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Events and Speakers Policy and Processes

Management of external events and speakers


Colleges are required to have written procedures to demonstrate their compliance with their new legal duties as set out in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Prevent duty guidance issued by government.  In particular, they are required to have written procedures on how they manage the risk assessment and subsequent management of “external events”, which in this context relates to scheduled or advertised meetings or activities that include visiting speakers (i.e. speakers who are not members of the University or one of the Colleges) and/or significant numbers of people attending from outside of Collegiate Cambridge.

This applies, for example, to student society events hosting a visiting speaker held in College or elsewhere, and to external bookings made with the College (e.g. graduate seminars, alumni events and conferences).


The College is strongly committed to the principle of freedom of speech and expression and will have a published statement to that effect: this must be referenced in an appropriate place for those seeking to book College rooms for an external event: students who take the lead in managing College student societies (including but not limited to the JCR and MCR) should have it brought to their attention.

This document outlines key elements of written procedures for:
  • The management of external events at which controversial views may be expressed (whether or not they are held at the College); and
  • The management of visiting speakers at meetings held within the College.
Approval and risk management of events

All rooms and meeting places of the College have a designated “owner”.  In all cases, the designated owner has the responsibility of ensuring that the rooms and meeting places are used appropriately, and may specify in writing particular terms and conditions relating to the use of that room or meeting place, which may include terms and conditions relating to any particular meeting or activity, if appropriate. 

No external event can take place in a room or meeting place without prior approval by the designated owner, or a member of staff with authority delegated by the owner.  Such decisions are made in the light of information provided by an external event organiser (who must be a specific person, acting on their own behalf or on behalf of an organisation responsible for the external event) through mechanisms set out in detail in the Annex to this policy statement.

Conditions apply to all room bookings for external events, including:
  • The College reserves the right to seek additional information before confirming a booking. 
  • The external event organiser (i.e. the named person making the booking) agrees as a condition of submitting the room booking request to notify the College if any of the details submitted change. 
  • The College reserves the right to review its decision on allowing an external event to proceed if any of the information provided changes.
  • The deliberate provision of false or incomplete information by the external event organiser may be addressed under the disciplinary procedures of the College, if appropriate, or otherwise invalidate the booking.   
An initial room booking should be made through the published process, and will not be considered complete unless it includes the following information, as a minimum:
  • Name and contact details of the external event organiser;
  • Title of the proposed external event;
  • Names of formal presenters or speakers at the external event, if any;
  • Details of any external organisation represented or publicised at the external event;
  • Brief description of proposed talks and/or activities;
  • Dates and times of the proposed external event;
  • Expected number of those attending, including:
  • Student members of the College;
  • Other members of the College;
  • Other members of the University;
  • People external to the College and the University.

The designated owner will use this information to assess the risks of holding the event, including risks specifically relating to the protection of freedom of speech and the Colleges’ responsibility in preventing crime (including the promotion of illegal discrimination or terrorism), and reserves the right to ask the organizer of the event for the personal contact details of the external speaker. 

Activities likely to be considered inappropriate to be conducted on College premises include:
  • Internal or external speakers giving talks which directly or indirectly promote violence towards members of the College or the general public, or which may advance the radicalisation of College members (as it is defined in the Colleges’ statement on freedom of speech);
  • Internal or external speakers whose presence or activity, in the view of the College, carries a reasonable likelihood of risk to the health or safety of its members or of the general public;
  • Physical activities where there has not been due regard for the safety of participants and onlookers;
  • Activities where the College has been advised by the police that they represent a high risk at the specified time or location proposed.


  • Annex: College contacts for booking events and meetings
  • Rooms and meeting places for events are managed by the following people on behalf of the College:
  • Contact (Designated Owner)
  • The Chapel
  • Dean and Chaplain, Dr James Gardom
  • For bookings by students, Fellows and staff of all other public rooms, including the Hall, Old Library Nihon Room, Thomas Gray Room, Outer Parlour, N7, Old Cellars, New Cellars, and lawns
  • Senior Tutor (Dr Dan Tucker)
  • For inquiries by members of the public about booking any public room
  • Catering and Conference Manager

Requests for events must be made online via the College’s rooms management system at  by the event organiser if a member of Pembroke and, where external speakers are attending, ideally at least two weeks in advance of the event. External inquiries should be addressed to (In any event, the organiser will need to take into account any lead time he or she may wish to have to publicise the event: an event should not be publicised before approval has been granted.)  The College reserves the right to refuse outright any requests for the use of a room or meeting place if such a request is made within one week of the proposed event.

Bookings should be made through the systems and persons above.

Please wait until confirmation has been received from the College before publicising an event.  If an event or room booking is refused, you may appeal the decision to the Master in the case of the Chapel, and to the Bursar in the case of all other public rooms.  The appeal decision will be the final decision of the College.