Apply for Body of Persons (BOPA) approval

An organisation can seek Body of Persons approval (BOPA) for a performance or series of performances involving children. This removes the need to get individual child performance licences.

A performance and its participants can be covered by BOPA if:

  • no payment is given to the child or to anyone else on behalf of the child’s performance
  • the child will not be absent from school for more than half a day for the performance
  • the child will not have performed for more than four days in the last six months, including the dates of the performance in question
  • the performance venue requires or has a premises licence

If the above circumstances do not apply to a child who is participating in a performance, then they will need a child performance licence.

BOPA covers the entire organisation and not just the children involved. Before giving approval, we check that the organisation has clear safeguarding policies in place to protect the children involved. If an organisation has BOPA, it means they are suitable for children.

BOPA is normally issued to:

  • amateur dramatic societies and groups
  • dance schools 
  • choirs

The lead organiser of the performance should apply for BOPA. They should apply to the local authority where the performance is taking place. It doesn’t matter if the children involved live somewhere else.

If you are not sure the performance venue is in Swindon borough, you should check which council area the venue is in.

What you’ll need

You need to scan and upload these documents to apply:

  • A copy of the completed BOPA paper application form (PDF)
  • A copy of the child protection or safeguarding policy
  • Proof of permission from the child or children's school(s)
  • Proof of permission from the child or children's parent(s) or carer(s)

Apply for BOPA

If you need more information about BOPA, read our guide to child entertainment and chaperones (PDF) or visit the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment website.

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