A manager’s certificate is issued for 12 months. Renewals are issued for three years, if you do not come to the attention of the agencies.

Apply for a Manager's Certificate

Before you apply:

Prerequisites for a manager's certificate

To be granted a manager’s certificate you must:

  • Hold a prescribed qualification as identified in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, Regulations s23. There are currently two accepted forms of qualification:
    1. Pass an alcohol licensing course under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (ie after December 2013).  This is the Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ)(external link); or
    2. You already held the LCQ under the Sale of Liquor Act and after December 2013 completed the Bridging Test. (Note the bridging test was only available until December 2016).
      • If you hold an LCQ under the Sale of Liquor Act but did not sit the Bridging test, then you will need to complete the qualification under 1 above.
  • Have a minimum of six months of relevant experience in the hospitality industry working at licensed premises.
  • Be currently employed at licensed premises.
  • Be 20 years of age or older.
  • Eligible to work in New Zealand. If you are not an NZ citizen or permanent resident you must already hold the appropriate visa.

If you completed your Licensed Controller Qualification (LCQ) certificate under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 prior to January 2014, you will need to reset your LCQ course and reapply for a new certificate that references the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.


A fee of $316.25 applies for a manager's certificate. This is set by the regulations. Refer to the alcohol licence fees for all fees and any other charges related to alcohol licensing.

Payment of fees

The fees for processing your application are non-refundable and must be paid when you apply for your licence.

Most fees are set by regulations. However, any fees set by Council may be subject to annual review and any changes take effect on 1 July each year.

You will need to have an invoice from us first before you can make your payment. This will be provided to you when you file your application documents.

Payments can be made by cash, EFTPOS or credit card at a service desk or by internet banking. Internet banking payment account and reference details can be found on your invoice.

We no longer accept payments by cheque.

For internet banking, you will need to provide proof of payment that includes confirmation of the payment details (e.g. a screenshot of the completed transaction).

We can only process your application once we have both, the proof of payment of fees and the required application form and documents.

Documents to include with your application

Refer to the full list of documents on the last page of the application form.

Documents include:

  • Copy of photo identification (or birth certificate) so we can confirm your legal name.
  • Copy of Passport and any visas you hold.
  • Photocopy of your Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) certificate.
  • Letter from your employer detailing why you need to have a manager’s certificate and confirming your position and duties.
  • Reference(s) supporting any previous experience in the hospitality industry.
  • Character reference from an independent person such as an ex-employer.
  • Your CV.

Note: If you have been appointed as a Temporary Duty Manager at your place of work, you need to ensure you have your new managers certificate application filed with us within two working days of that appointment.

Also, remember to make arrangements to book a Licensed Controller Qualification (LCQ) course as soon as possible.

Assessment of your application

The assessment includes an interview, verbal test and reports assessing your overall application by the regulatory agencies – The Council Licensing Inspector and the Police.

Once the assessments and reports are completed your application is then provided to the District Licensing Committee (DLC) for a decision.

When deciding whether to issue a manager's certificate, the DLC must consider the following criteria:

  • Your suitability to be a manager.
  • Any convictions you have.
  • Your experience in controlling licensed premises.
  • Your qualifications and training.
  • Your age - you must be over 20 years.
  • Matters dealt with in the reports from the Police or Licensing Inspector.

These criteria are the main considerations for the assessment of your application by the statutory reporting agencies – the Police and the inspector. 

If you have any questions about these criteria please contact the Alcohol Licensing Team to discuss them before you submit your application.

Interview and test

When your application is received, the Council’s Alcohol Licensing Team will send you a letter asking you to contact us to arrange a time to attend an interview and test.

The interview consists of two parts:

1. A verbal test of your knowledge of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The questions are similar to the ones asked in the assessment for the LCQ. We have some sample test questions [PDF, 58 KB] to help you prepare. Some of the questions the interviewer asks you may specifically relate to how the Act relates to the premises you will be working at.

The pass mark is 100%. Managers are expected to know and enforce the Act. If you fail the test you may be allowed to re-sit it.

2. A discussion with you about your current role and place of work, your experience in the industry and in particular in controlled licenced premises. The interview will also confirm the information you provided about your previous relevant experience and training. 

Police and Alcohol Licensing inspector reports

When you pass your test, Council's Alcohol Licensing Team will ask for reports from the Police and the Alcohol Licensing Inspector.

Issuing of certificates

If the agency report raises no concerns, applications take four to six weeks to be processed and referred for a District Licensing Committee (DLC) decision after which your Certificate will be issued and sent to you.

If the Police or inspector oppose your application it may be set down for a public hearing before the DLC held in Christchurch. The inspector will contact you to discuss this process. 

Working as a duty manager

Once your certificate is issued, your employer needs to complete a notification of duty manager appointment or change form.

This can be completed online(external link) and will formally appoint you as a duty manager to your place of work. Once appointed, you can then work as a duty manager for that premises.

Duty managers can be appointed at more than one premises, so long as they are appointed to each premises.

Lost certificates

Replacing your lost managers certificate.

If the certificate was issued in Christchurch you should contact the Council’s Alcohol Licensing Team who will send a duplicate copy to you free of charge.

Phone 03 941 8068 or email alcohollicensing@ccc.govt.nz.

If the certificate was issued outside of Christchurch, you will need to contact the agency that issued it.

If you have lost your Licensed Controller Qualification (LCQ) certificate you should contact Service IQ(external link) at 0800 275 4474