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What training do you need to become a pub landlord in the UK?

by George Gkoutzouvalos 15 days ago in bars

Training resources for existing and aspiring UK pub landlords for business and social success

In the past, running a pub used to be a trade that was literally passed on from one generation to the next, without the need for any formal training.

The secrets of the trade were learned through long everyday practice, and a prospective pub landlord had to enter the industry from a very young age, in order to master the ins and outs of the job.

This meant that if you had a father who was a pub landlord, chances were that you would follow his steps, so the earlier he could teach you how to pull a pint, the better.

On the other hand, nowadays, there are various training courses available to those who want to become pub landlords.

When it comes to pub landlord training, the British Institute of Innkeeping alone awards a large number of regulated qualifications with regard to running a pub, covering a wide range of skills and subjects, from advice, guidance, and business administration, to licensed hospitality, sales and marketing, warehousing and storage operations, just to name a few.

Special reference should be made to the Pre-Entry Awareness Training course, which is mandatory for all aspiring pub landlords according to the law, and which is offered online.

On top of that, there are other institutions and organizations offering related courses in the UK, such as the Hospitality Guild, the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust, and City and Guilds, so pub owners, landlords, managers, and staff can enhance their knowledge and skills even further.

For example, City and Guilds offer a Food and Beverage Service Certificate and Diploma, as well as a Diploma in Hospitality Management.

Do you really need to attend college/university, if you want to become a pub landlord?

There are colleges that run courses with subjects that are relevant to running a pub, with the East Riding College offering a highly specialist course, i.e. the HABC Level Two Award for Personal License Holders.

Other colleges that also provide this course are the Blackpool and the Fylde College, Blackburn College, and Westminster Kingsway College, among others.

In case you are interested in becoming a pub landlord in Scotland, Inverness College and the City of Glasgow College offer such courses. The difference is that these courses are tailor-made to meet the training and certification requirements that apply to Scotland, compared to those that apply if you want to run a pub in England.

In terms of offering training to professionals who are currently employed in the licensed trade, or wish to do so in the future, the City of Glasgow College offers a course that is accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping, i.e. the BIIAB Scottish Certificate for Personal License Holders, as well the Scottish Certificate for Licensed Premises Staff Training.

As it has stated in the beginning of this article, being a publican is not an exact science, but rather an art, which is taught through time, and by being constantly involved in food and beverages management, and stocking and serving food and beverages to customers, as well as by offering excellent customer service, which is of paramount importance.

Previous generations of pub landlords lacked formal training or education in how to run a pub. Their customers, however, were more than happy with the service that they received, to such an extent, that nowadays, pubs are considered as an integral part of everyday life, especially in Britain.

On the other hand, as things evolve, and in order to attract younger generations of patrons, pubs need to find innovative ways to sell an old concept in a new wrap. Pub landlords need to reinvent themselves in an attempt to approach young customers, who have more stimuli from sources such as technology than earlier generations did.

In order to achieve this, both prospective and existing pub landlords can hugely benefit from a virtually unlimited influx of information and knowledge by enrolling on pub management courses that are run by various forms of educational institutions, so they can adopt a fresh approach towards running a pub.

Sources and further reading:

Restaurant management rules to win the customer game

British Institute of Innkeeping Qualifications list

Diploma in Hospitality Management-City & Guilds

Food and Beverage Service-City & Guilds

HABC Level Two Award for Personal License Holders-East Riding College

Publican-pub landlord, licensee, manager of licensed premises. UK National Career Service

George Gkoutzouvalos
George Gkoutzouvalos
Read next: Whiskey: A Guide and History
George Gkoutzouvalos


I have written articles for various websites, such as Helium, Hubpages, Medium, and many more.

Currently, I work as a translator. I have studied Tourism Management at college.

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