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Personal licence

What is a personal licence?

A personal licence allows an individual to authorise the sale or supply of alcohol. In most cases, premises with a premises licence will need at least one personal licence holder where one of their activities is the sale or supply of alcohol.

How long is a personal licence valid for?

Personal licences were first granted in 2005, valid for 10 years. Section 115 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been amended by the Deregulation Act 2015 removing the requirement to renew a personal licence with effect from 1 April 2015. Unless a personal licence is surrendered, suspended, revoked or forfeited, it has effect indefinitely regardless of any expiry date on the licence. For applications made on or after 6 April 2017, a licence granted to someone subject to immigration control will lapse if the individual ceases to be entitled to work in the UK.

Personal licence holders have a duty to notify the licensing authority of any change in their name or address and a replacement licence will be issued on payment of the statutory fee of £10.50. The licence holder is also under a duty to notify any convictions for relevant or foreign offences to the licensing authority. There is provision for the suspension/forfeiture of a personal licence by the courts and licensing authorities where a personal licence holder has been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence or been required to pay an immigration penalty. In the case of licensing authorities, this provision only applies to convictions received on or after 6 April 2017.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor?

A Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is the person named on the premises licence (not necessarily the licence holder) who is singularly responsible for the running of those premises. A DPS must hold a personal licence. More information is provided in the Guidance on Designated Premises Supervisors (PDF 57Kb / 1 page).

Who needs a personal licence?

Any premises (except qualifying clubs) that sell or supply alcohol will need at least one personal licence holder, one of whom must be named on the premises licence as the Designated Premises Supervisor. There is an exception for community premises in respect of which a successful application has been made to disapply the usual mandatory conditions. More information is available on the Guidance on Removal of Requirement for DPS (PDF 150Kb / 4 pages).

Who can apply for a personal licence?

Applicants for a personal licence must:

  • be aged 18 or over;
  • have not forfeited a personal licence within 5 years prior to making an application;
  • have not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence;
  • possess an accredited licensing qualification;
  • have the right to live and work in the UK.

What is considered an accredited licensing qualification?

For the purpose of personal licences, the Home Secretary has accredited the following qualifications under the Licensing Act 2003:

  1. BIIAB (QCF recognition number RN5118) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 501/1494/3
    Website: or telephone 01276 684 449

  2. CIEH (QFC recognition number RN5238) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 601/2104/X
    Website: or telephone 0207 827 5800

  3. HABC (QCF recognition number RN5219) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 500/9974/7
    Website or telephone 01302 363277

  4. IQ (QCF Recognition number RN5330) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 601/4980/2
    Website telephone 01952 457 452

  5. LASER (QCF recognition number RN5326) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 600/6446/8
    Website or telephone 01932 569894

  6. Pearson Education Ltd (QCF recognition number RN5133) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 601/3483/5 Website or telephone 0844 5760045

  7. QNUK (RQF recognition number RN5159) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 603/1021/2
    Website or telephone 020 8366 5049

  8. SQA (QCF recognition number RN5167) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 600/1269/9
    Website or telephone 0345 279 1000

  9. Training Qualifications UK (QCF recognition number RN5355) Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders, Accreditation Number: 601/6508/X Website or telephone 03333 583344

What is a relevant offence?

Relevant offences are listed under Schedule 4 of the Licensing Act 2003. A full list of relevant offences is contained within our guidance on Relevant Convictions Personal Licences (PDF 94Kb / 3 pages).

How do I apply for a personal licence?

Personal licence applications should contain the following:

  • a completed application form (form 6);
  • the appropriate fee of £37;
  • two passport sized photographs one of which should be endorsed on the back by a solicitor, notary, teacher, lecturer or other professional person as a true likeness;
  • disclosure of convictions and declaration form (form 8);
  • either a basic disclosure criminal conviction certificate or the results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 1998(b) of the Police National Computer by the National Identification Service (this should be no more than one calendar month old when received by the Council);
  • accredited Licensing Qualification Certificate (see details above);
  • proof of right to work in the UK (a list of acceptable documents is provided in the application form).

Basic criminal record checks can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland. You may apply for a basic disclosure on or request an application form from the licensing team.

Subject access forms can be obtained from the Data Control Unit of Cumbria Police, see subject access on the Cumbria Constabulary website or ring 101.

The licensing authority is required to notify the police when an applicant is found to have an unspent conviction for a relevant or foreign offence. The police may object to the application on crime prevention grounds. Similarly, the licensing authority is required to notify the Secretary of State through Home Office Immigration Enforcement when an applicant declares that they have been issued with an immigration penalty or convicted of an immigration offence. The Home Office may object on grounds that granting the licence would be prejudicial to the prevention of illegal working in licensed premises. In either case when an objection is received, the applicant is entitled to a hearing to determine the application. If there are no objections and the applicant otherwise meets the requirements, the application will be granted.

Licensing Register

We are required by law to maintain a register containing details of various licences issued. This register can be viewed online or can be viewed at the Town Hall, Penrith during normal office hours. If you notice any apparent error or omission in the register, or if you have any query about it, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.

Online Licensing Register