1. Purpose and Scope
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out the arrangements for assessing the risks around particular events and external speakers, and for managing those risks.
1.2 The Academy of Contemporary Music has welcomed many external speakers since commencing delivery of music industry programmes in 1995. Such speakers have brought and continue to bring great diversity of experience, insight and opinion for the benefit of students, staff and visitors.
1.3 This Policy applies to all staff, students, and third parties of ACM and to all Academy-controlled activities undertaken in the UK, and has been developed with regard to the PREVENT Duty, Equality and Diversity policy, and institutional strategic objectives.
Legal Context and ACM’s Approach
2.1 All students and staff have the right to participate without fear of intimidation, harassment and threatening or extremist behaviour. The key factor for the preservation of academic freedom is tolerance and a respect for diversity. Intolerance involves behaviour motivated by prejudice or hatred that intentionally demeans individuals and groups defined by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or belief, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably, fear harassment, intimidation or violence. ACM has a duty of care to all of its students and staff.
2.2 ACM values the opportunities presented by external speakers for students and staff to experience diverse opinion and to enter into debate. This is seen as an essential part of both personal, professional, and academic development.
2.3 ACM values the tradition of academic freedom and holds that no subject or belief should be excluded from reasonable, constructive discussion and debate. ACM values freedom of opinion and speech but recognises that, in the interests of the whole learning community, this must exist within formal guidelines.
2.4 ACM recognises and supports moral and legal frameworks of the society and community within which it works.
2.5 ACM will not accept the use of language by external speakers that offends and is considered to be offensive or intolerant. Specifically, this means offensive, misogynistic, misanthropic, sexual or racist language irrespective of context. Direct attacks on any religions or beliefs are not condoned.
2.6 ACM will not tolerate any person who intentionally demeans individuals and groups defined by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or belief, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably, fear harassment, intimidation or violence.
Booking an External Speaker
2.7 Anyone organising an event must follow the process detailed below.
2.8 The majority of external speaker requests will be straightforward and can be handled entirely at a local (departmental) level. In these cases, following the steps outlined in the “Local assessment of proposed external speaker(s)” 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 – to events or speakers deemed to be higher-risk.
2.9 All requests for an external speaker are to be submitted by the event organiser making the request using the appropriate form to the Industry Link team at least ten working days before the planned event.
2.10 A transcript of the intended talk must be provided, where requested, and a written undertaking to abide by the provisions of this policy and to uphold the ACM policy on Equality and Diversity. Requests that do not comply with this provision will be refused. If the risk is considered medium to high risk a transcript must be attached to the External Speaker Submission Form.
2.11 ACM reserve the right to require references for the proposed speaker and also to refuse permission for the speaker to visit ACM. A refusal is final.
2.12 An appropriate member of staff will be present at all talks to monitor any concerns.
2.13 Speakers must be informed that all such events may be recorded/filmed by ACM. These recordings are for future reference and marketing purposes associated to ACM and to prevent the abuse of trust.
Assessment of Proposed External Speaker(s)
2.14 Prior to the confirmation of any external speaker, the event organiser will be responsible for assessing the speaker against the following set of questions:
Question 1: Has the speaker previously been prevented from speaking at ACM or another college or University or previously known to express views that could place at risk public order and safety, or represent a breach of law and 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 speakers may place at risk public order and safety, or represent a breach of law and 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 place at risk public order and safety, or represent a breach of law and breach of the External Speaker Code of Conduct.
If the answer to all three questions is NO:
The event organiser can confirm the external speaker and book them to speak at their event or activity. It is required that the external speaker is sent the External Speaker Code of Conduct and Declaration Form to sign before the event takes place.
If the answer to any of the questions is unclear:
The event organiser must seek guidance from their line manager and respective Campus Head of Education, whose responsibility will be to further review the speaker(s) against the questions above and information submitted via the ACM External Speaker Submission Form.
If the answer to any of the questions is YES:
It is the responsibility of the event organiser to refer the External Speaker Submission form to the Director of Creative Industry Development. Where there are Prevent Related concerns the submission form shall be also sent to the ACM Prevent Lead. The ACM Prevent Lead will seek advice from the Regional Prevent Coordinator before reaching any decision.
Process for Assessment and Referral
2.15 The event organiser should use the External Speaker Submission Form to detail the event and review potential risk. In the case of referral the form should be submitted to the Director of Creative Industry Development and ACM Prevent Duty Lead with any other information as available. Where appropriate ACM will seek the advice of external agencies as to whether a particular event should take place.
3. Management of External Speakers
3.1 Any external speaker or event to be hosted by or at an ACM campus must be aware of, and comply with the ACM External Speaker Code of Conduct. It is the responsibility of the person organising the event to ensure that the speaker receives the ACM External Speaker Code of Conduct and has their attention drawn to its contents, and the declaration form is signed and returned for central keeping by the Industry Link Team.
4. Responsible Parties
4.1 The policy lead is responsible for the cyclical monitoring and review of the policy in liaison with the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager. The External Speaker and Events Policy lead is the:
- Director of Creative Industry Development
4.2 Implementation and compliance with the Policy, overseen by the following designated staff:
- Prevent Duty Lead (currently Head of Quality and Student Experience)
- Industry Link Team
- Executive Council
- Education Executive
- Campus Heads of Education
- Human Resource Department
- Designated Safeguarding Lead
5. Reference Points
- The Prevent Policy
- External Speaker Submission Form
- External Speaker Code of Conduct and Declaration Form
- Safeguarding Policy
- Safeguarding Procedure
- Critical Incident Policy
- Equality and Diversity Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Staff Disciplinary Policy
- Acceptable Use of IT and E-Safety Policy
- The Prevent Duty
- The Charity Commission: Safeguarding children and young people
- Higher Education and Research Act 2017
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups 2006
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015
- Safe Campus Communities (http://www.safecampuscommunities.ac.uk/ )
6. Date of Approval and Next Review
Approved on: 22 Aug 2018
Approved by: Academic Board
Next Review: 01 Aug 2019
The .pdf version of this policy linked above contains the External Speaker Submission form.