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Responsible Retailer Scheme

There are strict laws prohibiting the sale of age-restricted products to young people, as they are considered to present a real risk to their health and welfare.


It is illegal for age-restricted goods to be sold to those who are below the legal age limit. Anyone found committing an age-restricted offence can be prosecuted; businesses may also lose their licence to sell alcohol.


We understand that this licence can often be the lifeblood of your business, and your livelihood would be at stake if you were to lose it.


The only way to avoid prosecution for an underage sale is to demonstrate that you have a due diligence defence.


The Responsible Retailer Scheme gives you all the training and advice you need to understand the due diligence defence and take preventative action to stop underage sales.


The Responsible Retailer Scheme aims to:

  • Encourages businesses to work with City of Wolverhampton Council’s Trading Standards to be part of the solution rather than working with them at the point of a problem
  • Empower businesses to take preventative action to stop underage sales
  • Provide businesses with a comprehensive system to avoid the commissioning of an offence in the first place, known as the ‘due diligence defence’ in law

The scheme is provided by City of Wolverhampton Council’s Trade With Confidence service team. Our team has many years of experience supporting new and existing businesses in Wolverhampton with regulatory matters and can help you run a successful and compliant business.


What does the membership include?


Scheme membership and supporting display materials Tailored training for staff, training certificates and an agreed staff training schedule A comprehensive support materials pack to help avoid the commissioning of an offence, including posters, point of sale materials, refusals log and guidance booklet An undercover test purchase exercise to test your business systems for stopping the sale of underaged products, with advice and assistance to understand what went wrong if you fail A certificate of compliance following a successful undercover test purchase and your business listed on the Council’s Trade With Confidence website as a Responsible Retailer Subsequent test purchase exercises if required (up to a maximum of three test purchases at cost of £115.50 per exercise – please see our terms and conditions for further information) Onsite annual audits

Membership cost


Annual membership: £198

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At the end of each 12-month period, your membership will be automatically renewed. If you wish to leave the scheme, you must provide 1 months’ notice.


The membership fee, and second and third test purchase fees are VAT inclusive and non-refundable.


What happens if you fail a test purchase?


If you fail the first test purchase and need additional test purchases, these will be arranged with you at a cost of £115.50 towards the cost of each operation.


You will be given the opportunity to have a maximum of three test purchases, but failure of the second and/or third test purchase will result in suspension from the scheme. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.

Should you fail any test purchase, our team will work with you, so you clearly understand the failure reasons and support you to remedy any non-compliance.


On passing any of our test purchases you will receive a certificate of compliance and be listed on the Council’s Trade With Confidence website as a Responsible Retailer.


Become a Responsible Retailer to protect your business and help make Wolverhampton a safer place to live.


Apply now