Excellent communication skills are essential. Officers deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and may sometimes need to appear in court. The Institute of Licensing is committed to the development of training and qualifications to support the modern licensing practitioner, and has introduced a continuing professional development scheme.
The demand for licensing officers is more dynamic and project-focused than ever before, in many councils moving away from pure bureaucracy – although admitting that is still a fundamental part of the job.
Local authority regulatory services – such as trading standards, environmental health and licensing – are now in the spotlight. Licensing plays a key part in community safety by helping to protect public health through animal licensing, or preventing crime and disorder through its work on alcohol licensing, a fact recognised by the 2006 Rogers Review which placed the topic amongst the top six national priorities for local authority regulators. There are also plenty of opportunities in private practice. Lawyers regularly advice clients and organisations (such as national pub chains or licensing authorities) on licensing and registration issues, and licensing consultants can also represent clients at many licensing hearings and make applications on their behalf. There is a growing market, too, for licensing trainers. © Institute of Licensing 2008Based on an article first published in The Times, 14 December 2004
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