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Licensing Law

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Premises Managers

Every premises licence must have a “Designated Premises Manager”. They are commonly referred to as a DPM. The DMP is named on the premises licence and is responsible for supervising the sale of alcohol on the premises. The DPM must be a personal licence holder (for more information onpersonal licence please see our blog at The personal licence qualification means that the DPM has an accredited qualification. Accredited means that they have completed a course and passed an exam.

Applicants for a personal licence have also gone through scrutiny by Police Scotland and others when their personal licence application is processed. This gives a personal licence holder a higher level of training and greater responsibility than other staff. If there is an issue within the premises, those investigating and/or considering this (whether this is Police Scotland, the Licensing Standards Officer or the licensing board), will look to the DPM and the other personal licence holders to take responsibility and take  steps to ensure issues do not occur.

The DPM is appointed by the premises licence holder. A personal licence holder cannot appoint themselves on a licence as a DPM – the application has to be lodged in the name of the premises licence holder which means anyone being appointed must make sure they know who the premises licence holder is. That may seem obvious but this is not necessarily their boss or the operator of the premises – it could be the owner or the landlord of the premises.

When a premises manager leaves, a notice has to be sent to the licensing board which granted and oversees (administers) that premises licence.

The notification has to be done by the premises licence holder. While DPM’s will often tell the board they have left the premises, in particular, if they are moving to manage another premises, the actual notice has to be done by the premises licence holder.

That notification must be done within 7 days of the manager leaving. If the notification is sent to the licensing board (it can be done by email) within 7 days, the premises licence holder has a 6 week period to find and appoint a new DPM. If the notification is not done within the 7 day period, the premises licence holder will not benefit from the 6 week period and must immediately lodge a minor variation to appoint new DPM. The time scale is quite tight and if no new DPM is lodged within the relevant period the premises can be required to cease selling and supplying alcohol.

The positive thing about a minor variation to appoint a new DPM is that it has immediate effect and then that means as soon as the application is lodged, the new DPM substation has immediate effect and then the rest can stay in the meantime. Investigations into the proposed manager are done after lodging and if there is any issue it is brought up then. This means even if the 7 day or 6 week period have expired without the notice of a new DPM , as soon as the minor variation is with the relevant licensing board and the fee is paid the premises have a DPM in place and, barring any other issues, can sell and supply alcohol.

This is not a service we offer to consumers in England.

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