Licensing Standards Newsletter - January 2017

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our January Newsletter and a happy New Year to all. 

Contact Eric Dearie or Raymond Park for licensing standards advice and information, or the licensing Board Team for information on licensing applications; applying for a licence or for an update on your licensing application.

Previous Newsletters

We maintain a library of previous Newsletters which can be accessed via our web page should you wish another look.

 Licensing Board Statement of Policy 2013-2016

The current policy document can be viewed and downloaded hereand each month we look at each section in summary.  This month we will look at Section13 – Access by Children and Young Persons to Licensed Premises.  The following is the policy statement summarised:

The Board encourages family friendly licensed premises and will generally welcome applications to accommodate children and young persons on premises.   That said the Board is committed to protecting children and young persons from harm and licensees will have to demonstrate they have policies in place to meet this protection.

The Board will not normally grant a premises licence or occasional licence where children and young persons could have unsupervised access to pool tables, darts boards or gaming machines and the premises will require to have a suitable character and atmosphere.  The terminal hour for children and young persons on licensed premises will generally be 9:00pm provided they are accompanied by an appropriate responsible adult over the age of 18 years and they are on the premises for the purposes of taking a meal, or when attending a private function for the duration of that function.

The Board will impose appropriate conditions on a premises licence or in granting an occasional licence where children and young persons are to be allowed entry. Conditions will seek to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young persons on the premises.

Next time we will look at Section 14 – Off sales premises.

National PubWatch December 2016 Newsletter

Here is a link to The National PubWatch December 2016 Newsletter.  

Young Scot Card

We mentioned in our December Newsletter that we would revisit the Young Scot Card scheme and age verification requirements in general. 

Age Verification Policy in Licensed Premises

From 1st October 2011, The Alcohol Etc. (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a new mandatory condition for all premises licences and occasional licences requiring that there must be an age verification policy on the premises in relation to the sale of alcohol.  The law has set a minimum age of 25 years for the policy where it appears to the person selling the alcohol that the customer may be under the age of 25 years.

As a result of this change in the law, customers in any premises in Scotland licensed for the sale of alcohol, including pubs, clubs, restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores may be asked to produce identification where they appear under the age of twenty-five to prove that they are over the age of eighteen and can lawfully purchase alcohol.

It is the responsibility of the premises licence holder and premises manager to ensure staff awareness of the age verification policy.  In Argyll and Bute it is expected that the policy will be in writing in a form of staff declaration.

Refusals Register - although not a legal requirement of the 2005 Act it is considered good practice to record refusals to sell alcohol in a refusals register or refusals book.  The keeping of such a register or book also shows that the premises licence holder has an effective system in place for checking ages of those presenting to purchase alcohol where there is concern that they may be underage.   

Challenge 25 and Acceptable ID

You will agree that the ability to determine the age of young people has become increasingly difficult over the years. This has led to problems for both retailers and young people when trying to purchase and sell age related goods.  Only the production of proof of age documents specified by law will satisfy the purpose of the age verification policy.  With effect from 1st October 2013, these are:

  • A Passport;
  • A European Union photocard driving licence;
  • A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card);
  • A photographic identity card bearing the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) hologram;
  • A national identity card issued by a European Union member state (other than the United Kingdom), Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland; or
  • A Biometric Immigration Document

The Challenge25 website gives excellent information about the law and what you should do to make sure you comply.  The website also has a library of specimen documents and posters for use on your premises.  Simply download them and print them off.

Young Scot and the Promotion of PASS in Scotland

Roanna Clark, Argyll and Bute Young Scot Co-ordinator, has asked that we include an item on Young Scot and the promotion of the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) in Scotland.


The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is the UK’s national proof of age card accreditation scheme which aims to create a common standard and an easily recognisable identity to help protect sellers of age restricted goods and services from fraudulent proof of age cards. Only card schemes which meet the very strict audit requirements of the PASS Board are allowed to issue cards bearing the PASS hologram.

Young Scot logoPASS hologram

The Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC) and local Young Scot Card, which includes the PASS hologram, is a free multi-application smartcard for all young people living in Scotland aged 11-26. The cards were created by the Scottish Government in partnership with all 32 local authorities, the Improvement Service, Transport Scotland, Young Scot and other key partners with the aim of making it quicker and easier for young people to access services (such as cashless catering, library/leisure membership, discounts and transport concessions) using one card rather than many. The Young Scot NEC is the largest PASS card scheme in Scotland with over 580,000 cardholders aged 11 to 26.

Young people use the proof of age facility of the card not only for buying the usual goods and services associated with age restrictions, but also for lifestyle items like going to the cinema to see “12” or “15” films, buying age classified DVDs and computer games, and also getting discounted fares on public transport. When questioned about using their cards, young people cite the proof of age element as one of the most important services on their cards.

Young Scot card

Promoting PASS in Scotland

Young Scot cards with the PASS hologram have been on issue in Scotland for over ten years, and during this time substantial strides have been made to raise the awareness and acceptance levels of PASS cards by sellers of age restricted goods and services.

The following statutory legislation supports the Young Scot PASS proof of age card as an acceptable proof of age card: Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005; Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Licensing Act 2010; Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010; and the Sale of Tobacco Regulations (Scotland) 2010, no 406.

The legislation states that providing a licensee undergoes “due diligence” in checking the proof of age they cannot be prosecuted if they subsequently serve an underage person. Asking for and accepting a card with a PASS hologram with the correct photo and date of birth is exercising due diligence.        

Please note that due to the rigorous application process there are absolutely no fake Young Scot cards in circulation. Additionally, no-one has ever been prosecuted for accepting a card containing a PASS hologram and virtually every failed test purchase is a failure to askfor proof of age. Any attempt to tamper with an official document including the Young Scot PASS proof of age is a criminal offence and anyone found attempting to do so is liable for prosecution.


For more information, or if you would like support to carry out some local activities to support the promotion of PASS, please contact:

Mark McGeachie Partnership and Innovation Director

Tel: 0131 313 2488 and E-mail:

Roanna Clark, Youth Participation Officer

Tel: 01546 604752 and E-mail:

Visit the Young Scot Website – Argyll and Bute - Pages

Guide Dogs Scotland – Access to Business

Emma Brown, Engagement Officer of the Guide Dogs Glasgow Mobility Team, has asked us to remind business of their legal responsibilities in allowing assistance dogs on to their premises.  Emma says:

Guide Dogs Scotland are offering free window stickersto your business to show you are welcoming assistance dogs.  

Under the Equality Act 2010, guide dog and other assistance dog owners have the right to enter services, premises and vehicles with their dog. However, our UK survey has shown that the majority of assistance dog owners have been refused access to somewhere. The most frequent places that guide dog owners are refused access to are taxis, restaurants and shops.” 

But you can make their experience a positive one. Get in touch with Emma Brown on 0118 938 8123 or to request information for your business on welcoming customers with sight loss.

For more information and resources, check out: 

or post on our social media channels

Facebook: and


to let our guide dog owners know they’re welcome in your business!”

Your questions answered

Q. Can you tell me if I am required to check ID for the same person every time they try to buy alcohol on my premises?

A. Common sense should prevail here.  If you have carried out age verification procedures and the person requested to prove their age has done so, then there is no need to request ID every time they want to buy alcohol on your premises.  That said, you will need to make other staff aware so as not to replicate the ID requirement each time the person wants to buy alcohol on the premises. 

Q. I run a rural pub.  Could you tell me my obligations in relation to allowing access to assistance dogs?

A. This publication -Assistance dogs – A guide for all businesses – provides excellent information on the terms of The Equality act 2010 in relation to providing access and should answer any questions you may have.


Licensing Board meetings dates 2017

Here are the 2017 licensing board meetings dates.


Personal licence refresher training and accredited trainers

The refreshing of personal licences is an ongoing process and information on refresher training and local accredited trainers who offer full and refresher personal licence training courses can be found here. 


That’s it for now

Do you need more information?  Or maybe you would like a licensing topic included in the next edition, or, if you are having difficulty opening any of the links - contact us.


Legal Advice

Licensing standards does not provide legal advice or opinion and the above information should not be considered such.  Any legal advice or opinion on licensing matters should be obtained from a licensing solicitor.