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Code of Practice

As a professional body, the Institute of Licensing is aware of the need to maintain standards and, in particular to try and ensure its Members act in a consistent and proportionate manner when determining the rights of others. It therefore calls on all Members to adopt the following Code:

  1. Licensing practitioners will make themselves aware of the contents of this Code, and will seek to bring it to the attention of decision-makers or tribunals where they themselves are not responsible for setting licence conditions.
  2. Licence conditions will only be imposed where legal authority exists to do so.
  3. Conditions will not be imposed for a purpose other than to further the objectives of the legislation under which they are applied.
  4. Conditions must satisfy the tests of necessity and reasonableness and must directly relate to the harm being addressed.
  5. A condition must be proportionate to the identified risk in question, and should not require disproportionate resources in order to comply with it. It should be consistent with the practice, as far as reasonably practicable, of other licensing authorities.
  6. Conditions should not duplicate other enforcement regimes. Before a condition is imposed or proposed consideration should be given as to whether alternative means are available to address the risk, including obligations imposed by other statutory requirements.
  7. A condition must be reasonable and within the power of the licence-holder to comply with it. Licensing practitioners advising clients must not propose conditions that the licence-holder/applicant has no intention of complying with.
  8. Before standard conditions are applied or revised for a class of licence-holders, the licensing authority will usually first undertake a 12-week consultation exercise, the key elements of which would be:
    1. adequate notification provided to all affected parties of the impact of the proposed conditions
    2. notification of the reasons for the proposals, and the penalties for non-compliance with the conditions (if adopted)
    3. adequate consideration of oral or written responses to the consultation
    4. confirmation to all affected parties of the changes, and a timescale of not less than six weeks from which they will be implemented.
  9. Conditions shall, as far as possible, be written in plain English. It shall be the responsibility of every licensing practitioner to explain to licence-holders/applicants in plain English the meaning of a condition. Licensing authorities will make clear the distinction between a pre-licensing condition; a standard or ‘default’ condition; a special condition; a code of practice and an undertaking.
  10. Licensing practitioners should explain to licence-holders/applicants that it is their responsibility to ensure compliance with the condition. They must also be told the extent of any penalties arising from not complying with the conditions.
  11. Where a condition (other than one proposed by an applicant) is to be added to an individual licence, the licence-holder/applicant should be given the opportunity to comment on the proposed condition before it is set. Where a condition is set following representations, the licensing authority should give reasons for imposing that condition.
  12. Licensing authorities will remind applicants for the renewal of licences of any standard conditions with which they must comply. Applicants may be invited to review or vary any special conditions to which they may be subject.
  13. Applicants must be told of any statutory rights of appeal against the imposition of conditions.
  14. An organisation, decision-making body or tribunal that wishes to show its’ acceptance of this Code may reproduce on its literature the symbol approved from time to time by the Institute of Licensing for such purposes.

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