Time for a Licensing Health Check

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It is the beginning of a new financial year for most and when considering all of the other things that need to be considered and attended to, perhaps compliance at the venue is in the mix.
As you are aware, the annual increase of penalty units also took effect on July 1, further highlighting the importance of giving your licensing a health check. 
We consider the first 2 of the top 5 things you should be reviewing to ensure that you are compliant in relation to the service of liquor under your licensed agreement.
1. Risk Assessed Management Plan (RAMP)
Start with having a good RAMP and then the rest follows………
Spending some time and money on this form of due diligence is like investing in an ‘insurance policy’ and will assist in providing some safeguards for the licensee and their team.
When was the last time you reviewed your RAMP?  Is it still current and relevant to your operational practices?  Are you inadvertently breaching the criteria of your RAMP because of a change in practices?  These are a few of the questions you should ask yourself.
It may be that since the inception of RAMPs you have identified that your version is no longer relevant, rather lengthy or a complex document. We can prepare a new easy-to-understand RAMP that can be used to help induct staff into your RSA practices.
You don’t need to prepare a 30 page document with specific details that hamstrings your operating practices – you need a document that details what is needed in a manner that provides some operational flexibility.
If your RAMP no longer accurately reflects your operating practices, then it needs to be updated and approved by the OLGR.
You may be a venue that does not legislatively require a RAMP.  However, you may wish to consider having one prepared for you to ensure you have some form of governance and due diligence should you ever become the subject of a serious investigation by the regulatory agencies.
Don’t wait until it’s too late!
2. Compliance Audit
While most large venues undertake some form of Self Compliance Audit, it is considered useful to have an independent audit undertaken to ensure you have covered all aspects. We all know that when you write something it is easy to overlook the most obvious errors even having had read it several times. Well the same thing can happen when you are compliance checking your own venue – you can sometimes fail to see the ‘wood for the trees’.
You can also overlook matters that you didn’t even consider to be compliance considerations. We have a member of staff who used to be an investigator with the OLGR and they can undertake a compliance audit to assist you in ensuring you are doing the right thing. Sometimes these audits are not undertaken until after the regulatory agencies have identified the shortfalls and this can be too late.
Compliance by enforcement is not something that you should be willing to accept as a suitable means of maintain compliance. All too often we have clients contact us after they have been the subject of a Compliance Inspection where deficiencies have been found.
We would recommend being pro-active in this regard and provide yourself and your team members a level of comfort knowing that they are doing the right thing, in the right way.
If you need help with your RAMP or would like an independent compliance audit undertaken at your venue, please give us a call.

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