You can become a member of BBE either as an organisation or as an individual

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 can now act as 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. 

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

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

  • Administered by BBE with knowledge of the practicalities of banding activities. This provides a consistent application process to use the BBE-held BOPA that does not vary according to the local authority in which the performance takes place;

  • A simple Online Application process to obtain approval to exempt your performance under the BOPA;
  • Gives bands an optional advertising opportunity for their events;
  • Licensed Chaperones are not required as Bands will complete the NSPCC developed BandSafe training;
  • Supervising adults are able to play with the band providing supervision takes priority;
  • Supports the band to have best practice safeguarding in place rather than undertaking a large admin exercise;
  • Can be used on all member events from 1 July 2019 onwards, providing BOPA conditions are met;
  • BBE can provide DBS checks free to volunteers;
  • BBE inspections as a support mechanism for safeguarding; 
  • BBE advice over the phone;
  • No child data collection needed. However, the organisation will hold information of each child performing for permission, photographic consent, emergency medical information and contact details for all performances. This data will not need to be shared with BBE or the local authority;
  • Avoids applications across multiple local authorities;
  • Can be used by bands and event organising members of Brass Bands England;

As members of BBE, bands can gain cover from 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. As part of the online application to use the BBE-held BOPA, BBE will provide a permission certificate to cover the event, DBS checks and safeguarding advice and training, thereby significantly reducing the legal and administrative burden placed on bands to comply with CPL.

Using BBE’s BOPA, BBE member bands, Associations and Events 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, or if children will be absent from school. In discussions with the Department for Education and the Welsh Government, BBE has raised some of the issues faced by bands and, as a result, BBE has put measures in place to support bands in using the BBE-held BOPA via the new online application process.

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 which BBE can provide for free to members. It will also be acceptable for supervising adults to play with the band providing they maintain sight of the children in their care. As part of the online application process bands will not be asked to pass data to BBE about the participants other than the total number taking part, although bands will still be required to hold emergency contact and medical information themselves along with photographic consent.

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!


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. Local authorities may still inspect events but 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.