Important Changes to Primary Authority

pa-logo-largeThe Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has had a co-ordinated primary authority partnership in place for licensed pet retailers with the Corporation of London since December 2015; and for licensed boarding establishments since December 2016. Hundreds of PIF members in England and Wales have been able to take advantage of a standardised inspection plan, and assured advice when questions and issues arise with regard to licensing their premises.

The Primary Authority Scheme was developed by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (now Regulatory Delivery), part of the Department for Innovation, Business & Skills, to help cut red tape.

Until now, PIF members who wish to join the scheme have had to ‘opt-in’, by completing an online form and waiting for approval from the government’s “Regulatory Delivery” department. However, Primary Authority is expanding from 1 October 2017 to enable more businesses to participate, as a result of The Enterprise Act 2016 which comes into force in this autumn.

From 1 October 2017, the partnership will be between the primary authority (Corporation of London) and the co-ordinator (PIF), rather than between the business and the primary authority, as is the current situation.

This means that all PIF member businesses in England and Wales who require licensing by their local authority will be automatically covered by the Primary Authority partnership we have with the Corporation of London and can enjoy the benefits that this brings. PIF members who do not wish to be covered must now “opt-out” of the scheme.

What benefits are there to being part of the Primary Authority partnership?

If you’re a business with more than one premises in different authority areas, you’ll benefit from one set of standards for all your licensed premises to follow. Even if you just have one location, and had, what you consider to be, unreasonable conditions put on your licence, you could benefit from ‘assured’ advice that sets out exactly what your local authority should follow when licensing your premises or group.

How does the scheme work?

Your local council still inspects your premises and issues you the licence. With Primary Authority, the difference is that the local authority must follow the Inspection Plan we’ve agreed with the Corporation of London. These are based on the 2013 Model Licence Conditions for Pet Vending; the 2015/2016 Model Conditions for kennels and catteries and the draft model conditions for home boarding, so the criteria used in your licence inspection will be standardised. The inspection plan and the currently issued “assured advice” are below. Tthere are currently no agreed inspection plans for Doggy Day Care, so these PIF members will need to rely on “assured advice” if needed.

If your local authority does not follow the inspection conditions, tell us and we’ll ask the City of London Corporation to give us ‘assured advice’ which you can then take back to your local authority to follow. Unless there’s a very good explanation for their additional or conflicting conditions, they will be dropped.

What do I need to do now?

PIF will register retail and boarding (including home boarders and doggy day care) members in England and Wales into the new scheme (unfortunately, Primary Authority still does not cover Scotland or Northern Ireland). If you don’t want to be in the scheme or don’t (or no longer) sell or board animal, and therefore don’t need a licence, you may ‘opt out’ of the scheme by following the instructions below

If you are already, or now wish to be, part of the Primary Authority partnership, you don’t need to do anything more.  As long as you remain in membership, you will benefit from the scheme and be included within the partnership as it transitions on 1 October 2017.

If you wish to opt-out of the scheme, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name and business address and let us know that you wish to ‘opt-out’ of the Primary Authority partnership. Please inform us by 31 August.

If you have any questions about Primary Authority, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or contact 01234 273933.

Primary Authority Documents

PIF and Corporation of London Inspection Plan

Assured Advice on home boarding franchises

Model Licence Conditions

CIEH Model Conditions for Pet Vending 2013

CIEH Model Conditions for Commercial Kennels 2016

CIEH Model Conditions for Commercial Catteries 2015

Model Conditions for Home Boarding


Pet Industry Federation, 1 Cobbs Court, High Street, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 5QN

Copyright 2021 Pet Industry Federation
Company No: 7252816. VAT No: GB 945 6469 79
A company limited by guarantee.

Privacy Policy

 Website Terms & Conditions


Website development by Zixus

Internet Explorer users: this site is best viewed with IE8 and above.