Q&A Nightclubs and Personal Licence Holders

  • Date: 08 October 2015
  • Author/Solicitor: Steve Burnett
  • Source: Reproduced from the Publican's Morning Advertiser

Q:  I am the Manager of a large nightclub in London.  The Police have informed me that they require me to have two Personal Licence Holders to work at the club when it is open.  Is this a legal requirement? 

A: There is a requirement under the Licensing Act 2003 (The Act) to have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) at a premises when the sale of alcohol is taking place.  A DPS must have a Personal Licence, so we can assume that the police are requesting one further personal licence holder.

There is not a requirement under the Act for there to be more than one Personal Licence Holder at a single premises.  However, one thing you should check is that you have an up to date copy of your Premises Licence, and that there is not a condition which requires you to have the additional Personal Licence Holder. 

Some operators do enjoy the comfort of having additional Personal Licence Holders to assist them in the running of their premises, but this is purely a voluntary and operational decision. If there is such a condition, then you must comply. Failure could result in the police issuing a closure notice, a review of your licence or even prosecution for breach of the condition.