The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS)

PASS Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram

The UK’s national proof of age accreditation scheme, endorsed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) formerly Association of Chief Police Officers – ACPO), the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (cTSI).

Pass scheme window sticker

Assurance

Every card that carries a PASS hologram will have been issued by a provider who has been through a stringent application and accreditation process which examines the procedures they adopt to check and verify identity.
Confidence

Production of the card by a young person at the point of sale affords retailers and their staff the confidence of knowing that the card is a secure form of identification that can be trusted.
Reliability

The unique PASS hologram is Trademark registered, making it a criminal offence to manufacture cards that have a mark similar to the PASS one.

Verification of age

The possession of a PASS accredited card demonstrates that your age and personal details have been verified by your card issuer and that you are who you say you are! It is also the only scheme that is backed by the Government and the enforcement authorities such as the Police and Trading Standards.

Access to products and services

By producing your PASS card you should be able to obtain the products and services that you are legally entitled to, without embarrassment, particularly if you are fortunate enough to look younger than you are!The benefit of carrying a PASS approved card also means that you don’t need to carry valuable documents such as your driving licence or passport.

Notwithstanding the guarantees that the PASS system offers, young people need to be aware that there is no automatic right of entry to licensed premises nor is there an automatic right to service of alcohol. Entry is always at the discretion of the licensee for whatever reason he or she decides.

Whilst the vast majority of retailers and pubs support the PASS scheme and include reference to it in their company policies and procedures, it is important to understand that front line staff are encouraged to refuse admission and/or service if they are in any doubt whatsoever about a person’s age. Increasingly tough enforcement of legislation to prevent selling to under-18s means that there is very strong pressure on operators to refuse entry if they have any grounds to believe that a person is under 18, regardless of the form of ID they present.

PASS is working to reassure licensees and door supervisors of the reliability and benefits of PASS though this remains a challenge. The introduction of the 18+ Design Standard is a major step forward in these efforts.

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