Chaperone licensing

If a child wants to perform in public and their parent or guardian is not with them, a council-approved adult must look after them. They are called chaperones. Chaperones can only be approved and licensed by the local authority in which they live.

Chaperones act in 'Loco Parentis', which means 'in the place of the parent'. Only a parent/carer with parental responsibility or a licensed Chaperone can chaperone for a child in a performance.

Grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, or others cannot chaperone for a child without following the Chaperone Licensing process.

What the role involves

Safeguarding is paramount and as a Local Authority, we have a statutory duty to ensure children are safeguarded, particularly in performance where there may be limited oversight of children. Therefore, only those who are determined to be suitable to chaperone will be approved.

Please be aware of the role and what will be expected of you. There is information available online, including on the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment.

As a chaperone, you may be solely responsible for up to 12 children, depending on:

  • Their age
  • Their abilities
  • The needs of the children
  • Any conditions placed on the performance by the Local Authority

You will need to be aware of:

  • Types of abuse and how to spot them
  • Local reporting processes
  • The legislation and guidance around performance
  • How to appropriately safeguard the children in your care

You will be expected to have some experience in working with children, or to have undertaken some training if you do not have any experience.

Will training be offered?

We are currently arranging for an e-learning package for Chaperone's to complete prior to their interview, at which they will be questioned on their knowledge.

However, in the interim, we ask that you please visit the NNCEE website for further information on the role of a Chaperone.


There is a cost for the application:

  • £35 for volunteers
  • £82.50 for professionals

Remember, it is unlawful to work in a professional chaperoning capacity with a voluntary licence so please choose the correct option in the online form.

How to apply

Southampton City Council will only process applications for chaperones living in the Southampton City area. This is the case if you pay your Council Tax to Southampton City Council. If you are unsure which Local Authority you need to apply to, please visit find your local council.

Organisations who have a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) certificate do not require licensed chaperones.  However, it is recommended that they are used as good practice, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the young people involved in the performance.


Before you fill in this form

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself at least five minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • Details of any previous experience
  • Details of two references who know your experience and suitability to act as a chaperone
  • Payment card details

Apply for a chaperone licence

What happens next

Please allow up to 12 weeks processing from us receiving your application to a licence being issued. This is subject to an Enhanced DBS security check being processed.

If you are successful, a licence will last three years. You will then be required to be interviewed again and a further DBS check undertaken to renew your licence.

Once you are approved to be a chaperone, you must inform us of each performance that you will be chaperoning for. We will issue an approval certificate which will contain the performance details. We will require as much notice as you can provide to issue the approval.

For further information, please contact the Child Employment and Performance Officers by email at