Personal Licence Online

FAQs Personal Licence Holders

What is a Personal Licence Course?

This qualification is aimed at anyone who wishes to work in licensed premises where alcohol is sold. You will look at licensing authorities; at the responsibilities of the personal license holder; police powers; rights of entry; specific prohibitions; strengths of alcoholic drinks; responsible retail of alcohol; and the protection of children from harm.

On completion of this course, candidates will hold a licensing qualification with which they can apply for the Personal Licence.

Anyone who authorises the sale of alcohol to the public (as per the legal requirement in England and Wales) is required to have a suitable qualification.

What does a Personal Licence Do?

It’s the licence you will need if you wish to authorise the sale of alcohol in England and Wales. It lasts indefinitely.

In Scotland you must undergo refresher training every 5 years to refresh their knowledge of the licensing regime, and send the training certificate to the relevant Licensing Board; and you must apply to renew your personal licence every ten years and lodge the renewal application no later than 3 months before the expiry date of the licence.

Do I have to Carry my Personal Licence?

You should have your Personal Licence with you whenever you are authorising sales of alcohol. Police officers and authorised council officers can ask to inspect your licence, and it is an offence not to be able to produce your licence when asked to do so.

Personal Licences consist of two parts – a photocard and a paper counterpart. We recommend that you should always keep the photocard with you, and that the counterpart should be kept in a safe place at the premises where you work, where it can be accessed if required.

I’m moving house / changing my name. Do I need to let the council know?

Whenever your details change, you must let the local council to which your original licence was from know, so that they can update your licence. You have provided a change of details form that you can use for this.

Please also note that even if you move out of your local area, your Personal Licence stays with the council – you do not need to re-apply to the local council in your new area.

I have been charged with a criminal offence after being granted a Personal Licence. Do I need to let the council know?

Where charged with a relevant offence, Personal Licence holders have a legal obligation to tell the court about their licence and show it to the court if possible, before the end of their first appearance in a magistrate’s court.

If you are subsequently convicted of the charge, and if the court was told about your licence, they will usually notify the council of your conviction. They will then ask you to return your licence to endorse the details of the conviction upon it (similar to a driving licence). If you failed to tell the court about your licence, or if you were convicted of a similar offence abroad, you must notify them of your conviction.

These provisions only apply to specific offences known as ‘relevant offences’.

I have previously been convicted of an offence. Can I still apply for a Personal Licence?

Only certain convictions are taken into account when considering Personal Licence applications, for specific offences known as ‘relevant offences’. Please see a list of relevant offences for further details.

Prior convictions ARE disregarded if they are considered to be spent, in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

If you have an unspent conviction for a relevant offence, you may still apply for a Personal Licence. In these circumstances, the council are required to consult with the police before they determine an application, and if an objection is received, your application would be referred to a Licensing Sub-Committee hearing to be considered further. You would be invited to attend the hearing and address the Committee as part of this process.

Can I make my Personal Licence application through a solicitor or agent?

A solicitor or agent such as us here at the Academy can submit an application for you. However, you must sign the application form and the criminal convictions declaration form yourself – an agent cannot do this on your behalf. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the details given on the form are all correct.

When making a Personal Licence application, who can endorse the photographs to say that they are a true likeness of me?

One of the two photographs that you submit should be marked on the back with a sentence along the lines of ‘This photograph is a true likeness of …’ followed by your name. This endorsement can be made by:

a solicitor
a notary
a person of standing within the community (for example, a religious leader, a doctor, a police officer, a teacher)
an individual with a professional qualification (for example, an accountant, an architect, an engineer, a registered financial advisor, a company/charity director)

Please ensure that the endorser signs the photo, prints their name and gives details of their job title or qualification.

What kind of exam is the APLH? Is it written or practical?

The exam is multiple choice and is very similar to the mock exam with 4 answers A B C or D. The exam is taken online using the latest self invigilation software.

What happens if I fail?

You can resit the exam should you fail it.

Who needs to take the APLH?

If you are planning on becoming the Designated Premise Supervisor then you will need to pass the APLH exam.

Do I need any previous experience/qualifications to take the APLH?

No previous experience/qualifications needed.

Personal licence: disclosure of convictions and declaration

Here is a link to the Personal licence: disclosure of convictions and declaration available on the government website.

Is there a separate APLH for each country in the UK?

No, except for Scotland when you will need the SCPLH.

How old do you need to be to take your Personal Licence Holder exam?

You can sit the examination before you are 18, but you must be at least 18 years old to hold a Personal Licence.

Do I need DBS (Criminal Check)?

Yes you do. And the crazy thing is, even if you currently have one, be it enhanced or a basic one, you are still required to provide one that is less than 4 weeks old when you submit your Personal Licence Application to you local council.

You will need a Basic disclosure which you can get here.

The application is hard work I’ll be honest with you and you have to find somebody to verify your ID.

You can opt to allow us to get your DBS for you when you purchase.

Who issues a Personal Licence?

The local licensing authority in England and Wales or licensing board in Scotland. Usually these authorities are local councils.

Where do I need to display my Personal Licence?

You don’t. You must display a summary of your Premises Licence in a prominent place but keep a copy of your personal licence for examination by police or licensing authority officials.

What’s the difference between a Personal and a Premises Licence?

A personal licence is granted to an individual, enabling that person to authorise alcohol sales from licensed premises. A premises licence allows licensable activities, including the sale of alcohol, to take place from a particular premises.

What else do I need to provide for a personal licence application?

As of 6th April 2017, applicants for a personal licence must demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK and are not subject to a condition preventing them from doing work relating to the carrying on of a licensing activity. For the Hospitality Academy to be able to process your application, you will need to provide copies or scanned copies of the following documents which can be found here:

You should provide a clear photocopy of…

Born INSIDE of the UK

A current British passport


Birth Certificate along with payslip showing their National Insurance number

Born OUTSIDE of the UK but WITHIN the EEA* or Switzerland

A current passport from a country within the EEA* or Switzerland


National Identity card showing them as a national of an EEA* country or Switzerland or

A Permanent Resident card issued by the Home Office


A registration certificate authorising permanent residence in the UK

Born OUTSIDE of the EEA*

A current Biometric Immigration Document authorising indefinite stay within the UK


A current passport, endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control

*The European Economic Area (or EEA) is defined here:

How long does it take to get a Personal Licence Card?

From taking your exam, you should have your certificate in 10 working days maximum. A DBS can also take 10 working days and the council up to three weeks from application submission.

It a good idea to do the exam and DBS at the same time so the application can be in with the council at the earliest time.

Is this the licence I need for a Mobile Bar?

Yes it is. Often if you attend a festival or event the organisers will hold the TEN’s or Premises licence but they will normally expect you to hold a Personal Licence to alcohol on the site.

The licence is also useful if you intend to apply for more TEN’s licences for event you may put on yourself.

What Qualification Do I Need?

You need the Award for Personal Licence Holders There are currently 9 exam bodies for this including BIIAB, Highfield, SQA, Laser and others. They are all exactly the same qualification. With us you take the TQUK or Laser as they are the only one’s using invigilation software. The exam versions and can be found here on the government website.

Because many of the large companies use us, we train 4000 people every year and it’s rising which is many more than most of the other companies combined.

How Long Does the Personal Licence Last?

It used to last for 10 years but now it lasts indefinitely.

Who gives me the Card?

Once you have your qualification and DBS certificates, you can apply to the local council to which you live. You can do that yourself, or we can help with that process.

I’ve got a Drink Driving Conviction, can I still get a Personal Licence?

Driving when under the influence of drinks or drugs is a ‘Relevant Offence’ under the Licensing Act 2003 in relation to personal licences.  Therefore, when you make the application for your personal licence the Licensing Authority must give the Chief Officer of Police for its area a notice informing them of your drink driving conviction. If the Chief Officer of Police is satisfied that granting a personal licence to you will undermine the crime prevention objective of the Licensing Act 2003 he will issue an objection notice in which case the Licensing Authority must hold a hearing to consider the Police objection. At the hearing the Licensing Authority can refuse to grant you a personal licence.  In our experience the approach of the Police across the country varies. Unfortunately however I should advise that as this is a recent conviction and directly relates to your employment, it would not be unusual for a personal licence application to be refused in these circumstances.