192,559 CAMRA members

Pub Data Update Guidelines

Keeping our records up to date

1.1  CAMRA relies necessarily on volunteers’ collective efforts to maintain pub and club data and make sure it is adequate and accurate.  Understandably, branches will tend to focus on updating details of pubs and clubs that serve real ale but that can still represent a significant workload in capturing changes to opening times and cask beer ranges, owners and operators.

1.2  Branches are recommended to spread the work of checking and updating records between as many of their members as are willing and capable of helping, for example, as district representatives visiting small numbers of pubs regularly and/or as online data entry enthusiasts.

1.3  Reliable online sources, e.g. an active Facebook page, can assist, but branches need to be sure that the Facebook page itself is being actively maintained by checking for recent posts.  The same goes for pub and club websites.

1.4  A telephone call at a quiet time may be enough to check details with a licensee or manager, but anyone asking questions is more likely to be welcome if they can visit the pub as a customer.  Branch magazine distributors can help.  And any significant refurbishment, for example, will merit a visit before branch records can be updated reliably.

1.5  In September 2020, role guidance for Pub Data Co-ordinators at branch level was reviewed by the People and Branches Committees.  The new guidance note replaced the 2019 role description in December 2020.

Members submitting pub and club updates

2.1  Updates submitted via WhatPub are a very important source of new information and we collectively encourage members to continue submitting them, and for more of them to do so.  If you find for example that a pub is not open when we said it would be, or no longer serves the regular beer you’d expected, you need to submit your update to tell the branch.

2.2  Branches may also consider occasionally, perhaps twice annually, sending emails to local branch members (via the Comms Tool) encouraging them to submit updates about their local pub.

Pub and club licensees submitting updates

3.1  Branches that have sent emails to licensees encouraging them to review their WhatPub entry and to submit updates have seen positive results.  After regularly sending emails to licensees over a couple of years, one branch then found that many pub and club licensees send in updates unprompted.  As with updates from members, we collectively need to do everything we can to encourage licensees’ submissions.  For this to reach as many pubs and clubs as possible, it’s important that their email addresses are recorded and kept up to date, preferably business emails since private ones cannot be published or used without written consent.

Processing updates

4.1  It is important for branches to deal efficiently and effectively with the updates that branches receive.

The following best practice guidelines are recommended:

  • Appoint a volunteer to the essential role of Branch Pub Data Co-ordinator.
  • Thank whoever submitted each update by return email so that they are more likely to submit more.
  • Ensure that all submitted updates are dealt with promptly and within no more than four weeks.
  • Ensure that there are enough resources to do that, i.e. share the update role with an additional volunteer or even a small team of local branch members. Delegating the task of pub and club data updates to local branch members who would like to get involved, but would not wish to attend branch meetings, is an ideal way of spreading the workload.  The new role of Pub or Club Contact is ideal for this and branches are encouraged to recruit volunteers to help.
  • Note that the role could also be shared with or via the Regional Pub Data Co-ordinator.
  • Use the most efficient and effective method of verifying a submitted WhatPub update. See paragraphs 1.3 and 1.4 above.  If there is any doubt about the update, use the phone to check with the pub.  Physical visits should only be required in rare cases.
  • Explain to whoever had submitted the update if for any reason it could not be recorded as requested. We all of us get things wrong occasionally and it helps to be given correct information.

4.2  If a branch finds that they are unable to process submitted updates within four weeks, the branch should contact the Regional Pub Data Co-ordinator.  The national pub data support team can provide cover and handle all submitted updates for as long a period as the branch needs to recruit a new branch Pub Data Co-ordinator and supporting volunteers.

Branch WhatPub contact email addresses

5.1  The majority (over 80%) of branches have adopted a whatpub@{branch}.camra.org.uk style of email address for the branch Pub Data Co-ordinator(s) to whom submitted emails are sent.  Branches need to update the email address(es) to which messages are forwarded from that address following any change of the volunteer(s) in that role.

5.2. If you are not certain which email address is being used for your branch, please check within the Pub Data and Good Beer Guide Resources page where there are also other useful documents.  If your branch is not on the list, it is because it is one of the small number still using a personal email address, which for data protection reasons cannot be published.

National Pub Data Support Team

  1. The current members of the national pub data support team are:
  • Roger Corbett (South East London branch): updates provides support to branches in the Kent region.
  • Pete Horn (Southern Hampshire branch): updates Cask Marque; supports submitted updates; dealing with duplicate pubs.
  • Ken Paul (Sunderland branch): does research on pub owner and other support for bulk pub data updates. Also provides support to branches in the North East region.
  • Andy Shaw (Sheffield branch): fills various roles including supporting submitted updates; research for and coordination of bulk pub data updates; dealing with duplicate pubs; updates to branch WhatPub contact email addresses.
  • Adrian Smith (Central Lancs branch): provides support to branches in the West Pennines region.
  • Ed Taylor (Vale of Belvoir branch): provides support to branches in the East Midlands region.
  • Quinten Taylor (Reading branch) provides support to branches in the Central Southern region.
  • Roy Tunstall (London Region): provides general support to branches in the London region.
  • Nick Yarwood (Wyre Forest branch) provides support for the West Midlands region.
  • Simon Wiseman (Worcester branch): provides general technical support to the national pub data updates support team members.

Please send support requests to the team, and not to individuals, using the email address support@pubupdates.camra.org.uk.  It is planned that other team members will be recruited.

Central Southern Quinten Taylor
East Anglia Andy Shaw
East Midlands Ed Taylor
Greater London Roy Tunstall
Greater Manchester Post vacant
Kent Roger Corbett
Merseyside & Cheshire Post vacant
North East Ken Paul
Scotland and Northern Ireland Pete Horn
Surrey & Sussex Andy Shaw
Wales Pete Horn
South West Pete Horn
Wessex Pete Horn
West Midlands Nick Yarwood
West Pennines Adrian Smith
Yorkshire Andy Shaw

Click on the following link for a pdf of this information:

Pub Data Update Guidelines April 2021


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