Chaperone licence

Apply for, or renew, a chaperone licence for supervising a child taking part in a performance.

1 When a licence is required

Children who take part in public performances or entertainment under a local authority licence must be looked after by their legal guardian (usually their parent) or an approved local authority registered chaperone. 

Aunts, uncles, grandparents and childminders are not legal guardians (unless the courts have recognised them as such) and will need to apply to be a chaperone.

A chaperone may supervise up to 12 children at a time however we can reduce this number if it is thought necessary, for example because of the children’s ages or the demands of the performance.

2 Responsibilities of a chaperone

A chaperone must show the same care a parent would, and cannot carry on another role at the same time. When the child is performing they must remain in sight of the chaperone.

The chaperone's main responsibilities include:

  • taking action if the child is ill, tired or upset
  • making sure the child has enough breaks, rest and meals
  • thinking about health and safety issues on set/stage.

Regulations exist to protect the child's welfare and prevent the child being exploited. Anyone registering with us must attend a training session to help their understanding of the regulations and the role of the chaperone.

Our officers have the authority to enter any premises unannounced where a performance or entertainment is being performed by children. They will check the children are being properly supervised, and if there is any concern they can take the child out of the performance and/or withdraw the chaperone's licence.

3 Applying for or renewing a chaperone licence

To apply for a licence, you must be:

  • 18 or over
  • living in West Sussex.

We are no longer offering face-to-face training and instead all applicants will need to have completed the NSPCC training course Protecting children in entertainment training for chaperones | NSPCC Learning and have obtained your certificate of completion. This training requires a payment to the NSPCC.

Applications can then be made by our online application form below. This should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

The application requires you to upload the following documents:

  • NSPCC certificate.
  • Copy of your identification documents to enable the Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check.

For more information on what documents are acceptable please see the Government’s web pages for ID checking guidelines for countersignatory applications (GOV.UK).

In addition, you will need to add details of two referees and their email addresses. Please ensure your referees know you have named them and encourage them to respond promptly to contacts from us.

Payment will also be taken during the completion of the form. It is recommended you have everything ready. On submission you will receive an email acknowledgment of your application and information as to how to validate your identification documents.

Chaperone licence online application form (external link)

4 Licence cost

The cost of the licence is in two parts; payment to the NSPCC for the e-learning found on Chaperone licence - West Sussex County Council and a payment to WSCC as follows:

  • If you are becoming licensed as a volunteer and are receiving no payment, the fee is £15.00.
  • If you are working in a professional capacity the fee is £50.00.

5 What happens next?

Once you have completed your training:

  • we will contact your referees by email
  • you will receive an email to activate and complete your part of the DBS online application.

Once we have received a satisfactory DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) disclosure result (which can take 2-6 weeks), and two satisfactory references, approval will be given to issue you with a chaperone licence ID badge. 

The chaperone licence lasts for 3 years. 

It is your responsibility to advise us of any changes to your circumstances or address which may invalidate your licence.

6 Contact our team

Last updated:
1 April 2024
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.