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Best Bar None

What is Best Bar None within NUS? 

For students' unions, the scheme shows commitment to ensuring all students have access to licensed premises that promote responsible alcohol retailing and provide a safe venue to visit. 


Students’ unions have always considered the welfare of their students and Best Bar None aims to recognise, promote and reward the efforts that students’ unions place on corporate social responsibility.


The scheme is free to join and includes one Best Bar None plaque on accreditation.

This year due to Covid19 we ran four virtual Communities of Practice sessions attended by over 65 members. 

At these sessions we discussed how we could keep the scheme alive for 2021 and not have to put it on hold for a year due to the pandemic and the current situation with lockdowns, tiers and licensed venues finding it difficult to operate.


This year’s scheme will therefore go ahead but with the revised changes for 2021.


•    This year due to the pandemic cost savings need to be made, therefore the assessments will be conducted inhouse by the commercial development team.
•    Prior to your assessment you will be contacted by Alison Inch with a list of documents / polices / procedures that will need to be submitted ahead of your assessment date.
•    The assessment will be conducted over TEAMs with either Alison Inch or Joanna Lowe at this point there will be opportunity to discuss the submitted documents.
•    The assessment will also cover the remaining questions from the revised assessment pack.
•    During the call the commercial development team will need to speak with members of staff to confirm the level of training that has been received (this would have been completed on site for the last two years).
•    The mystery customer element of the scheme will potentially have to be removed for 2021. (we are reviewing options).
•    All venues will be contacted a minimum of 4 weeks in advance of their assessment to arrange a date and time for the assessment to be carried out.
•    All assessments will take approx. 2-3 hours depending on the prework submitted, whether you are new to the scheme and your previous accreditation level.
•    NEW for 2021, we will be partnering with Shield Safety Group and using their online compliance dashboard. This will allow the answers to be entered whilst the assessment is taking place, it will house evidence submitted and will have the outstanding actions as open until evidence in submitted. (within the agreed deadline).
•    If a union cancels the assessment date without giving 48 hours’ notice, then there potentially will be a nonattendance fee charged of £50.
•    The Union will receive log in details for the Shield Safety compliance centre and be expected to upload documents and evidence to this platform. The compliance centre will also be used for reports, storing the assessments and push notifications.

Assessment requirements:
•    Nominated person must have knowledge of the scheme and have access to all the supporting evidence on the day of the assessment.
•    After confirmation of the date and time of the assessment, the venue must ensure that approximately 2-3 hours is made available to the person who will be with the assessor.
•    Be prepared for the assessor to ask to speak to staff members regarding the level of training received and for questions to be asked to check understanding.
 
All venues that entered last year will be contacted to confirm that they are signing up for the 2021 scheme.

Onsite assessment requirements:

  • Nominated person must have knowledge of the scheme and have access to all the supporting evidence on the day of the assessment.
  • After confirmation of the date and time of the assessment, the venue must ensure that approximately 3-4 hours is made available to the person who will be with the assessor.
  • Be prepared for the assessor to ask to speak to staff members regarding the level of training received and for questions to be asked to check understanding.

Timeline:

December onwards

  • All venues will be contacted to start the evidence collection, depending on whether unions are still trading or furloughed will depend on when the closing date for this will be.
  • It is likely that unions will be contacted, and a date agreed for their assessment and from this date the date for evidence to be submitted will also be agreed.
  • It is likely that if the tier system or lockdowns continue that the scheme dates will need to be altered and therefore not be the same as last year, the scheme may have to run longer to allow all unions who have entered to be assessed. (TBC)

Any questions with regards to the above please contact Alison Inch@nus.org.uk

We look forward to working with you all on improving the scheme, our accreditations and the best practice carried out in students' unions every day.

And thank you to all our members in the scheme for working with the commercial development team to ensure that BBN can continue in 2021

New entrants can sign up to the Best Bar None Scheme by contacting Alison.inch@nus.org.uk

Best Bar None and Spirits & Cocktail Awards

We could not let the year end without celebrating the achievements of member unions in 2019/2020. The un-paralleled work that takes place to deliver safe and responsible social spaces for students has never been more valued.  While we weren't able to have a physical awards event, we were able to host the awards online