Pub Companies - Business and Enterprise Committee Contents

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 so far.

  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 Schools Project.



  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 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:

    —  Punch Taverns;

    —  Enterprise Inns;

    —  Marstons;

    —  Fuller Smith and Turner;

    —  Trust Inns;

    —  Batemans; and

    —  Charles Wells.

  There are another five companies which are at various stages in the accreditation process:

    —  Hook Norton;

    —  Admiral Taverns;

    —  Scottish and Newcastle;

    —  Wadworth;

    —  St Austell Brewery; and

    —  Greene King.

  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 the lessee/tenant.


  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 is achieved.

  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 code.

  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.


  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 negotiation.

  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 as possible.

  The feedback has been very positive from attendees.


  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 sector.

  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 scheme.

  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

Topics to be included in Codes Standards to be reached
1.  The Business ModelThe 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 RentWhat 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 TieThe significance and facts of the Tie should be fully explained.
4.  The PropertyThe 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 costsImportance of seeking independent advice (both legal and financial) should be explained.
6.  TrainingSkills 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 SupportNature and extent of support should be clearly explained.
9.  Arbitration ArrangementsShould be clearly explained with costs where possible.
10.  AssignmentThe 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

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