Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) is to offer free online training to retailers to help them prevent underage sales and proxy purchases.

CAP is offering a new e-learning course which can be undertaken in store, on a phone or laptop and at any time. It covers the requirements of the 2003 Licensing Act, how to refuse suspected underage sales, spot attempted proxy purchases and apply the Challenge 25 policy.

The course draws on CAP’s knowledge of working with retailers over the last 15 years and has been created in conjunction with CPL Training, a leader in personal licence training to the hospitality and retail markets. The new course will be available free of charge to all retailers in the 256 CAP areas of England and Wales and is adapted for separate licensing laws in Scotland.

CAP director Kate Winstanley said: “Local trading standards and licensing officers do a great job by visiting independent stores to offer training and support. But it’s not always possible to reach every small retailer in the area and if these shops are not aware of their responsibilities it could put their licences and livelihoods at risk. We hope independent retailers will find this short course a convenient and helpful way to ensure they have effective age verification policies in place.”

Information on the course will be distributed to through the network of local CAPs around the UK.