Published: October 22, 2018 9:51 am

The Home Office backed Best Bar None (BBN) programme is extending its reach across England and Wales as it launches the new Central Scheme (BBNCS), taking in the wide range of licensed hospitality businesses that sit outside the geographical spread of the current programmes, and raising the standards of premises serving alcohol.


The scheme, which has been running for more than 15 years, works with the alcohol industry, police and local authorities to promote responsible alcohol consumption and higher professional licensing standards in pubs, bars and clubs.


BBN encompasses hundreds of pubs, bars, hotels, clubs and entertainment venues across over 70 towns and cities across the UK and will now incorporate venues that work within their communities to improve customer and staff safety, through adopting the best practice principles of the programme. As well as enhancing the general attractiveness of the area, membership of Best Bar None can improve the profitability of individual businesses.


As with the regional schemes, Central Scheme premises will be audited by the team of qualified BBN assessors who will apply the rigorous high standards expected to achieve accreditation. The stringent assessment encompasses the areas of operational standards, policies and procedures, as well as the education and training of staff. On successful completion of the audit, approved premises will be welcomed into the BBN network and featured on the BBN website, as well as receiving a certificate and window-sticker to promote their membership to the public.


For those who fail to reach the required standards expected on first audit, a comprehensive action plan will be provided to enable improvement to elevate the premises to BBN standards.


The introduction of the scheme follows a number of trials in London and Cornwall. Best Bar None national coordinator, Mick McDonnell, said: “The trial threw up some interesting challenges and not all premises were successful first time around.  This only serves to demonstrate the high standards expected from operators and further endorses the credentials of belonging to a BBN scheme.


“BBNCS members go through exactly the same process as their counterparts in the town and city scheme; they will be required to evidence that they have policies, procedures and training records in place to deal with responsibilities such as age verification, the sale of alcohol, conflict management, and vulnerability. They will also need to demonstrate their health and safety competencies, insurance and maintenance contracts for fire detection systems and firefighting equipment.”


Rachael Gennard, general manager of the Red Lion in Newquay, who was involved with the pilot said: “It has been great to be part of a trial which will enable operators across the country to become part of the national BBN family. The meticulous and rigorous audit certainly highlighted to me the high standards expected, and the assessors’ audit is a useful tool and business sense check.  It is great to now be able to join BBN and keep at the forefront of best practice and further develop relationships with like minded licensed operators and local agencies.”


Anyone wishing to join the programme should contact Jen Read, Best Bar None Administrator on T: 01276 417813 E:, or they can apply via the Central Scheme page on the BBN website.


Assessment, audit and accreditation costs £150.00 + VAT, per year.