External Speaker Policy

External Speakers bring great diversity of experience, insight and opinion, enriching our events and activities and sparking discussion and debate among our learners, staff and visitors alike. 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set in place a governing framework for events with external speakers to ensure that this proud heritage, where debate, challenge and dissent are not only permitted but expected, can continue for current and future generations, while safeguarding our institution and its staff and learners. The policy outlines the context for the approval of external speakers and events.

This policy aims to ensure that event organisers are aware of the framework we operate within when facilitating external speakers and the measures that may be required to support their event. In line with this policy the Checklist for External Speakers must be completed for EVERY External Speaker.

Definitions

An ‘external speaker’ is deemed to be anybody who is neither a registered student nor a paid employee of BCE. An ‘event’ may be one that is hosted on BCE premises or an external venue hired by BCE.

Organising an Event

Anyone organising an event that involves a speaker or speakers to be hosted by BCE must ensure that this Policy and associated procedure is followed. This includes external speaker events on external premises but associated with BCE. All such events should have a Checklist for External Speakers completed and submitted to the Operations Director for approval.

Approval of an Event with an External Speaker

In allowing speakers to attend BCE, the Operations Director will assess the event based on the understanding that that they will act in accordance with this Policy, the Freedom of Speech Policy, and all other relevant rules and regulations.

In deciding whether to approve an event, BCE aims to abide by all relevant legislation, with particular to its duties to ensure freedom of speech with reference to the Education Act 1982, its duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism with reference to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and its obligation to prevent individuals from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Where risks that a proposed speaker or event risks incitement to commit criminal acts, the expression of hate speech, radicalisation of attendees and/or possible reputational damage, the request will be referred to the Operations Director. He/she will seek advice and guidance from relevant internal and external stakeholders. Any recommendation to cancel or amend the arrangements for a proposed speaker or event will be approved by the Managing Director.

BCE reserves the right to cancel, postpone or request amendment to any proposed event should risks be identified. BCE may, amongst other things:

  • Request submission of the speeches in advance of the event;
  • Place a limit on attendees;
  • Seek declaration of attendees in advance of the event;
  • Request stewards be provided by the organisers;
  • Ensure a presence of a Director to ensure good order;
  • Place a limitation on what attendees may bring to the event, which may include banning food or drink or anything that could be used as a potential weapon;
  • Place a ban on banners, flags, placards or similar items being allowed into the venue and its immediate surroundings;
  • Alter the conduct of the meeting and/or its facilitation.

Any costs incurred by BCE in complying with these conditions may be passed onto the event organiser. Event organisers would be consulted on any conditions or modifications in advance of the event taking place and they would then be responsible for informing the external speaker of the outcome. BCE reserves the right to perform spot checks on events being hosted on BCE premises or other external hosting venues. If there are breaches of policies at any event the matter may be referred for disciplinary or legal action.

Managing Events

It is a criminal offence to incite or encourage others to break the law. All speakers and event attendees are expected to be respectful of the beliefs and opinions of others. Event organisers have a responsibility to ensure that no enforced segregation by gender takes place at any event, unless it is specifically for religious worship or practice, and that attendees have the freedom to choose where they sit.

Event organisers must not knowingly facilitate discrimination by others at the request of an external speaker or an individual attending or wishing to attend an event.

Managing External Speakers

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that all external speakers receive a copy of this Policy and the Freedom of Speech Policy and has their attention drawn to its contents. 
This policy should be read in conjunction with the data protection and complaints policies.