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Obtaining a Personal Licence

Under the Licensing Act 2003, anyone who runs, or wants to run, a premises licensed to sell alcohol must hold a personal licence

To get your personal licence, you need to follow the steps below. 

1. Get the right qualification

You must go to a one-day course to get the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH). A number of organisations run this course, including us, Charles Wells Pub Company. You can check when our training course dates here. The course finishes with an exam and everyone who passes will be given an APLH. Please note that you may have to wait up to three weeks to receive your certificate.

2. Get a 'Personal Licence Application Form' and a 'Disclosure of Convictions & Declaration Form'

Get a 'Personal Licence Application Form' and 'Disclosure of Convictions & Declaration Form' from the licensing department of your local authority. You can also download the forms and get more information from the Home Office website. Fill in the forms and keep them until you have all the things you need to send with them.

3. Get a Criminal Records Bureau check

When you receive your APLH certificate, you must apply for a standard Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) reference check – basic disclosure. You can get an application form from the DirectGov website. You will have to pay £26 for this check. You will need to wait at least 14 days to receive your CRB reference. Please note that when you apply for your personal licence, local authorities will only accept CRB checks less than 28 days old.

4. Apply for your personal licence

Send your Personal Licence Application Form to the licensing department of your local authority. You should also send the following.

  • Your CRB reference check – only the original copy will be accepted and it must be less than 28 days old.
  • Your APLH certificate – only the original copy will be accepted.
  • Your Disclosure of Convictions & Declaration Form – only the original copy will be accepted.
  • Two passport-sized photos of you that have been certified (signed) by someone with a professional job or qualification (for example, teachers, doctors, lawyers, councillors and accountants). They must write “I hereby certify this as a true likeness of [your full name]” on the back of the photo and sign their name. The passport photos must show you clearly without hair over your face.

Your local authority licensing department will write to you within eight weeks to tell you that they have received your application. Or, you might prefer to use a licensing consultant to process the application for you.

5. What to do with your personal licence

Once you have received your personal licence, it is valid for 10 years. You are allowed to run a licensed business and act as a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). Keep your personal licence safe because if we offer you a tenancy or lease agreement with us, we will need to see it before we interview you.

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