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Like with most things, life can become very busy, and it is easy to forget to conduct regular audits on your site to ensure that you are staying compliant. However, this essential exercise can save further major issues in the future.

To help you conduct these audits, we have set out our tops checks for you to consider so that you can trade safely and successfully.

Premises licence

Firstly, ensure that you have a full copy of your premises licence and plan on site, with ALL pages of the premises licence summary on display. If you get a visit from the authorities, this will be one of the first things they will check. It is essential that all of the details on the licence are correct, for example that the DPS is listed as the correct person.

Make sure that you are familiar with your licence and are aware of all the conditions within it, including that the required notices are being displayed, and no new entry of customers is taking place after the time conditioned on the licence. Ensure you go through the terms of the premises licence with your staff and any door supervisors so that everybody is aware of what is required to be compliant.

Required notices

As per the mandatory conditions on all standard premises licences, there are some essential notices that you are required by law to have on display or available for customers to view.

Small measure notice

Customers should be made aware of the availability of half pints of beer or cider, that wine is available in 125ml glasses and that spirits are sold either in 25ml or 35ml single measures (never both).

Smoking notice

Ensure that you have at least one ‘no smoking’ sign on display at your premises. It is illegal to smoke in indoor workplaces and enclosed public spaces, and in 2012 it became a requirement for businesses to display at least one legible sign for staff and customers.

CCTV notice

Signs need to be displayed letting customers know they are in an area covered by CCTV. The sign should be visible and legible to members of the public and contain details of who operates the system, the purpose for using the CCTV, and who to contact about it.

Company details notice

If the pub is run by a trading company, then you must display the registered name at the location where it carries on its business. The notice needs to be legible and displayed where it can be easily seen.


Menus should include all material information which a customer needs to make an informed choice, including a description of the name, brand of the drink, the alcoholic strength, and price (inclusive of VAT).

Additional signage

Each licence will vary, but frequently a licence requires premises to operate a ‘Challenge 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ age verification policy and will require that Challenge notices are on display in the premises. In addition to the above, there is often a condition requiring there to be notices advising customers to leave the premises quietly.

Check your licence and ensure all relevant notices are on display.

Incident log

It is good practice, and we would highly recommend, that all premises have an incident log on site. If an incident occurs at your premises, keeping a detailed log of what happened would be beneficial should be the police, licensing authority or insurers need to investigate. It is easier to provide the information from a log sheet than from memory, small details are important and can be easily forgotten.

Incidences should be recorded in the log as soon as reasonably practicable, but as a rule of thumb, we would recommend any incidences are recorded no later than 24 hours after the incident occurred.

Refusal log

This again is good practice and something we would recommend to all operators. A refusal of alcohol log sheet is important because it shows that you are complying with the law for age-restricted products and acts as evidence should you need to prove that you are actively asking customers for ID.

In addition, it is also an offence to sell alcohol to someone who is drunk, and you should always refuse sales in that instance too.

Staff training

Your staff should be trained on the effects of alcohol and how to spot early signs of customers becoming drunk – signs include slurred speech, glazed eyes or being unsteady on their feet. Any drinks promotions should be socially responsible and not encourage excessive drinking. Your staff should also be aware of the mandatory conditions in relation to the availability of small measures for beer, certain spirits, and wine.

Most premises licences nowadays have a condition stipulated within their Annex 2 conditions that requires staff to be given regular training and for that training to be documented, therefore, it is important that your training records are kept up-to-date.

‘Ask for Angela’ scheme

It is important for employees to be aware of the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme because it can potentially save lives. There are many situations where people may feel unsafe or threatened but may not know how to ask for help or may feel uncomfortable or scared to do so. The discreet code-word ‘Angela’ quickly and easily identifies an individual who requires assistance to staff and enables them to provide the necessary support.


Check that the system is recording, all the cameras are working, and the date and time stamp is correct. CCTV will act as a deterrent. Signs need to be displayed letting customers know they are in an area covered by CCTV. The sign should be visible and legible to members of the public and contain details of who operates the system, the purpose for using the CCTV and who to contact about it. CCTV will also assist in evidence gathering should an incident occur at your premises.


We would advise you to be a part of your local Pubwatch, where such a scheme exists. At all times of the year, this can be a crucial forum for dialogue between the responsible authorities and operators so that knowledge and awareness can be shared. Watch out for certain local initiatives.

To help all operators, we also have a host of free notice templates that you can download from Knowledge Hub or alternatively, you can contact a member of the team who will be happy to email them to you.

Please note that this information is for general guidance only and should not substitute professional legal advice. If you have specific concerns, we recommend consulting with one of our legal experts.


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