Memorandum submitted by BII
BII is the professional body for the licensed
retail sector and we represent the views of over 40,000 provisional
and permanent members, including managers, staff, licensees and
tenants from both the on and off sectors. We are also supported
by 53 corporate patrons, members and supporters who contribute
to furthering our main mission which is:
To promote high standards of professionalism
throughout the licensed retail sector, to encourage new entrants
into the industry and to help them develop their long-term careers.
To provide all our members with high quality information, skills
and qualifications to help them succeed in their business activities.
BII is fully committed to maintaining the highest
possible standards throughout our industry. All our statutory
members sign up to our Code of Conduct, which reinforces the professional
message that we deliver.
We help to set and maintain standards through
our wholly owned awarding body BIIAB, which develops and certificates
a wide range of nationally-recognised qualifications specific
to the licensed trade. These include training courses for bar
staff, kitchen staff, premises managers, licensees, door supervisors
and many more. All courses leading to BIIAB qualifications are
delivered through a UK-wide network of training centres.
BIIAB is accredited by the Qualifications &
Curriculum Authority (QCA) and the Scottish Qualifications Authority
(SQA) and is the UK's 6th largest vocational qualifications awarding
body. Over 1.5 million BIIAB qualifications have been processed
BII submitted evidence to the Trade and Industry
Select Committee in 2004 in addition to this written submission,
and stand ready to provide oral evidence to the enquiry.
In particular, we wish to highlight various
initiatives which we believe have a bearing on the issues currently
under review; namely the BII Benchmarking and Accreditation Service,
our national road shows on the rent review process and the BII
BII Benchmarking and Accreditation Services
Ltd (BIIBAS) is a not-for-profit company and is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of BII.
Many of our members feel that the licensed retail
industry would be better protected if both parties in lease and
tenancy agreements were to have a better understanding of the
business relationships involved. Misunderstandings, lack of precision
and ambiguity have in the past given rise to antagonism between
landlord and lessee/tenant and very often this has surfaced in
the political arena.
To facilitate better understanding, BII, with
the help of lessees/tenants and major pub companies, has formed
a new wholly owned company, to independently benchmark company
Codes of Practice in terms of clarity against criteria it sets.
It does this through its two independent committees, the Steering
Committee (sets the criteria) and the Benchmarking Committee (judges
a code against the criteria).
Codes of Practice are used by companies to tell
potential and current lessees/tenants the terms of the business
relationship on offer and how that relationship will be conducted.
Full details of the criteria can be found at
www.biibas.com and are included with this submission.
Current Accredited Codes of Practice
Since the inception of BIIBAS in 2007, the following
pub companies have had their Codes of Practice accredited:
Fuller Smith and Turner;
There are another five companies which are at
various stages in the accreditation process:
Scottish and Newcastle;
St Austell Brewery; and
In this way the vast majority of leased and
tenanted public houses are covered by an accredited code of practice.
Whenever complaints are received in relation
to alleged breaches of accredited codes, the matter is taken up
with the senior official at the named pub company.
Since the scheme started BII has had to investigate
three cases, all of which were resolved to the satisfaction of
We believe the BIIBAS scheme is a major step
forward in landlord/lessee/tenant relations. The accredited codes
clearly set out the business proposition being put forward in
a transparent and comprehensive manner. The Benchmarking Committee
process is extremely thorough and in all cases the pub company
has had to make significant amendments to ensure accreditation
The scheme also enshrines the right to withdraw
accreditation if it is felt by the committee that the pub company
in question has not carried out the stated undertakings within
The scheme has received wide publicity in the
trade press since its launch and we continue to make all of our
members aware of its existence.
BII RENT REVIEW
As part of our support to members and non members
we are currently hosting a series of events (styled as a roadshow),
the subject matter of which is preparation for rent reviews.
Attached is a leaflet which gives full details
of the events (not printed here).
The events are aimed at both lessees/tenants
and also landlords, valuers etc. The objective is to help to ensure
the lessee/tenant is as well prepared as possible and to gain
an insight into how the pub company approaches this important
So far we are seeing around 100 attendees at
each event however all our members will have access to the presentations,
reports/summaries and calculation aids following the conclusion
of the events. The trade press as well as our own BIIBUSINESS
magazine are also carrying articles to ensure as wide a coverage
The feedback has been very positive from attendees.
BII SCHOOLS PROJECT
Towards the end of 2007 we launched the BII
Schools Project which was developed in response to the Government
initiative to reduce issues linked to alcohol consumption by young
people aged 13-16. The project raises young people's awareness
of the social, economic and health issues of alcohol, its harmful
effects and what constitutes sensible drinking. The project also
highlights the growing importance of the UK's hospitality sector,
and helps bring careers in the industry to life.
The BII Schools Project is a partnership which
brings schools, parents and commerce together. Companies and organisations
within the hospitality sector support the project through sponsorship
and nomination of schools.
The project has a number of strands, including
on-line and paper based quizzes for use by teachers in class or
as homework. These quizzes cover a wide range of issues relating
to alcohol and the hospitality sector. They also include many
case studies giving a true insight into the varied careers in
The main academic component of the Schools Project
is the BIIAB Level 1 Certificate in Alcohol Awareness.
The project offers various levels of involvement
for companies to sponsor schools to take full advantage of the
To date 43 hospitality businesses have pledged
their support to the scheme, ranging from large pub companies
(eg Punch Tavern and Mitchells & Butlers) to individual pubs.
The BIIAB Level 1 Certificate in Alcohol Awareness
is proving increasingly popular with unanimously positive feedback
from teachers and students alike. The qualification is currently
offered in over 130 venues, 52 of which are schools and colleges.
By the end of 2008, it is anticipated that over 6,000 people will
have been through the learning programme and awarded the qualification.
Hull College alone is putting around 4,000 students through this
qualification within the next four weeks.
Full details of the scheme are attached and
more information can be found at www.schoolsproject.co.uk
BII BENCHMARKING AND ACCREDITATION SERVICE
|Topics to be included in Codes
||Standards to be reached|
| 1. The Business Model||The various business models for operating licensed premises should be explained. For lessees/tenants the partnership aspect should be stressed in terms of mutual dependency if relevant.
|2. The Rent||What rent is (eg amount paid by a willing lessee/tenant to a company for the establishment).
|The way rent is arrived at (eg based on the level of trade that can be maintained by a competent retailer).
|When rents are raised/reviewed, what factors are taken into account at review; obligation on lessees to provide the necessary information.
|The procedures for resolving differences.
|Whether rents are flexible up and down.
|3. The Tie||The significance and facts of the Tie should be fully explained.
|4. The Property||The following must be clearly explained:
|(i) the full facts (ie the condition of the building) and obligations on both sides;|
(ii) the insurance position;
(iii) the need for new licensees to obtain independent surveys.
|5. Signing up process and costs||Importance of seeking independent advice (both legal and financial) should be explained.
|6. Training||Skills required to run licensed premises should be explained.
|The need to possess statutory qualifications should be made clear.
|Is a route to further training provided?
|7. Relevant information|
(eg trading history)
|What is provided should be clearly explained.
|8. Business Support||Nature and extent of support should be clearly explained.
|9. Arbitration Arrangements||Should be clearly explained with costs where possible.
|10. Assignment||The facts and processes should be clearly explained.
| Criteria of judgment for the Benchmarking Committee
|All topic areas must be addressed and in the view of the Benchmarking Committee, present an adequate picture of the business proposition offered as well as meeting the standards specified.
29 September 2008