Under the Liquor Act 1992 (the Act), certain licensed premises are required to have an individual licensee or approved manager who is:
- present or reasonably available during ordinary trading hours of 10am to 12 midnight
- present or reasonably available during approved extended trading hours between 7am and 10am
- present during any period of approved extended trading hours between 12 midnight and 5am.
There are some exemptions to these requirements, dependent on the nature of the licensed premises. You can read more about these exemptions here.
Without an Approved Manager, The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) may order the premises to close immediately and to remain closed until such time as the licensee returns, or a maximum fine of $11,000 may be imposed.
To be eligible as an approved manager, applicants:
- must be an individual over 18 years of age
- cannot be an individual licensee
- must be the holder of a current approved responsible management of licensed venues (RMLV) certificate
RMLV courses are run by Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) who are approved by OLGR to do so.
While an Approved Manager’s licence is valid for 5 years, an RMLV certificate expires after 3 years, at which time you will need to renew your certificate. Licensees are required to keep copies of the licensee’s course certificates held by each Approved Manager employed by the licensee. Copies of the course certificates must be available for inspection by an investigator at the main licensed premises.
Make sure you have a qualified manager on your team. First step – have them complete their Responsible Management of Licensed Venues (RMLV) course, and then apply for their Approved Managers licence.
According to the Business QLD website, the following definitions apply:
An approved manager is ‘present’ at premises if:
- the approved manager is at the premises acting in the capacity of an approved manager
- is in control of the premises.
Being ‘reasonably available’
An individual licensee, permit holder or approved manager is ‘reasonably available’ if the following applies:
- the individual licensee, permit holder or approved manager is readily contactable by each person involved in the service or supply of liquor at the premises
- the time reasonably needed for the licensee, permit holder or approved manager to travel from any place at which they may be present to the premises is not more than 1 hour or, if the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming has decided to extend the period of time for a particular licensee, permit holder or approved manager, the extended period of time.
- a separate approved manager (or individual licensee) for a premises must be present or reasonably available for duty for each day the non-exempt premises is open for trade
- an approved manager or individual licensee should be present for the majority of the time during the operational hours of a licensed premises, with particular regard to high-risk periods of operation which occur during ordinary trading hours.
In deciding whether to extend the period of time reasonably needed for a licensee, permit holder or approved manager to travel to be present at the premises, the Commissioner will consider:
- the principal activity, and the nature and extent of the business, conducted under the licence or permit
the location of the premises
- the availability of trained staff for the premises.
In the case of commercial special facility licences, an approved manager must be present or reasonably available between 10am and 12 midnight for each discrete ‘outlet’ within the licensed area. Where an ‘outlet’ is trading between midnight and 10am the approved manager must be present at the ‘outlet’. This applies regardless of whether all the outlets are managed by the licensee or whether the outlets are subleased to other persons.
In the case of commercial hotel licences the requirement to have an approved manager present only applies to the main premises and not to any detached bottle shops or bottle shops which may be attached to the premises. This applies in the situation where a bottle shop may be open for trade prior to the commencement of trading in the main licensed premises.
In the case of commercial other (producer/wholesaler) licences an approved manager is only required at the main licensed premises, not the storage facility.
Licensees must take ‘reasonable steps’ to have approved managers present or reasonably available during ordinary trading hours or present during extended trading hours if the individual licensee cannot be present or reasonably available during ordinary trading hours or present during extended trading hours after midnight. Therefore, licensees will need to have an approved manager present or reasonably available for each premises during all trading hours to supervise the responsible service of alcohol and the management of the premises.