BBE BOPA for Child Performance Licensing | Brass Bands England

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BBE BOPA for Child Performance Licensing

BBE has a national Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) that members can apply to use to cover their performances as an alternative to applying for Child Performance Licensing (CPL) for performances in England and Wales. This offers a significant administrative saving to members who use the online application process.

When does Child Performance Licensing Apply?

A PDF of the decision tree can be found on this link.

Child Performance Licensing will apply to your performances if you have any children of 'compulsory school age' (defined as the last Friday in June of Year 11) taking part and one of the criteria below applies. In practice, in England and Wales, this means any children in Year 11 or below. You need to comply if any of the following apply:

  • Tickets are sold or other charges made (i.e. fee to participate, donations collected);

  • The performance venue has a licence to sell alcohol;

  • The performance is broadcast;

  • The performance is recorded.

There is an exemption if the child has not taken part in more than three performances in the previous six months. In practice, this is of no use to children performing regularly with a band and can be more admin to check than to add a child to the BBE BOPA. As such, our recommendation is not to attempt to use the exemption due to the risk of getting it wrong.

Getting permission to use the BBE-held BOPA

BBE is your one-stop shop to comply with CPL legislation. To receive permission to use the BBE-held BOPA to exempt your performance, your band will need to meet a set of standards, which include safeguarding training and completing the Bandsafe toolkit to write your band’s safeguarding policy. You will also need to perform DBS checks on your supervising adults. These checks can be carried out via BBE for free. 

Members can find out about using the BBE BOPA in this members' resource.

Reasons for using the BBE-held BOPA to exempt your performances

The BBE-held BOPA:

  • is administered by BBE who have knowledge of the practicalities of banding activities and can offer tailored advice.

  • is simple, with an online application process which does not vary according to the local authority in which the performance takes place;
  • avoids applications across multiple local authorities as the BOPA is just sent to the authority in which the event is taking place
  • can be used by bands and event organising members of Brass Bands England providing BOPA conditions are met;
  • supports bands to have best practice safeguarding in place;
  • does not require licensed chaperones but does need someone who has completed our NSPCC endorsed Bandsafe training to attend;
  • allows supervising adults to play with the band providing they have sight and sound of the children in their care at all times
  • gives bands an optional advertising opportunity for their events;

BBE member bands can apply to use the BBE-held BOPA, which exempts them from the legal requirement of applying for individual Child Performance Licences (CPL) for every child aged 16 or under in their band. Bands have to satisfy certain conditions to be able to apply to use the BBE BOPA:

  • Bands need to be BBE members
  • Bands need to have reviewed their safeguarding policy using the BBE Toolkit in the last 18 months
  • Two band members have to have completed Bandsafe training in the last 2 years
  • Bands need to meet all BBE's terms and conditions

Using BBE’s BOPA, bands and event organising members will also be able to cover their own events under a BOPA without the need to apply to the local authority for a BOPA directly. This provides bands with a consistent application process across England and Wales. This exemption is not applicable if a child performer is being paid and might not be applicable if children will be absent from school. In the case of school absence please contact BBE for further advice.

When making use of the BBE-held BOPA, bands will not need to have Licenced Chaperones but will need supervising adults to have DBS checks. BBE member bands can apply through us for free DBS checks for supervising adults. Supervising adults can play with the band providing they maintain sight and sound of the children in their care at all times. Bands most hold permissions, photographic consent, emergency medical information and contact details for those aged 16 or under but are not be asked to pass data to BBE about the participants other than the total number of children aged 16 or under taking part.

As a bonus, when bands apply for the BBE-held BOPA, the system will create an event advert listing free-of-charge on the BBE events page, thus turning an administrative exercise into an advertising opportunity!

BBE members bands can find out more here.


In addition to administering the BBE-held BOPA system, the Department of Education and the Welsh Government have instructed BBE to carry out spot checks on events. Please note that local authorities may still inspect events. BBE inspections will be used to help bands ensure they are meeting expectations. This also means that BBE can support bands with specialist knowledge in their safeguarding activities during inspections.

How to join BBE

Information on how to join Brass Bands England and details of the organisation’s services can be found at or by calling the National Office on 01226 771015.