What is Primary Authority?

Primary Authority enables a business or trade association to form a legally-recognised partnership with one local authority, which is called its ‘Primary Authority’. In our case, this is Cornwall Council. The Primary Authority provides the BHA with robust and reliable regulatory advice that other local authorities take into account in their dealings with the business. Critically, in this way, the Primary Authority partnership promotes consistency and fairness of enforcement to help reduce burdens on businesses.

In our scheme, the BHA is the co-ordinator for participating members, through which all queries will be filtered.

What areas will the Primary Authority partnership cover?

The Primary Authority partnership between the BHA and Cornwall Council covers ‘food safety and hygiene’ and ‘food standards’

Where does Primary Authority extend?

The BHA scheme is currently only available to hospitality sector members in England and Wales. If you are not based in England or Wales, you will be unable to sign up at this stage, but you (and your enforcement officers) will have access to the

Do I have to join the Primary Authority?

There is no legal requirement for BHA members to join our Primary Authority scheme – it is a voluntary scheme and can only be accessed by opting-in via the application on the BHA website and signing up online. Click here to sign up.

Statement from Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council is delighted to be in partnership with the BHA and be undertaking key pieces of work within the Hospitality sector. The work being carried under this partnership will be of benefit to BHA members that are signed up to the Primary Authority scheme and offer those members critical advice and guidance on Food Safety and Hygiene, Food Standards and Fire Safety matters as part of its ongoing partnership with the BHA.

Cornwall Council’s Food & Safety Team is delighted to have been able to give assured advice status to the newly developed Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering Guide. The guide has been developed by the British Hospitality Association in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency and Industry partners. The guide will undoubtedly help promote good standards throughout the industry, and provides clear advice on the requirements of the law, and good practice, which will be of great benefit to both the business sector and regulatory authorities

It can be relied upon as an invaluable guidance document that is available to all involved in the Hospitality Industry. It provides relevant businesses with guidance on the legal requirements with regard to food hygiene and also advises on best practice.  Through assurance with Cornwall Council, it has legal standing and can be used as a legal safety net for any BHA members who are following the advice contained within it.

Primary authority sign up


Gaby Lisa