How it works

How it works:

The Scheme runs from April to March each year and Local schemes run to a nationally agreed process as follows:

Stage 1 – Local Launches & Applications: The schemes are launched locally and applications are invited from eligible venues. Applicants are provided with information packs to assist them in bringing their premises up to the required standard in advance of assessments. Local areas re-launch their scheme annually (running in line with financial years).

BBN Application Form to be sent to your Local Coordinator which can be found in our Resource Section.

The categories which premises can apply for accreditation under are:


  • Small Independent Pub Bar
  • Pub/Bar - Chain of 6 or more
  • Nightclub
  • Hotel Bar
  • Specialist Entertainment Venue

Venues are asked to self-identify however, Assessors and Local Coordinators will apply judgement to ensure all venues fall within the most appropriate category, thus ensuring the fairness of the awards. 

Stage 2 – The Assessment: A mutually agreeable date is set for an assessment to be carried out at the relevant premises. Assessments can take between 2 - 3 hours depending on various factors such as venue size and process experience. Assessors vary across Scotland and can be independent or from one of the partners who supports your local scheme. Agencies including Police, Fire and trading standards officers can give you advice in advance of the assessment which focuses on the five key elements in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, namely, Prevention of Crime & Disorder, Securing Public Safety, Preventing Public Nuisance, Protecting and Improving Public Health and Protecting Children from Harm. Click your category above for an example of a Scoring Booklet.

Themes included in the assessment include Capacity, Security, Drinks/Drunkenness, Drugs, Theft, Disorder, Terrorism Awareness, First Aid, Management, Glass, Fire Safety, Building Safety, Transport, Disability, Noise, Community Engagement, Public Health and Children. 

Download - Good Practice Booklet - to prepare for your assessment

Download - Framework Policies - to prepare for your assessment
Stage 3 – Judging: Following the assessment visit, scoring booklets are marked and each application will be allocated a score. Points are allocated for ‘Essential’, ‘Desired’ and ‘Bonus’ categories. Venues must achieve ALL essential points to be accredited. Those which demonstrate additional points will receive a higher award.
A neutral panel will sit at a local level to determine the appropriate level of award i.e. Bronze, Silver or Gold, based on the scoring booklets.

Stage 4 – Local Awards: Local Best Bar None areas hold their own awards ceremonies where venues meeting the accreditation standard are awarded pin badges and plaques which they will be able to display inside and outside their premises to assist in promoting their venue.

National Awards - Your venue will be nominated by the Local Awards Panel if you are top of your category or an overall winner in a specialist category, subject to local discretion. You will be asked to complete a National Application Form giving you the chance to tell us all about the great work you do in support of BBN aims.

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