Compliance monitoring

Your premises will be inspected and monitored to ensure that the business complies with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

How compliance monitoring is carried out

Compliance monitoring of your premises will be done during the year by representatives of the Police, the Medical Officer of Health, and Council licensing inspectors.

These agencies may inspect separately or together. The number of visits/inspections that you receive will be based on the type of premises you operate, your history of compliance, and any complaints or concerns expressed by patrons or the public.

There are two types of monitoring visits: inspections and Controlled Purchase Operations.


The agencies will look at a number of things during an inspection, which may be an assessment of all or some of the following:

  • Presence of minors
  • Presence of intoxicated patrons
  • Display of licence and required signage
  • Compliance with conditions that apply to the licence, including hours and days or operation
  • Availability of free water
  • Certified manager on duty
  • Availability and promotion of food, non-alcoholic and low alcohol refreshments
  • Queue management
  • Display of host responsibility policy
  • Management of outdoor space
  • Inappropriate promotion of alcohol
  • Maintenance of an incident log
  • Maintenance of a duty manager's register
  • The duty manager is responsible for assisting the agencies and providing information to the agency’s representatives.

A copy of the completed inspection/visit form will be provided to the duty manager. 

The agencies may require immediate action from the licensee to ensure compliance at the time of the visit/inspection if any issues are identified. Any serious breaches of the conditions of the licence may result in further action. The agencies will work with the licensee using a graduated response approach - this means the level of action is based on the level of risk created by the premises not achieving compliance.

Alcohol risk diagram.

Controlled purchase operations (CPOs)

A controlled purchase operation (CPO) is carried out by compliance agencies to test your ability to make sure alcohol is not sold to a minor (a person under 18 years of age). An underage person will be sent into your premises and will try to purchase alcohol.

If you have effective systems in place to assess the age of a purchaser, through checking ID, a purchase will not be made and the minor will be refused service. 

If you fail a CPO

If your systems are not effective, a purchase will be made. The agencies involved will enter your premises and inform you that you have failed a CPO. They will want to know who the staff member (or manager) was who made the sale, and the circumstances of the sale. A compliance check and an interview with the duty manager will then be carried out.

Most failed CPOs will result in the agencies filing an application for suspension or cancellation of your licence and the duty manager's certificate with the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority.

It is important that you have rigorous systems for preventing sales to anyone under 18 years of age.

Need help?

Alcohol Licensing 
Phone: 04 801 3760