SABMiller helps licensed premises tackle irresponsible drinking

Posted: 25 November 2013 | SABMiller | No comments yet

SABMiller has made a new individual pledge as part of the UK Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal on alcohol…

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One of the world’s leading brewers, SABMiller, has today made a new individual pledge as part of the UK Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal on alcohol. The pledge says that by 2016 SABMiller will have provided scholarships for 10,000 people employed by small and medium-sized licensed businesses in the UK. Ofqual-accredited, these scholarships will provide recipients with a qualification in responsible retailing, empowering them to enforce the 2003 Licensing Act with confidence.

Training in small to medium-sized pubs and off-licences is often ad hoc and of varying quality. The SABMiller Scholars Programme, run by the British Institute of Inn-keeping(2), has been designed to give staff an understanding of the tightly-regulated legal framework they operate in and the confidence to deal with an aggrieved customer who is unhappy at being refused alcohol because they are either drunk or underage.

Focusing the programme on areas of the country identified by the Home Office as being most in need of alcohol-related support(1), SABMiller will also appoint independent external advisors with expertise in local community engagement to oversee the running of the programme and ensure its effectiveness.

Launching the first Bedfordshire SABMiller Scholars Programme today, Christine Thompson, UK Government Affairs Manager for SABMiller, said:

“This course helps small businesses unlock the impact their staff can have on preventing under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour in their area. They do an important job and we want to make sure they have the confidence to do it properly.”

Denise Thomson, Deputy Director, British Institute of Inn-keeping Awarding Body, said:

“The current economic climate can make it difficult for small businesses to invest in training, but the scholars programme gives them the opportunity to develop their staff and in turn become better businesses. There’s benefit for the individuals too as they become more employable within the sector even if they leave the business which trained them.”

SABMiller has funded the programme annually since 2009 but positive feedback has led SABMiller to extend it for three years meaning an extra 6,000 people will be trained by 2016. The local targeting and oversight process are also new this year.


  1. Twenty Local Alcohol Action Areas will shortly be announced by the Home Office. Until these are announced SABMiller will focus training on the areas of the country which public health data shows have the highest levels of alcohol-related harm.
  2. The SABMiller Scholars Programme is run by the British Institute of Inn-keeping and their subsidiary the BIIAB. Staff receive training and sit the exam for the BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing, a qualification accredited by Ofqual and the only life-long, nationally recognised qualification in this area of training. The training is delivered at BIIAB approved centres. For more information please visit:

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