The Best Bar None scheme promoting professional licensing standards has been opened up to pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants in areas where the programme has not been introduced.
The new Central Scheme (BBNCS) for licensed hospitality businesses in England and Wales will feature the same accreditation system as schemes in participating town and city centres.
Best Bar None (BBN), which has been running for more than 15 years, works with the alcohol industry, police and local authorities to promote responsible alcohol consumption and higher professional licensing standards.
Backed by the Home Office, it has been introduced in more than 70 towns and cities around the UK, encompassing hundreds of pubs, bars, hotels, clubs and entertainment venues.
As with the regional schemes, premises involved in the Central Scheme will be audited by a team of qualified BBN assessors who will apply the rigorous high standards expected to achieve accreditation.
The stringent assessment encompasses the areas of operational standards, policies and procedures as well as the education and training of staff.
After successfully completing the audit, approved premises will be welcomed into the BBN network and featured on the BBN website as well as receiving a certificate and window sticker to promote their membership to the public.
For those who fail to reach the required standards expected on a first audit, a comprehensive action plan will be provided to enable improvement to raise the premises to BBN standards.
BBN national coordinator Mick McDonnell said: ‘BBNCS members go through exactly the same process as their counterparts in the town and city scheme. They will be required to evidence that they have policies, procedures and training records in place to deal with responsibilities such as age verification, the sale of alcohol, conflict management, and vulnerability.
‘They will also need to demonstrate their health and safety competencies, insurance and maintenance contracts for fire detection systems and firefighting equipment.’
Through enhanced professionalism and customer safety, BBN has been shown to reduce alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and health harms in the areas where it operates. As well as enhancing the general attractiveness of the area, it aims to improve the profitability of individual businesses.