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Child performance licence

School aged children who perform in television, film, on stage, in commercial work, who work as models or take part in paid or professional sport need a performance licence.

About the licence

A performance licence outlines the arrangements in place for a child to take part in a performance. The licence is needed before the performance takes place. An adult responsible for the production, such as a producer, must apply for licence. The licence must be held on set in case of an inspection.

The legislation around performance licences is the Children and Young Persons Act.

Who needs a performance licence

All children age 0 to 16 years* who:

  • perform in television, on film or stage
  • take part in commercial work
  • work as models
  • take part in paid or professional sport

*Up until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they are 16 and leaving year 11.

In some cases a child performance licence may not be needed. We will consider an exemption when the child:

  • has not performed for more than 4 days in the previous 6 months
  • isn't getting paid
  • doesn't need to take time off school

Before you start

You will need a:

  • passport sized photo
  • a copy of the child's Birth Certificate or valid passport
  • a letter from the school authorising time off school (if needed)

You will need a medical certificate (valid for 6 months from date of issue) if a child is taking part in a:

  • broadcast performance (TV or radio) that lasts more than a week and the child performs on 6 days during that week (5 days for sound broadcasting)
  • sporting activity or modelling

Apply for a licence or exemption

Complete the application form and return it to us:

We aim to process any performance or exemption licence applications within 28 working days on receipt of the form. We cannot guarantee this deadline, especially during busy periods (Easter, November and Christmas).

Read our DCC child performance licensing policy

Chaperone licences

All children engaged in a public performance or entertainment under a performance licence must legally be supervised by a licensed chaperone or their parent.

Find out more about chaperone licences.

Read our child performance licence privacy notice to find out how we use your application information.

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