External Speaker Policy

This webpage outlines the procedures of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (hereafter Central) for booking an external speaker, along with the External Speaker Code of Conduct and the External Speaker Referral Form.

1. Introduction

Central has a rich history as an academic and artistic institution that has regularly welcomed external speakers from around the world to its campus. Such speakers have brought and continue to bring great diversity of experience, insight and opinion, enriching our events and activities and sparking discussion and debate among our students, staff and visitors alike.

The purpose of this policy is to set in place a governing framework for 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.

2. Booking an External Speaker

Anyone organizing an event that includes one or more external speakers must follow the process described in this Policy before booking the speaker(s).

The majority of external speaker requests will be straightforward and can be handled entirely at a local level by the staff or students concerned. In these cases, following the steps outlined in Section 3 below will suffice.

However, some requests may be complex and may require referral for further consideration. The referral process will only apply in a minority of circumstances where events or speakers are deemed to be higher-risk.

3. Local Assessment of Proposed External Speaker(s)

At least 3 weeks prior to the confirmation of any external speaker, the event organizer will be responsible for assessing the speaker against the following set of questions:

Question 1: Has the speaker previously been prevented from speaking at Central, or another university or similar establishment, or previously been known to express views that may be in breach of the External Speaker Code of Conduct?

Question 2: Does the proposed title or theme of the event present a potential risk that views/opinions expressed by the speaker(s) may be in breach of the External Speaker Code of Conduct?

Question 3: Is the proposed speaker/theme likely to attract attendance from individuals/groups that have previously been known to express views that may be in breach of the External Speaker Code of Conduct?

If the answer to all three questions is NO:

The event organizer can confirm the external speaker and 'book' them to speak at their event or activity in the normal way. It is required that the external speaker be sent a copy of the External Speaker Code of Conduct.

If the answer to any of the questions is UNCLEAR:

The event organizer must seek guidance from their line manager, the Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Services, or the Pro-Dean and Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, whose responsibility it will be to further review the speaker(s) against the questions above.

Ultimately, if the answer to any of the questions is YES:

It is the responsibility of the event organizer to submit a referral to the EMG Prevent Panel at least 3 weeks prior to the event (submission is via the Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Services). NO speaker(s) can be confirmed (booked) prior to the event organizer receiving authorization from the Academic Registrar on behalf of the EMG Prevent Panel.

Please note that events should not be advertised until the assessment has been undertaken and any subsequent referral has been green-lighted.

4. The Referral Process

To make a speaker referral submission:

  1. Access the External Speaker Policy Referral Form;
  2. Complete all sections of the form with as much detail as possible;
  3. Send the form as an attachment to the Academic Registrar: academic.registrar@cssd.ac.uk

Please note:

  • Central’s Student Union will be responsible for enacting the external speaker booking process and ensuring compliance with the External Speaker Policy for all events managed by them.
  • Central’s Student Union will be responsible for implementing a system to support all student events with proposed external speakers. They will undertake the local assessment with/on behalf of individual students, clubs or societies. In the event that a referral is required, the Student Union President will be responsible for making the submission with/on behalf of the student coordinator.
  • The External Speaker Policy and approval process will be continually reviewed and updated in response to legislative changes and other factors. It is the responsibility of those organizing events to ensure that they are acting in accordance with the most recent version of this Policy, which will be published on Central’s website.