Responsible Retailer Award scheme

The Responsible Retailer Award scheme is run by Trading Standards to assist, promote and recognise off-licences who are actively working to prevent alcohol being supplied to under 18 year olds.

It has been introduced to help retailers prevent under age youngsters getting access to alcohol and other age related products.

What is the scheme?

The scheme is primarily aimed at those persons who sell alcohol in licensed premises, specifically off licences. The aim is to remind businesses of their legal responsibilities, promote a responsible sales attitude, discourage young people from buying or attempting to buy alcohol and to inform adults who buy or attempt to buy alcohol for or on behalf of under 18s, of their legal responsibilities.

Although directed specifically towards alcohol, it also promotes awareness of problems posed by other age related products, such as tobacco, aerosols, DVDs, knives and fireworks.

The scheme is designed to assist retailers and their staff to recognise the issues, deal with difficult situations, support and advise customers with the intention of offering an overall benefit to the community in which they operate.

Trading Standards Officers will give licence holders, designated premises supervisors and their staff free training and the opportunity to participate in a committed partnership to improve standards.

The scheme is voluntary and attendance to the training is recognised by means of a certificate.

Members will commit to:

  • Uphold the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003
  • Ensure all staff attend the free training course provided by Trading Standards
  • Train all staff regularly in relation to legal requirements and systems
  • Liaise regularly with the licensing section and responsible authorities, including Trading Standards and the Police
  • Be prepared to adapt or change their systems and practices when needed.  

Trading Standards will commit to:

  • Provide free training to all staff working in an off licence, including the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor where appropriate
  • Provide literature and display material to assist the staff to refuse sales where necessary
  • Provide ongoing support via visits and a Trading Standards telephone helpline for off licence staff to ring for advice and assistance.

Code of Practice

Premises shall operate a ‘Challenge 21 or Challenge 25’ policy in relation to all age restricted products.

Please note: The council strongly supports the use of a ‘Challenge 25’ policy for all premises that supply alcohol.

It is a mandatory premises licence condition that an age verification policy is adopted in respect of all premises authorised for the sale or supply of alcohol.

See further information on licensing conditions

  • Only accredited Proof of Age Standard scheme (PASS) cards, photo driving licences or passports will be accepted as proof of age
  • In order to confirm that all staff are asking for proof of age, a refusals book will be maintained and regularly monitored and signed by the DPS
  • All staff shall be regularly trained regarding the sale of alcohol and other age restricted products and details recorded
  • Display materials promoting the scheme and advising customers of the law relating to age related sales must be displayed in the off-licence premises
  • All staff shall take positive steps to identify customers who are making ‘proxy sales’ and take action to stop them
  • Once awarded, the Responsible Retailer award certificate must be displayed prominently in the off-licence premises
  • Where appropriate staff will wear clothing or badges to indicate membership of the scheme
  • Off-licences will endeavour to position alcoholic drinks which are appealing to young people behind a counter or at least in clear view of staff
  • Adopt any appropriate measures agreed with Trading Standards or the Police in order to address any issues specific to that off-licence
  • Agree to initial and periodical ‘audits’ of their systems and records by Trading Standards and implement any recommended changes or improvements.

If you require any further information about this scheme or wish to attend an upcoming training event please contact the Trading Standards & Licensing Section on (01942) 827476.


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