Body of Person's Approval (BOPA) licence

Licence name
Body of Person's Approval (BOPA) licence
Do I need a licence?

You can apply for a Body of Person's Approval (BOPA) licence which means children of compulsory school age can perform in any production you're responsible for. If you've a BOPA licence, you won't need a child performance licence for each child in your performance.

A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they become 16 years of age.

Performances includes:

  • Theatre performances
  • Paid sporting events
  • Modelling
  • TV and film recordings
  • Dance and drama shows
  • Band or orchestra performances

We'll only give a BOPA licence to a group of responsible adults, such as a youth organisation, amateur dramatics club or church. We're only able to give a BOPA licence for performances taking place in the borough.

To apply for a BOPA licence, your organisation must:

  • Have a child protection policy in place
  • Have a performance venue risk assessment in place

If you don't meet these criteria, you can apply for a child performance licence instead

We're also only able to give a BOPA licence for performances taking place in the borough. If your performance isn't taking place within the borough, you'll need to apply for a licence with the council where it is taking place.

How to apply

To apply for a BOPA licence for free:

  1. Download and complete:
    • Body of Person's Approval licence application form
    • Group Participation Information form
    • Contract of Agreement form
  2. You'll also need:
    • A copy of your safeguarding policy
    • A performance venue risk assessment
  3. Email the completed forms, safeguarding policy and risk assessment to us at at least 21 days before you need the licence.
  4. We'll aim to get in touch within 10 working days to let you know any next steps.

Download the BOPA licence forms

Conditions to meet

Before we'll give you a BOPA licence, you'll need to show us:

  • What actions you're taking to ensure the safety of the children in the performances, including any potential physical, emotional or psychological risks.
  • The children's education won't be affected by the performances and demonstrate what actions you're taking to ensure this, if necessary.

You can tell us about these conditions and any actions you're taking on the application form.

We may refuse to give you a Body of Person's Approval licence if we believe the performance will damage a child's health, care or education.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.

Validity and renewals

Your BOPA licence will last only for the performances listed on your application form, unless we tell you otherwise.

Appeals, complaints and redress

You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we refused your application and what actions you can take before reapplying.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to your local magistrates' court.

Fines and penalties

If a child performs in a production you're responsible for when you don't have a child performance licence or a BOPA licence, you could face a fine of up to £1,000. You could also be sentenced to up to 3 months in prison.

Contact us