Don’t Risk losing your Personal Licence…

If your personal licence was issued on or before 1st September 2009, its important that you take note and act now!

When you were issued with your Personal Licence, you were advised of certain responsibilities, which include completing refresher training every five years and applying to renew your licence every ten years.

All Personal Licences which came into effect on 1st September 2009 will expire on 31st August 2019.

This means that it’s time to complete your refresher training and then submit your renewal application. The window for applying to renew a Scottish Personal Licence has already opened and closes on the 31st May 2019. However, as there will be a huge influx of applications, its better to apply for your training sooner rather than later.

Failure to do so could mean you risk losing your licence! BOOK NOW

NorthStar Consultancy offers training workshops in Oban on a regular basis and is able to deliver workshops throughout the Highlands & Islands. View our upcoming courses, HERE

Current advice on the Argyll & Bute Website states:-

“A personal licence has a currency of 10 years and must be renewed prior to the 10th anniversary of issue by a licensing board.

In addition, Section 87 of The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires that prior to the 5th anniversary of issue, and every 5 years thereafter, the licence holder must undergo mandatory refresher training, where a refresher training certificate will be issued on successful completion of the training course. Failure to undergo this training in the appropriate timescale and failure to update the licensing board within 3 months of the training will result in the licence being automatically revoked.

A check of the front of the personal licence will show the expiry date of the licence (e.g. 01/09/2019). Simply count back five years from this date and this is the date when the refresher training must be completed by.”

Personal License Workshops in Oban, Argyll

Scottish Certificate for Personal License Holders (SCPLH) – new workshop dates released. Our full day Personal License training workshops & exams will be held in the new Oban venue, The View, George Street, Oban.

We will also travel to any location within the Argyll & Bute, Highlands and Western Isles Council regions. We will deliver either in your business or in a central location. Please contact us if you wish to enquire about availability of courses in your area.

Full day SCPLH Personal License workshop & exam – £150
Half day SCPLHR Refresher workshop & exam – £80

Quoted price includes workshops, exam and refreshments, plus after course support.

Wednesday 26th September 2018 – The View, George Street, Oban
Wednesday 17th October 2018 – The View, George Street, Oban
Monday 5th November 2018 – Pulteney Centre, Wick
Wednesday 14th November – The View, George Steet, Oban
Wednesday 12th December – The View, George Street, Oban

Tuesday 25th September 2018 – The View, George Street, Oban
Tuesday 16th October 2018, The View, George Street, Oban
Tuesday 13th November 2018, The View, George Street, Oban
Tuesday 11th December 2018, The View, George Street, Oban

We like to keep our courses relatively select to ensure that training is personal and effective. Book now to avoid disappointment

UPDATE AUGUST 2018 – Personal Licence Holders Renewal

The Scottish Government has just recently issued its guidance for Personal License Holders due to renew their existing 10 year Personal License in 2019.

If your personal license was issued on or before 1 September 2009, this applies to you and you need to act now!

As there are very few training providers in Argyll & Bute, training courses are likely to be at a premium. The required training to reapply for your new 10 year Personal License is the completion of a 3 hour Refresher training course and successful pass of the subsequent exam.

NorthStar Consultancy is advertising monthly bookable workshops and exams at The Rockfield Centre, Oban.

Refresher Personal License workshop & exam (4 hours)
£80 per person
New Personal License Holder workshop & exam (8 hours) £150 per person


Further Courses will be available subject to demand and by special request. If you want to enquire about arranging a course at your place of work or in your village/area, please get in touch by email

Key dates

31 August 2018
Personal License Holders can apply to renew their personal license

31 May 2019
Absolute deadline for submitting your personal license renewal application, but if you leave it this late, you risk losing your license

1 September 2019
Expiry date for personal licenses granted up to 1 September 2009

To view the Scottish Government’s publication relating to Renewal of Personal Licenses, please click HERE

Measure your business performance in one easy step…


We are all curious about our business performance compared to the “Industry Norm” as it enables us to evaluate against a known benchmark.  However,  it is often difficult to find up-to-date and accurately researched figures or indeed, find a source for any figures published.


It was with a great whoop of delight therefore that I read an article reporting on a relatively recent survey from 2015, taken from some 3,000 Food & Beverage outlets in the UK.

Encouragingly, it seems that turnovers are increasing slightly with food-led bar and restaurant businesses reporting an average total of £18,000 in weekly sales in 2015, which represented a 2.7% rise on 2014, when it totalled £17,600.

The average food mix was up to 77.2% (vs drinks sales), from 76.2% from the previous year.

Overall, F&B businesses report that their Gross Margins are typically between 76% – 78%. Labour Costs for Food led Businesses average around 28.8% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014) although Pubs with higher wet sales and lower labour costs averaged a labour cost of around 26.7% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014).

Based on the same 3,000 F&B outlets, the average hourly pay in 2015 was shown to be £6.75, an increase of 2.2% on 2014. Figures for 2016 will likely rise as a result of the introduction in April 2016 of the National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour for people aged 25 years and over.

Interestingly, the average length of service recorded was just 392 days (employee turnover of 93%), repeating a similar pattern of previous years. The retention records were 210 days’ average service (worst) against the best rate of only 631 days (best).

A direct correlation was noticed between companies proactively seeking to engage/retain their teams, and those which do not, which reinforces the argument for a strong staff development programme.

It seems that all companies suffer from a high staff absence/illness rate with the average work days lost for these businesses was 16.8 days per month – slightly less than in 2014.

Using the above figures, we can compare our own business’ performance and gauge where we need to make adjustments to our business practice.

SOURCE:  The Caterer 14/7/15 (article written by Neil Gerrard based on a presentation by Mike Shipley, analytics & insight solutions director at Fourth Analytics, during a bars and restaurants forum held in July 2015 by Fourth, BDO and Barclays bank.  Statistics compiled from research carried out by Fourth Analytics which studied data collected from 3,000 F&B outlets around the UK in 2015.)