Validate Proof Of Age Scheme

The prevention of the sale of age-related products to young people is a very high priority for Trading Standards and the Community Safety Partnership, as hopefully it will not only assist in reducing/eliminating anti-social behaviour, but also safeguard the health of the youngsters.


Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, via the Trading Standards and Community Safety Partnership, in partnership with South Wales Police, supports the ValidateUK proof of age scheme for young people aged 12-18 years. It aims to ensure that age restricted products are only sold to those legally entitled to buy them and it also helps those who may look younger than they are to prove their age.

In addition to promoting the Validate Scheme within the schools, educating and advising all levels of trade, the Trading Standards Service and the Police will be periodically carrying out a series of test purchases by enlisting young volunteers who will be used to see if they are challenged about their age when attempting to purchase items such as alcohol, tobacco products, solvents, etc.

Explanatory booklets, advice leaflets, posters and application forms can be obtained by contacting the Community Partnership Service on telephone number 01443 425332 or by email

Age restricted products

Age restricted products

Cigarettes/Tobacco products

18 yrs

Lottery tickets

16 yrs

Scratch Card


Gas lighter refills

18 yrs




12, 15, 18 yrs


18 yrs


  • Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulation 1999
  • Intoxicating Substances Supply Act 1985
  • Fireworks (safety) Regulations 1997
  • National Lottery Regulations 1994
  • Children and Young persons Act 1993
  • Video Recordings Act 1984
  • Licensing Act 2003

These laws exist to safeguard the health and welfare of young people. OFFENDERS MAY BE PROSECUTED WITHOUT WARNING.

Your local Trading Standards Department is always ready to give personal advice and information to traders about under-age sales, ValidateUK proof-of-age cards and legislation. Trading Standards can be contacted on the following numbers:

Trading Standards Team : 01443 442100

Validate Team : 01443 425332 


What can you do?

Judging somebody’s age is very difficult. Follow our simple guide to responsible trading:

A company policy

Outline to staff the circumstances in which a customer may or may not be served, e.g. what form of identification you will accept


Decide what procedures are to be carried out when selling age-restricted products, e.g. double check with a colleague, when a sale is turned down, make an entry in a ‘refusals log’.

Staff Training

Training should be given to new staff with periodic refresher ‘updates’ for existing staff. You can use this booklet.

Make sure ALL your staff are aware of the age-restricted products you sell. Keep this information near your till as a reference

Ensure they all have some knowledge of the law and are aware of the company policies and procedures. Your staff can be prosecuted as well as the company/trader. Trading Standards will often use young volunteers to test retailers.

Policy, procedure, refusals log and training should all be recorded in writing. This could help establish a defence in law.

Staff Action

Train our staff to effectively but tactfully deal with customers who they suspect of being under-age. With age-restricted products always ask young people for proof of age.

REMEMBER that it is often the ones who know they look old enough who attempt to buy the products. Documents to prove their age ValidateUK card (‘credit-card’ style with PASS logo); photo driving licence; passport.

Laminated ID cards without photos or the PASS logo are unacceptable.

Apologise for the inconvenience, but do not be dissuaded. You do not need to give a reason

Call a supervisor if uncertain

Have a ValidateUK application form at hand to offer as positive, helpful information to customers.


Statutory notices must always be clearly displayed.

If you sell cigarettes, a sign should read:

it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18”

Voluntary additional notices may also be displayed to deter potential ‘underage purchasers’ and act as a reminder to staff

No Proof, No Sale

Extra tips

Over sticking – place a label or coloured sticker on the bar code of age-restricted products to prompt the assistant to ask for proof-of-age

Till prompt – advanced till systems may ‘flag-up’ that a product entered is age-restricted. Some prompts require and entry or affirmation before the transaction continues.

Birthday update – by the till, keep the most recent date-of-birth acceptable for different sales, to help the assistant and reduce pressure at busy moments. Update this daily.

What is ValidateUK?

It is a voluntary proof of age card that empowers young people to make a purchase if they look younger than their age and can help them if they are entitled to reduced fares if they appear too old. It is of credit-card design and is secure. The card carries a photograph of the cardholder.

All young people between the age of 12 – 18 and attend a Rhondda Cynon Taf comprehensive school are entitled to a card free of charge. The Validate team visit all comprehensive schools every year to digitally photograph all students. Since 2004 more than 23,000 cards have been issued to RCT students.

Applications for young people who have left school are available from the Trading Standards Department, some Police stations and many off licences.

The success of this card relies on traders and retailers asking for proof of age

Ask for Validate?

Warning!! Validate is the official proof of age scheme operating in Rhondda Cynon Taf and is supported by Trading Standards, the Community Safety Partnership, the Licensing Team, Police, Education Authority, Health Promotion, Traders and pupils.


Contact Us

 Trading Standards Team: 01443 442100
Validate Team: 01443 425332 Email: