Ireland provides 1st on-line training and certification for off-licences
Ireland is to be the first country in Europe to provide specialised online training and formal certification for management and staff at traditional off-licences.
17 September 2010
Ireland is to be the first country in Europe to provide specialised online training and formal certification for management and staff at traditional off-licences. The National Off-Licence Association initiative was announced by NOffLA Chairman Evelyn Jones who stated that both management and staff have direct responsibility for retailing alcohol and under the newly-launched initiative, specialist alcohol retailers now have access to a dedicated e-learning facility which can lead to the Responsible Trading Certificate qualification.
This is the first online facility of its type in Europe.
“The National Off-Licence Association has been providing specialist training to the proprietors and staff of its 350 member outlets for more than 10 years and now this expertise is being made available for the first time online and also to all independent alcohol retailers outside the membership of our Association,” said Evelyn Jones, “In view of the widely-acknowledged importance of providing special training for personnel with responsibility for selling alcohol products which can have a particular impact on health and society, while at the same time observing strict licensing laws, this innovation will have far-reaching consequences.”
It’s also believed that the new Responsible Trading Certificate will be highly beneficial in relation to licence renewal and will prove to be a positive step in enhancing the role of the alcohol retailer in tackling alcohol abuse nationally.
Before the advent of the e-learning facility the need to send staff to on-site training courses had presented a problem for many independent retailers throughout the country in terms of staff resources and cost. Despite this, all NOffLA member outlets have participated in the specialist training.
“This has been undertaken by our members in the past on a voluntary basis because while our Association has been lobbying to have mandatory training introduced, to date the Government has not introduced such a requirement in its recently-updated licensing legislation,” said Evelyn Jones, “The new online professional course deals with societal issues and positions the off-licence in a responsible role in the community. It also empowers staff to recognise potential underage purchasing situations and assists them by instilling confidence when facing problems that can arise when refusing sales”.