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Qualifying Club

A club premises certificate is required where 'qualifying club' activities are provided at any premises occupied by, and habitually used for the purposes of a 'qualifying club'.

To be a 'qualifying club' for the purpose of obtaining a club premises certificate, a club must satisfy a number of general conditions set out in the Licensing Act 2003

General conditions 

These are the general conditions that a qualifying club must satisfy:

  • A person may not be given membership or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted.
  • That club rules state that those becoming a member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming a member and being admitted to the club.
  • That the club is established and conducted in good faith.
  • That the club has at least 25 members.
  • That alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf of or by the club.

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with:

  • That alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of the club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members.
  • That no person, at the expense of the club, receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club.
  • That there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club.
  • Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. 

The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners' Welfare Act 1952. In any case, the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

What do we mean by 'established and conducted in good faith'?

Whilst having regards to the nature of the premises occupied by the club, the following matters must be taken into account in order to determine whether a club is established and conducted in good faith:

  • Any arrangements restricting the clubs freedom of purchase of alcohol.
  • Any provision in the club rules, or arrangements under which money or property of the club, or any gain arising from the carrying on of the club is, or may be applied otherwise than for the benefit of the club as a whole or for charitable, benevolent or political purposes.
  • Arrangements for giving members information about the finances of the club, whereupon books of account and other records are kept to ensure the accuracy of that information.

How do I apply for a licence or certificate?

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes. The club secretary or chairman must complete all relevant application forms and associated documentation.

All applications should be submitted with a plan of the premises which must be in a specific format, a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club;
  • the times the activities are to take place;
  • other opening times;
  • if alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both;
  • the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives; and
  • any other information that is required.

You can apply online at the GOV.UK website.




How much does a certificate cost?

See our Environmental Health Fees and Charges.

What happens after I apply?

On receipt, an application for a club premises certificate will be allocated to one of our licensing officers. The licensing officer will check to ensure that the application is valid and has been satisfactorily completed (all the relevant information and documentation has been provided).

The licensing officer will also seek to confirm that a copy of the application has been sent to all of the responsible authorities and check to ensure the application has been advertised correctly. The licensing officer may also check that the plans are correct by visiting the club premises concerned.

What will happen if we identify a problem?

If there is a problem with the application, the licensing officer may contact you for further information or may return the application (or part of it) to you for your attention as may be appropriate.

Why do we check that the plans are correct?

By law, applications for a club premises certificate must be submitted with a plan of the club premises to which the application relates. This plan must show a number of specified features.

As the plan will ultimately be attached to the club premises certificate (if granted), to define where qualifying club activities may take place, it is important that the plan is accurate and contains all necessary information.

We may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

Why do we liaise with the responsible authorities?

The application process for a club premises certificate is prescribed under the Licensing Act 2003 and requires the applicant club to give a copy of any such application to several responsible authorities.

The reason for this is that the Act gives the responsible authorities 28 days, from the point of our receipt, to make representations in respect of such an application. The responsible authorities may make representations in respect of the application where they believe it may affect the promotion of the licensing objectives.

Given the above, we liaise with the responsible authorities in order to ensure that this process has been followed and the application is valid.

What happens if representations are made?

Where we receive representation(s), the law requires us to hold a hearing of our Licensing Committee to determine the application (unless all parties agree that a hearing is not necessary).

At a hearing, the Committee may choose to grant or refuse the application or otherwise grant it subject to conditions. We will of course notify you and advise you of all necessary arrangements should a hearing be necessary.

When will my application be processed?

We will acknowledge your application within 4 working days.

Your application cannot be determined until the 28 day period allowed for representations has passed.

Where no representations are received, we aim to process the application within 2 months. However, as we deal with a large number of licence applications, permits and other authorisations, it can sometimes take us a little longer.

Where necessary, we are statutorily required to commence a hearing within a period of 28 days after the last date for representations. While we will try and give you as much notice as possible, we aim to give you at least 10 working days notice of the date of any hearings we intend to hold.

What happens if my application is refused?

If we refuse the application, we will inform you of our decision in writing, together with the reason(s) for refusal and your rights of appeal, what you need to do to appeal and the time in which you have to do it, should you choose to do so.

What if there are any alterations once the certificate is in place?

If there any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must provide those details to us. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to us when they are notified.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes, the club must give notice to us of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

A club may apply to us to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.

Who can appeal a licensing authority decision?

Any interested parties or responsible authorities, that made relevant representations during an application for a licence, variation or review of a club premises certificate, have the right to appeal against a licensing authority's decision in the courts, if they believe that:

  • the licence should not have been granted;
  • the licensing authority should have imposed different or additional conditions on the licence;
  • a licensable activity should have been excluded from the licence;
  • the licensing authority should not have agreed to the named "premises supervisor"; or
  • there was a procedural irregularity, and this affected the decision (for example, the licensing committee had failed to comply with the hearings regulations).

How do I make an appeal?

You can appeal in writing to the local Magistrate's Court within 21 days of the decision, but no later than five working days before the planned event.

Environmental Health and Licensing

Daneshill House





01438 242908 / 242916