The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has launched an ‘Assured Advice’ Guide to Preventing Underage Sales in England and Wales. It provides an easy to follow, product-by-product guide, establishing a simple, common approach to adopting the right company policy, training and effective record keeping.

The Guide is the second part of the ‘Primary Authority’ scheme delivered in partnership with Surrey County Council. The scheme, launched in March, is the first of its kind in the convenience sector and is available to all ACS members.

‘Primary Authority’ is a status recognised by law, meaning that the policies and procedures published cannot be challenged by the police, trading standards or environmental health officers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Assured Advice has the potential to revolutionise the way independent retailers manage compliance. It provides the same protection and consistency only previously available to big retail chains.

“We are delighted to publish guidance on Preventing Underage Sales so early in our new scheme. We know that members face high risks in this area, and also that they are presented with a range of confusing and competing requirements, especially between different local authority areas. ‘Assured Advice’ cuts through all this and provides definitive procedures that once followed cannot be challenged from one area to the next.”