Responsible Retailing

The WSTA takes a leading role in supporting its members to retail alcohol responsibily. This includes working with retailer members on schemes and initiatives designed to reduce under age sales, produce guidance for the responsible retail of alcohol and work to raise standards of alcohol retailer across the UK.

Retail of Alcohol Standards Group

The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group was established in 2005 by national retailers in an effort to eradicate underage alcohol sales. Its work today continues to focus on driving down underage alcohol sales, primarily through the Challenge 25 Scheme, addressing underage drinking through Community Alcohol Partnerships and promoting high standards among alcohol retailers through its Guidance for the Responsible Retailing of Alcohol.

Community Alcohol Partnerships

Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs), developed by retailers and coordinated by the WSTA, aim to tackle the problems caused by underage access to alcohol. This is achieved through co-operation at a local level between alcohol retailers and other partners such as trading standards, police, local authority licensing teams, schools and health networks. Click here for more detail.

Challenge 25

Challenge 25 is the successful retailer-led strategy that requires that anyone buying alcohol who looks under 25 to produce acceptable ID. The higher threshold, along with training and support provided to checkout staff, helps to increase the number of challenges and to ultimately reduce the number of underage sales. Further details about the impact of Challenge 25, along with the free to download poster designs, are available at:

Responsible Retail Guidance

RASG’s Guidance for the Responsible Retail of Alcohol was the result of unprecedented collaboration between retailers which looks to establish standards for alcohol retailing for the first time. In 2017 the guidance was updated and enhanced by the Group to include best practice and case studies. Guidance for Northern Ireland and Scotland was also published for the first time. It covers all aspects of alcohol retailing, including the legal and self-regulatory frameworks in which retailers operate, as well as voluntary measures they have agreed to undertake. The full guidance is available here:

WSTA Guide to Licensing

To support its members and others in understanding their licensing obligations, the WSTA has developed a guide to licensing in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The report can be found here:

Why Join The WSTA