The BII has announced three initiatives to further professionalise the sector and help its licensee and pub operator members, writes Gurjit Degun. The BII is poised to unveil 34 licensed trade professionals to join its new “approved list” of advisors to licensees and pub owners. Through BII accreditation service BIIBAS, the scheme will let licensees search for specialist advice on a variety of subjects and all advisors will be required to disclose “any significant landlord relationship”. Advisors can be anything from an accountant or lawyer to a surveyor. The late Jeremy Allen chaired the professionals’ board, which includes BII chief Neil Robertson, Fleurets chairman Barry Gillham, Bob Whittle of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property, Orange Sun Bars chief executive Paul Wigham. The BII said it received 78 applications, and is in the final terms of reference with the selected 34. The BII has also launched a new business development manager (BDM) category of membership. This comes on the back of a management training programme for BDMs, which will officially launch on 1 August. The programme leads to a nationally accredited qualification, the BIIAB Level 4 Certificate in Multiple Retail Management. The aim of the scheme is to help professionalise BDMs and improve their relationship with licensees. Once the BDMs have passed this qualification, which has seen a big uptake from family brewers, they will be invited to join the new club. BII chief executive Neil Robertson said: “We wanted to create something specifically for BDMs, and by doing this we’re professionalising the industry. It will commit the BDMs to ongoing professional development.” Finally, the BII announced a modular e-learning scheme to help licensees and staff understand issues of compliance. It will focus mainly on fire safety, but there will be other learning modules too — five in total. The complete package costs £800, but licensees will have the option to buy the e-learning modules separately. Robertson said: “Pubs are receiving more and more visits from trading standards, so licensees need to make sure they and their staff know this information.”