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Personal Licence

Please note, during the Covid-19 pandemic, our processes have substantially altered for many of our licensing functions – please email for details.

Cornwall Council now provide the training required to obtain a Personal Licence. You are therefore able to gain your qualification and apply for your Personal Licence at the same time. For more information on the course and to submit a booking enquiry, please visit the Licensing Training page.

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Personal licence holders may authorise the sale of alcohol at premises licensed for that purpose and may also be employed as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) at such premises.

A personal licence holder can also serve up to a maximum of 50 temporary event notices in a year.

Personal Licences last indefinitely, unless forfeited, suspended, revoked or surrendered. If your Personal Licence has an expiry date, please see the section Renewal of Personal Licence below.

Please refer to our privacy notice under the General Data Protection Regulation. 

The application for the grant of a personal licence consists of:

  • Personal licence application form
  • Disclosure of convictions and declaration
  • Two passport sized photos, one of which must be endorsed as a true likeness (please see Photo Specification below)
  • Licensing qualification certificate. The original certificate must be submitted and will be returned once the application is processed. We CANNOT accept photocopies (please see Licensing Qualification below)
  • Basic disclosure of criminal convictions (issued by the Disclosure Barring Service) which must not be more than one month old. The original certificate must be submitted and will be returned once the application is processed. We CANNOT accept photocopies (please see Criminal Records Check below).
  • Application fee of £37 (cheques made payable to Cornwall Council – please contact the Licensing Service for other payment options)
  • Proof of right to live and work in the UK
  • For further information please see our Guidance notes

Cornwall Council’s Licensing Service offers assistance for all applications under the Licensing Act 2003.

For a fixed fee you can get your application right first time. The benefits to applicants include:-

  • Save time: applications can be delayed due to basic errors
  • Save money: we will help to ensure the process will not need to be re-started; you may avoid incurring additional costs in re-submitting your application
  • Give peace of mind: we will make sure your application is correctly completed
  • Secure: we will ensure your application is electronically submitted and depending on the type of application, serve on the relevant Responsible Authorities

Please go to our Licensing Direct page for further details and to find out how you can take advantage of our services. Over 1000 applicants have used this service.  Customers surveyed said that they would either recommend or use this service again.

N.B. This Authority is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you provide on your application form for the prevention and detection of fraud.  It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.  Please see National Fraud Initiative for more information. 

Please send your personal licence application to: Licensing, Cornwall Council, Chy Trevail, Beacon Technology Park, Bodmin, PL31 2FR.

If you have any relevant current convictions or foreign offences, then we will notify the Chief Officer of Police.  If the police make no objections within the statutory 14 day period, we will grant your licence.

The criminal conviction certificate is a basic Criminal Records Disclosure.  This can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Alternatively you can provide either 

  • a criminal record certificate issued under section 113A of the Police Act 1997, or
  • the results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 1998(3) of the Police National Computer by the National Identification Service

In any case such certificates or search results must not be more than one month old.  If this information is more than one month old, your application will be rejected and you will have to obtain a new disclosure or check.

Photographs must be:

a) taken against a light background so that the applicant's features are distinguishable and contrast against the background;

b) 45mm x 35mm in size (i.e. passport size);

c) full face uncovered and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to religious beliefs, without a head covering;

d) on photographic paper, and

e) one of the photographs must be endorsed with a statement verifying its likeness to the applicant by:

i. the chief executive of the licensing justices for the relevant licensing authority or

ii. a solicitor or notary or

iii. an individual with a professional qualification or

iv. a person with standing in the community e.g. a bank or building society official, police officer, civil servant or minister of religion.

v. An example of an acceptable statement on the back of one of the photographs:

"I (the endorsers name) certify/verify/endorse this photograph as a true likeness of (the applicants name)" Followed by the signature of the endorser, their full name and their occupation.

There are currently eight accredited personal licence qualifications:

Highfield Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance Ltd
Highfield House
Sidings Court

QCA Accreditation Number: 500/7383/7
Telephone: 0845 2260350 (find out about call charges)

CIEH Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Chadwick Court
15 Hatfields

QCA Accreditation Number: 601/2104/X 
Telephone: 0207 8275800

BIIAB Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders

Wessex House
80 Park Street
GU15 3PT

QCA Accreditation Number: 100/4866/2 
Telephone: 01276 684 449
Email: Contact BII online

LASER Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

The Runnymede Centre
Chertsey Road
KT15 2EP

QCA Accreditation Number: 600/1323/0
Telephone: 01932 569894

NCFE Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders

St James’ Boulevard
Newcastle upon Tyne

QCA Accreditation Number: 500/4228/2 
Telephone: 0191 239 8000

SQA Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders

24 Wester Shawfair
EH22 1FD

QCA Accreditation Number: 600/1269/9 
Telephone: 0345 2791000

Pearson Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DW

Qualification accreditation number: 601/3483/5
Telephone: 0844 576 0045 (find out about call charges)

IQ Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

Industry Qualifications
Head Office
Coppice House

Qualification accreditation number: 601/4980/2
Telephone: 01952 457 452

Please note the National Certificate for Licensees is not an accredited qualification and you need to undertake one of the above courses to become a Personal Licence holder.


Please be aware that if you are charged with any relevant offence at any time you are required to notify the Court that you hold a Personal Licence.

If you are convicted of a relevant offence, a foreign offence or receive an immigration penalty, you must provide the Council with details of the conviction and sentence. Failure to notify the Court and Council are offences under the Licensing Act 2003.

Your Personal Licence may be suspended or revoked by the Council following a conviction of a relevant offence, foreign offence or an immigration penalty being received.  If the Council are minded to suspend or revoke your licence, you will be notified and be given the opportunity to attend a hearing of the Licensing Act sub-committee.

Keeping your details up to date:

It is a legal requirement that you have both your ID Card and paper counterpart and that they show the correct information.

If you are currently a Personal Licence holder and have changed your name or address, you need to notify Cornwall Council and return your existing Personal Licence and ID card.  An amended licence will be issued to you.

If at any point you lose either of these documents or if you need to amend your personal details, please contact us to issue a replacement. Payment of £10.50 is payable in these circumstances (please contact the Licensing Service for payment options).

Renewal of Personal Licence

The Government has amended the Licensing Act 2003 to abolish the need to renew Personal Licences. All Personal Licences will now last indefinitely.

If you have both parts of your licence and your personal details are correct you will not need to do anything.

We do not intend to reissue all Personal Licences to remove the old expiry date. If you would like the expiry date removed from your licence, please return your existing documents along with a payment of £10.50 and we will issue an amended version (please contact the Licensing Service for payment options).

All correspondence should be sent to:

The Licensing Department
Cornwall Council
Chy Trevail
Beacon Technology Park
PL31 2FR