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Personal Licences: A Guide to Refresher and Renewal

Personal Licences A Guide to Refresher and Renewal 1

It’s hard to believe but this year marks 15 years since the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (The 2005 Act) came in to effect on 1 September 2009. This important anniversary has an impact on those who have had personal licences from their inception, which must not be overlooked.

The 2005 Act provides that personal licences last for 10 years from the date of issue and many will remember the chaos of those first renewals in 2019.  

The 2005 Act also provides that to keep your personal licence valid you must undergo (and pass) refresher training within the first 5 years of the date of issue and then every 5 years thereafter. 2024 means the 3rd round of refresher training for some.

The dates around renewals and training can be very confusing and you may miss reminders from the Licensing Board if you have moved house and they haven’t been notified. The helpful guide below will help you keep track.

Refresher training – what you need to do:

As mentioned above, personal licence holders must obtain a refresher qualification (Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders Refresher or SCPLHR) within five years of the date of issue of their personal licence and then within each subsequent period of 5 years.

Doing the course itself is however not enough and you must also provide evidence to the Licensing Board that you have passed the refresher training in the form of a certificate. The evidence must be submitted no later than 3 months after the end of the 5 year period. We would recommend you do this by email or by tracked post and retain evidence. Unfortunately, if you don’t submit evidence of your refresher training to the Licensing Board in time, then your personal licence will be revoked with no mechanism for appeal. If you were acting as a premises manager you can no longer do so and alcohol sales may need to stop unless a notification is made or a new manager appointed.

For those who were granted a personal licence at the start of the new licensing regime we have demonstrated the relevant dates in the table below:

Personal Licence Date of Issue

Refresher Training Due to be completed by

Last Date to Notify the Board

1st September 2009

31st August 2024

30th November 2024


 Top Tips

  • Do your training within 5 years from your issue date or within 5 years from your last 5 year anniversary. You can do it at any time within this 5 year period but as the course specification can change it is recommended that you don’t do it too early as that might result in duplication.
  • Send your certificate to the Licensing Board by email or by tracked post and retain evidence of having done so.
  • Diarise your next training deadline.
  • Keep the Licensing Board up to date on any house moves.

We can help organise both online and in person training through our training partners and assist with your notification. If you find yourself in hot water having missed your dates we are also here to help and ensure alcohol sales can recommence as soon as possible.  We understand that each business is unique and has its own challenges, and we are committed to understanding yours. Our goal is to provide tailored solutions that can make a real difference. We invite you to contact our Licensing Specialists now to discuss your requirements on 0141 333 0636 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.

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