A designated premises supervisor (DPS) is the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the business and is responsible for authorising the alcohol sales.

All businesses and organisations selling or supplying alcohol, except members clubs and certain community premises must have a designated premises supervisor.

Whoever holds this role will be named on the licence and will need to be named on any application and give their consent to acting.

What the DPS does

The person chosen to be designated premises supervisor (DPS) will act as primary contact for us and the police. They must understand the social issues and potential problems associated with the sale of alcohol, and also have a good understanding of the business itself.

While they need not be on site at all times, and can authorise other members of staff to sell alcohol, they are expected to be involved enough with the business to be able to act as its representative, and they must be contactable at all times.

If we or the  police have any questions or concerns about the business, they will expect to be able to reach the designated supervisor.

Each business may have only one supervisor selected for this role, but the same person may act as the designated supervisor at more than one business.

Taking responsibility

The Licensing Act requires the supervisor - and all personal licence holders - to take responsibility for the sale and supply of alcohol.

This is because of the impact alcohol has on the wider community, on crime and disorder, and anti-social behaviour.

Because of these issues, selling alcohol carries greater responsibility than licensing regulated entertainment and late night sales of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Becoming a DPS

A DPS must have a personal licence and must be nominated by the premises licence holder for the role of designated supervisor.

Only the premises licence holder or their agent can apply to vary the DPS specified on the premises licence.  

The nominated DPS will need to give their consent.

If the DPS leaves the premises or no longer wants to be named as DPS then an application to vary the DPS must be made immediately.   This will let the licence holder nominate a new person to be named as DPS.

Community premises

If you run or are involved in a community, church or village hall that wishes to sell alcohol or already sells it, you can apply for the sale of alcohol to be made the responsibility of a management committee instead of a premises supervisor. 

Displaying your licence

You must display the licence summary at your premises where it can be easily seen. The licence will name the DPS.

The other pages of the licence should be kept safely at the premises. Police or council officers can ask to inspect them at any time.


Further guidance about premises licences, the effect of the Act and the licensable activities is in our GN1 guide to the Licensing Act 2003.


Licensing Act 2003


If you have an issue with a licensed premises there are different people you should contact depending on the problem.  

Public register

You can view details of existing premises licences and a list of current applications on our licensing public register.