Share this page:

Booking External Speakers

Canterbury Christ Church University is an academic community of staff and students.

Central to this concept, and the University’s values as a Church of England Foundation, is the ability of all its members freely to challenge prevailing orthodoxies, query the positions and views of others and to put forward ideas that may sometimes be radical in their formulation, and the University recognises all forms of expression under the law.

There are some important documents that you need to be aware of

What do I have to do if I am organising an external speaker for an event outside a taught or research programme?

There are special arrangements for events involving external speaker. The Principal Organiser is responsible for arranging the event.

There is Advice to Principal Organisers: Steps to be followed in Organising an External Speaker to a Specified Event to assist you in planning your event. This Advice sets out the steps require by the Code of Practice on the Freedom of Speech and External Speakers.

The Arranging for an External Speaker Flow Chart should assist you in identifying key questions and actions to be addressed.

You will need to complete an External Speakers Planning Form. Although this is part of the response to the Prevent duty, it is meant to help organisers think about the practicalities of planning an event. It has been devised and developed on a pilot basis. It will be developed further in the light of experience to assist those undertaking planning.

What do I have to do I am organising external speakers and events as part of a taught or research programme?

The vast majority of events and external speakers arranged as part of a University programme and are open only to the students on that programme (or research students registered on any research programme) are not subject to the special arrangements.

Only ‘specified events’ require the Principal Organiser to complete an External Speakers Planning Form, together with the written risk assessment.

Organisers of events might wish to make use of the External Speakers Planning Form to assist the planning process even when it is not required.

What is a ‘specified event’?

A 'specified event' which is one involving an external speaker; and where.

(a) the speaker has previously been known to express views that may be considered controversial, although is to be recognised that views and opinions change and consideration needs to be given to timeliness; or

(b) the speaker has previously been prevented from speaking at another University or similar establishment, but the decision of another institution does not bind the University in its decision-making; or

(c) the proposed title or theme of the event presents a potential risk that views or opinions expressed by speakers may be considered controversial; or

(d) the proposed speaker/theme is likely to attract attendance from individuals/groups that have previously been known to express views that may be considered controversial; or

(e) the extent to which there is a potential threat to the safety of the speaker or others, or to preventing the speaker from participating in the event.

Where an event is a specified event, you will need to complete a Health and Safety Risk Assessment.

Who decides whether an event is a ‘specified event’?

In the first instance, the Principal Organiser decides whether the events or speaker is to be regarded as controversial, as they are best placed to undertake the necessary due diligence.

It is always debatable whether an event should be considered controversial. However, the purpose of the planning purpose is to address potential issues in advance. The External Speakers Planning Form is intended to assist in this process.

The University will review applications for events that include external speakers. There is a presumption that an event will proceed and the planning reviewed on this basis.

Where the Principal Organiser determines an event is not a ‘specified event’, the decision will be reviewed by Registry and other professional services based on the External Speakers Planning Form. The University may determine this to be a ‘specified event’ and require the Principal Organiser to plan accordingly.

No speaker from an organisation proscribed by law will be allowed to speak at the University.

Suggestions for improvement are welcomed at any time, by emailing

Where can I obtain advice?

If you need advice on publicising the event, contact the Corporate Communications team.

If you need advice on arranging stewarding and/or security, contact the Security Manager.

If you need general advice contact