Last updated: 09.02.15

Help your age-restricted goods business stay legal

Businesses that sell age restricted products can face fines of up to £20,000, and even a prison sentence, if they sell those products to children. Retailers of any age-restricted products (including liquor confectionary, DVDs and especially alcohol and tobacco) have a strong need to protect their businesses and staff by ensuring they are aware of the law and how best to implement it.

The right training

Businesses looking to train staff on the importance and means of preventing underage sales can make use of a specialised online course created with the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). The ‘Prevention of Underage Sales’ course provides businesses with a great opportunity to train or refresh their staff while helping to reduce the consequences caused by underage drinking, smoking and the sale of other age restricted products.

The TSI worked with us to develop the course to ensure businesses have easy access to staff training on this topic. In the retail sector, the training and development of staff can be difficult, especially when large numbers of part-time or temporary staff are employed across many locations. This bite-size training provides front-line staff with relevant knowledge and practical advice relating to age-restricted sales.

Most people are aware of the ‘think 25’ rule, so anyone buying alcohol or tobacco products can be expected to have to show ID if they don’t look older than 25. However, there are many products that retail employees might not expect to be age-restricted, or are less familiar with the rules, such as video games, DVDs, knives, pets, tanning services, and magazines.

The legal stuff

TSI CEO, Leon Livermore, said: "Legislation can be complex and difficult to interpret so our aim has been to make this training engaging and accessible.

"The course helps owners, managers and frontline staff understand how the legislation applies to their businesses. It also addresses practical issues faced by staff. It forms part of good practice and due diligence to have effective training that is understood by all new staff and existing staff as part of continuous personal and professional development purposes.”

A spokesperson from Virtual College, said: "For retailers, it is important to ensure that this training takes place, is understood and that training records are kept in case of future investigations by Trading Standards Officers."

"This course allows training to be implemented quickly and cost effectively, which is particularly important for temporary/season staff."

"The training uses a variety of scenarios and an assessment to test and log levels of understanding and maintains these training records for easy access, if required."

The training operates through Virtual Colleges learning management system, Enable, and you can try our free demo of the course here.

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