing this.
  • All staff who sell or serve alcohol are required to have a minimum of two hours of training on alcohol licensing legislation before they begin work. The Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol (SCSSSA) is a reliable way to cover this requirement.

The SCPLH and SCPLHR qualifications are based on the Scottish Personal Licence Holder Standard and Scottish Personal Licence Holder Standard (Refresher), and they meet the mandatory qualification and training requirements of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and subsequent regulations.

The SCSSSA qualification is based on the Licensing (Training of Staff) (Scotland) Regulations 2007

Up-to-date information on developments, and news on alcohol licensing legislation are available on the Scottish Government website.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA's alcohol licensing qualifications are up to date and meet the mandatory requirements of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and subsequent regulations.

They emphasise the responsible sale of alcohol and align with the aspirations of the Scottish Government's Alcohol Framework, which sets out a strategic approach to tackling alcohol misuse in Scotland.

The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders and Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) qualifications are based on the national standard developed in conjunction with the Scottish Government, People 1st International (standard setting body), qualification awarding bodies and the licensed trade. The Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol qualification is based on the Licensing (Training of Staff) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.

The qualifications are supported by competitively-priced candidate handbooks for pre-course study and post-course reference.

Tutor notes, PowerPoint presentations and activities are provided free of charge to all SQA-approved centres. See 'Information for centres' below for access.

The qualifications can be offered in the following modes: via one-day or half-day courses*, as appropriate, with assessment using either a paper-based or online examination at the end of the course.

*Some centres also offer online delivery.

Who does this qualification suit

These qualifications are suitable for a wide range of individuals, including:

  • anyone applying for a personal licence in Scotland
  • personal licence holders in Scotland who need to provide evidence of meeting refresher training requirements
  • those employed in the licensed trade sector in either on-sales or off-sales environments who need to demonstrate that they have met legislative requirements
  • those seeking employment in the licensed trade sector

Access

Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, it would be beneficial if candidates had some knowledge or experience of the licensed on-sales or off-sales trade in Scotland, for example by working or through prior study.

Modern Apprenticeships

  • The Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol is included as an Enhancement in the Modern Apprenticeship in Hospitality at SCQF level 5
  • The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders and the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) are included as an Enhancement in the Modern Apprenticeship in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at SCQF level 7 and as an Optional Outcome in the Technical Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management Skills at SCQF level 8

Read the full details of the Scottish Hospitality Apprenticeship frameworks.

Progression

SQA's alcohol licensing qualifications may provide progression opportunities to:

  • SCQF level 6/7
  • an HNC/HND in Hospitality or Retailing
  • an SVQ in the hospitality or retailing sectors
  • employment in the licensed trade sector, perhaps as a bar person, waiter, retail assistant, personal licence holder, premises licence holder, supervisor, manager

Approval

All centres wishing to deliver the alcohol licensing qualifications must comply with the Operational Handbook and the Training Delivery and Assessment Strategy (part of the Operational Handbook) - available in information for centres.

Centres wishing approval should contact the Business Development Team in the first instance.

How to assess

The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders and the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) qualifications are assessed by an externally set, multiple choice examinations with 40 questions.

The Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol is assessed by an externally set, multiple choice examination with 25 questions.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Overview

Group award code: GR7R 46 (1 SCQF credit point)

The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders at SCQF level 6 consists of one mandatory unit.

Group award code: GR7T 46 (1 SCQF credit point)

The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) at SCQF level 6 consists of one mandatory unit (1 SCQF credit points)

Group award code: GR7P 45 (1 SCQF credit point)

The Scottish Certificate for Safe Sale and Service of Alcohol at SCQF level 5 consists of one mandatory unit (1 SCQF credit points)

Information for centres

Detailed information on:

  • Operational handbook
  • Tutor and course delivery information
  • Course notification/Question Paper Order Form
  • Marker's report
  • Examination Paper Control Document
  • Invigilator Incident Report Form

is in our information for centres area.

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.

Alcohol Licensing Qualifications Operational Handbook

Alcohol Licensing Qualifications - Operational Handbook (394 KB)

Useful Links

Barnardo's Nightwatch materials

Scottish Government