Challenge 25 Best Practice

Following a request from our members, on 28 February 2023 we arranged for Safer Business Network to run an online training session covering Challenge 25 and best practice for both in person and online orders.

This training covered the following:

  • Understanding the role of Challenge 25, best practice and how to adopt it both online and in person
  • Identifying what a Challenge ID policy is under your legal duties
  • Identifying key security features of the main ID types
  • Having the confidence to both conduct these checks and, if needed, refuse service
  • Fines apply for both online and in person

Mock-up of an ID with text on the right: Under 25? Please be prepared to show proof of age when buying age restricted products.

Age restricted products

Challenge 25 replaced Challenge 21 in 2009 and covers not just the sale of alcohol but also a multitude of age restricted products. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Age restricted product (legal age to buy – 18): Alcohol, adult magazines, cigarettes and tobacco products (including Shisha, vapes and e-liquids), fireworks and sparklers, knives, blades and axes, solvents and lighter refills, sunbeds, tattoos.
  • Age restricted product (legal age to buy – 16): Caps and party poppers, liqueur chocolates, lottery tickets and scratch cards, petrol, spray paints and aerosols.
  • Acceptable ID and how to check: For all age restricted products, acceptable ID is any card bearing the PASS logo and hologram or a photographic driving licence or passport. All ID must be in date (not expired) and the original document, not a photograph (i.e. on phone) or photocopy.

For online orders the check is two-stage: at the point of ordering and at point of delivery.

How to check driving licences and passports

For driving licences and passports, checks should include:

  • 3D features present
  • Correct photo
  • Valid date of birth
  • Evidence of tampering
  • Spelling
  • Incorrect flag
  • Name scratched off
  • Stickers placed over date of birth

Businesses may also find this guidance for the online sales of age-restricted products useful.

How to conduct the 5 Step Check for PASS ID cards

PASS is the industry-led national proof of age card accreditation scheme.

The PASS hologram provides an easily recognisable identity to help protect retailers and licensed trade from fraudulent proof of age cards. Only card schemes which meet the very strict standards are allowed to issue cards bearing the PASS hologram.

Other features also help you ensure the card is genuine. These include a colour photograph, printed date of birth and expiry date.

It is designed to be completely smooth, so check for any raised, uneven or rough edges around the photograph and date of birth area.

Challenge 25 Best Practice