The Importance of Risk Assessments and Best Practices in Licensed Venues


As an operator of a licensed venue, you have a responsibility to keep your staff and customers safe. One of the most important ways to do this is by conducting regular Risk Assessments and implementing Best Practices. In this article, we will explain why these concepts are integral to every licensed business and provide practical guidance on how to implement them.

What are Best Practices?

Best Practices refers to the most effective ways to do things. These practices are based on past experience, research, and industry standards. By adopting best practices in your licensed venue, you are using what has proven to be the most effective methods to promote the licensing objectives. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel by writing policies from scratch. You simply need to adopt the best-established practices and adapt them to the specific needs of your venue.

What are Risk Assessments?

A Risk Assessment is a documented evaluation of potential hazards and associated risks in a particular environment. The risk assessment will typically include information on the hazards, the people who may be affected, and the steps that will be taken to control the risks.

Why are Risk Assessments and Best Practices Important?

Many operators see Risk Assessments and Best Practices as a “tick box “exercise, simply creating a neat file of paperwork to gather dust pending their next licensing inspection. However, it is important to remember that these concepts are not just about compliance. They are about keeping your staff and customers safe and preventing incidents that could harm your business.

By identifying risks associated with your premises and applying Best Practices in how you address those risks, you will not only ensure that you are keeping staff and customers safe but will provide evidence that you are doing so. This will not only save you money in insurance premiums and claims if incidents do occur but will also promote compliance with licensing objectives.

How to Implement Risk Assessments and  Best Practices in your venue:

  • Conduct a Risk Assessment –

The first step in implementing best practices is to conduct a Risk Assessment. Identify potential hazards and associated risks in your venue and develop a plan to control those risks.

  • Adopt Best Practices –

Once you have identified the risks, adopt Best Practices that have been proven to be effective in addressing those risks. This could include policies relating to spiking of drinks and people, safeguarding and vulnerable people, dispersal, and drug and weapon policies.

  • Keep practices under review –

Best Practices have to evolve all the time to incorporate changes in risks relating to licensed premises. Keep your practices under constant review and adapt them as necessary.

  • Train your staff –

Train your staff regularly to consider Best Practice and encourage them to highlight potential issues with best practice and offer better solutions to improve how the venue operates.

In these difficult trading times the need to apply Best Practice and keep it under regular review is more important than ever. By conducting regular Risk Assessments and adopting

Best Practices, you can promote compliance with licensing objectives, keep your staff and customers safe, and prevent incidents that could harm your business. Remember, Risk Assessments and Best Practices are not just about compliance. They are about keeping people safe and promoting a safe and well-managed venue.

Please get in touch if you would like us to help you prepare or review your risk assessments and policies.


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