A chaperone acts in place of a parent to the child or children under his/her care when they are modelling, performing on stage, or taking part in a film production, radio or television programme. A chaperone is expected to exercise the same care and control as a good parent would with a view to securing a child's health, comfort, kind treatment and moral view.

The Licensing Authority shall not approve a chaperone unless they are satisfied that he/she is suitable and competent to exercise proper care and control of a child, and must be over 18 years old.

Duties of a chaperone

  • Your first duty is to the care of the children. To do this you will need to get to know them well and be aware of their needs.
  • Up to 12 children can be looked after at any one time by a chaperone. However, we consider this to be too many particularly when there are a variety of ages.
  • If the child is taken ill you (applicant) will be responsible for contacting a doctor/child's parents if necessary.
  • You will be required to be in charge of the child at all times except when the child is with his tutor or parent. This will include on the set, in the dressing rooms, during recreation, meal and break times. You must not undertake any other duties that could separate you from the child.
  • Whilst on the set or stage you must be alert to all health and safety issues.
  • Act as intermediary between the child and the production company particularly if facilities are found 'wanting'. (At times, you may find yourself under pressure from the production company to relax the rules. Remember your responsibility is to the child's well-being not the production company).
  • During the intervals between performing and rehearsing, you will be required to occupy the child with a variety of activities.
  • Your lodging accommodation must be at the same address as the child and [where possible] in adjoining rooms. You must make sure that the accommodation is suitable eg clean, adequate room and toilet facilities.
  • You must also ensure that all meals are provided both on and off the set.

Record keeping

A record must be kept to show:

  • the place of and dates of the performance
  • when performing or at rehearsals, break times or waiting between performances
  • before any rehearsal/performance takes place you must ensure that the producer/agent is in receipt of the child's licence and that you have a copy
  • all children are required to attend a school full-time during term time or be provided with adequate tuition. It is the chaperone's duty to ensure that this takes place. Records should be kept to show whether the child is attending school or receiving tuition.

It is your duty to ensure that the Licensing regulations are upheld at all times. You will need to have a good knowledge of the regulations and where to go to for advice.

Restrictions on performance

You can find further information relating to child performance regulations from the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (PDF).

Guide for chaperones

You can find out more about being a chaperone by reading our guide: Recognising Child Abuse - Guide for Chaperones (PDF).

Applying for a chaperone licence

Any trustworthy person male or female can apply to be a chaperone. You need to enjoy working with children of all ages (up to compulsory school age) and be able to understand them. As much of your time is spent 'hanging around' production, sets/theatres you will need patience and resourcefulness to deal with children waiting around.

Online applications will need to be completed in full for those who live in Bedford Borough (It should be noted that incomplete applications will delay the process):

  • Complete the online form in full including your official name in full
  • Two references will need to be provide on the online form (ensure you have all their details including email addresses)
  • Complete the e-learning L2 Safeguarding Children course via this link: Safeguarding Bedfordshire Training (When completed please upload your certificate to your online application)
  • Upload relevant documents eg passport, birth certificate, driving licence and recent letter with full address etc.
  • A digital photograph (head and shoulders only)
  • Payment for an ID Card £3 (additional mandatory charges apply for a volunteer/professional chaperone DBS applications, see below)
  • You will be contacted for a face-to-face interview on receipt of the eform

 In order to be successful in your chaperone application you must comply with all of the above.

Chaperone application form

Mandatory charges

Charges apply to both enhanced professional and volunteer DBS applications, Bedford Borough Council's HR department will invoice the applicant for the payments for the DBS application being processed.

DBS Application (Enhanced)

DBS Charge

Administrative Charge

Overall Charge



£17.50 + plus VAT

£55.50 + plus VAT



£17.50 + plus VAT

£17.50 + plus VAT

Bedford Borough Council's HR department will send you a link to complete your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service form.

The results of the DBS check will be sent to the you. Once the DBS has been received, please contact the Licensing Officer for further details.

Please note DBS applications can take up to 6-8 weeks, you are not allowed to chaperone until we have approved and a chaperone ID card is issued.

You will need to re-apply for a licence every three years when another check will be made with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

DBS Update Service

We recommend applicants register with the online DBS Update Service as this allows applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date when their licence needs to be renewed, providing there have been no changes to their DBS. 


It is Bedford Borough Council’s practice that inspections are carried out at places of entertainment within Bedford. The Licensing Officer carrying out the inspection would make him/herself known to the chaperone on arrival and will have identification with him/her.


Bedford Borough Council has the right to refuse an application and withdraw a chaperone licence (Chaperone ID card) if the application is completed inaccurately and if the applicant fails / refuses to pay mandatory charges.

If you can't find the answer to a question you may have on this page, please email