Personal Licence Holders



Personal Licence Holders have a vital job within the licensed trade sector. They authorise the sale of alcohol in both on and off sales businesses and ensure that each and every sale is legal.

This is a considerable responsibility and, as such, there is a requirement for Personal Licence Holders to complete refresher training and pass the exam within five years of the date on which their licence was issued by the Licensing Board.

If you are a Personal Licence Holder, you need to complete the training and pass the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) exam WITHIN five years of your Personal Licence being issued. The course takes three hours to complete, and covers the following subjects:

  • the licensing objectives
  • the responsibilities and duties of a Personal Licence Holder
  • the law relating to alcohol sales for anyone aged under 18
  • proof of age schemes
  • irresponsible promotions
  • licensing hours
  • the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended
  • offences under Licensing legislation.

At the end of the training, you will take a 1-hour examination that you must pass.



  • Your Personal Licence will be revoked. This means you will no longer be able to authorise or supervise the sale of alcohol.
  • Once your Personal Licence has been revoked; you cannot apply to be a Personal Licence Holder for a further FIVE YEARS.
  • If the business you are working in does not have a Personal Licence Holder, it cannot legally sell alcohol and must stop doing so immediately.


Personal Licence Holders can avoid these problems by completing their training within 5 years of the date of issue of their Licence, but they need to act promptly. 

  • It doesn’t matter where you are; training is available in your area. You can complete your training in a college, a training centre, at your workplace or even online.
  • It is possible that you may not pass the exam first time; so don’t leave things until the last minute.
  • Once you have completed your training and passed the exam, you need to send your SCPLH Refresher award certificate and an application form to the Local Licensing Board that issued their Licence. Please note: notification procedures may vary.
  • Licensing Board staff are there to help you, so if you are unsure about anything – get in touch with them. Don’t leave it too late.



  • Check the date your Personal Licence was issued, visit the  SCPLH Calculator page and input your training information. This will give you the LAST DATE by which you must complete your training. You can request an email confirmation of the results.
  • Make a note in your diary, or set a reminder for at least12 weeks before the 5-year period ends to get your training organised. Remember – training centres will be busy, so book ahead.
  • Speak to your employer – make sure they are aware that you will need to complete your Refresher Training and by when.
  • Look for a course locally and get booked on if the end of your 5 year period is coming up. You can find information about course dates by searching the internet or speaking to your local further education college.
  • Download the leaflet for more information on the training (hi-res print and low-res web versions available).

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  • Look for a course locally and check out when they are running these.
  • To try and make the Personal Licence Holder Refresher training notification process easier, a personal Action Plan has been written. Download the Personal Licence Holders – Action Plan and give a copy to your team members.
  • Click the button at the bottom of this page to ‘like’ the SCPLH Facebook page and receive regular updates on your timeline.


If you lose your Personal Licence, you cannot authorise the sale of alcohol and this could have an impact upon your job.