The CAA has launched an online training course for Atol holders to be completed by all designated ‘accountable persons’ in licensed businesses.


The authority aims to ensure a key figure at every Atol holder understands their obligations to consumers and the legal requirements attached to selling protected holidays.


Atol holders are required to appoint an Accountable Person, who must be a director of a company, a sole trader or a partner.


There are currently 2,000 in the UK responsible for ensuring Atol holders comply with the regulations.


The CAA said it aims to reduce the time spent on compliance issues “due to insufficient understanding of the regulations”.


The authority believes improved compliance will also make Atol protection clearer for consumers. The course has been developed with the help of feedback from licence holders.


CAA head of Atol, Andy Cohen, said: “The vast majority of Atol holders are compliant, but there is a minority who are not. This will help Atol holders comply with the regulations and reduce the number of compliance issues we see.”


Cohen said: “We trialled the course with a range of Atol holders and received very positive feedback.”


The online course covers what an Atol holder needs to know about selling flights and holidays, communicating with consumers, monitoring its business and reporting to the CAA.


It comprises six modules and takes a little over an hour to complete.


On completion, the Accountable Person must take a multiple-choice test to assess their understanding. They will receive a Certificate of Achievement assuming they complete the test successfully.


Those who don’t pass will need to re-read the relevant parts of the course and answer a different set of questions.


The course is accessed via a secure login and will be made available in two phases, the first before the end of the year.


Details will be sent to all Atol-holder Accountable Persons, who will be required to complete the course. A failure to do so will be a breach of the Atol Standard Terms.


The course will subsequently be made more widely available. Cohen said: “Everyone in an organisation can have access to this – it will help back office and counter staff have a better understanding.”