Do I need a licence?


You must apply for eitherLicence or an Exemption for child performances.

The rules governing performances

The rules governing children in entertainment covers children who take part in 'performances', including all broadcast/theatre performances, child photography and modelling.

Some performances may not require a licence. If you think you do not require a licence then you must apply for an exemption.


We can help you find a chaperone, or apply to become a chaperone.

Other important things to remember

  • A child must not take part in a performance or activity except under the authority of a licence. Backdated licences cannot be issued, as the process is to safeguard the children.
  • When a licence is requested Liverpool City Council requires 21 days notice.
  • When a licence is requested at a short notice, Liverpool City Council will try to accommodate requests.  However, there must be enough time to deal with the application details beforehand.

Do I need a licence or an exemption?

Licences are required for any performance:

  • When a charge is made.
  • When on licensed premises or in a registered club.
  • When broadcast or recorded by any means with a view to its use in a broadcast or film intended for public exhibition.
  • When absence from school is required.

Exemptions are required for:

  • Academic Performances - if a child takes part in three or less performances in any six -month period (provided there is no absence from school).
  • Performances put on by a body approved by secretary of state (Home Office) or Liverpool City Council for which no payment is made to the child or any other person (this could include amateur productions, drama societies, churches, scouts and other youth organizations) except for determining expense.
  • Any activity which Liverpool City council  does not consider to be a performance e.g. children interviewed or filmed while taking part in a normal activity; not specifically arranged for the purpose; such as doing ordinary school lessons, playing in the park or at a youth club.


With a Warrant

An officer of Liverpool City Council, or a Police Officer, may enter any place where there is reasonable cause to believe that employment is taking place.

Without a Warrant

An officer of Liverpool City Council, or a Police Officer, may at any time enter any place:

  • Used as a broadcasting or film studio;
  • Used for the recording of any film in the performance which is intended for public exhibition and make enquiries about any child or children taking part;
  • A child is believed to be taking part in a performance or being trained for dangerous performances and may make enquiries about the child.


Apply for a licence 

Apply for an exemption