External Speakers

This article will cover why external speakers need to be approved and the process to approve them.

Why do external speakers need to be approved?

All Universities are required to operate a Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech under the Education Act 1994. To ensure we are compliant and respect the College’s Code of Practice to ensure Freedom of Speech for speakers. 

For these reasons all external speakers must be approved whether they come into our space to speak or speak at an online event.

Any speaker who is not a current Imperial College Student or Staff member is considered to be an external speaker. Please note Imperial College Hospital Trust is a separate entity from Imperial College University. For this reason, Doctors who practice medicine in Imperial College Hospital Trust would need an external speaker approval. As would alumni as they would no longer be Imperial staff or student.


Process for approving external speakers 

What you'll need to complete the approval form,

Details of your guest speaker, full name(s), and sponsoring/relevant organisations of any speakers, the location or online platform of the event along with a detailed description of the talk or session which is intending to be delivered.

There must be at least one clear week between the decision being made and the event. It is the responsibility of the CSP to ensure that forms are submitted with enough notice. We recommend a minimum of three weeks before the chosen event date.

If a request is not submitted or is not submitted within the above time frame, Imperial Union College may stop the event from taking place.  

  1. Event organisers must submit a new request for an External Speaker. This request should be submitted for online and in person events.
  2. Student Opportunity & Development Team will review this request.
    • If the speakers is identified as non-controversial the event will be approved.
    • If the speaker is identified as controversial, the Union will get feedback from College security and the event organisers will be asked to attend a meeting with DPCS, ICU Senior Management to see how the risk could be lowered and then approved. If risks can’t be lowered the event may be denied.

Occasionally the decision on whether or not to allow the event to go ahead will be referred to the College so it is essential speaker request forms are submitted at least three weeks before the event date.

The College may decide to stop events (right up until the event start time) and request a number of conditions and restrictions. These could include restricting the event to Imperial College students and staff only, banning recording devices at the event, having an independent Chair, or requiring extra security staff.

If parking spaces are required for speakers etc. They must be requested well in advance by booking with college car parking. It is not possible for parking to be arranged on the day of an event.


Below you will find links to all relevant policies that relate to this process. 

If a policy has expired, rest assured we will be reviewing it as soon as possible. For more information about policies and how they're passed, please contact the Deputy President Clubs & Societies, DPCS@imperial.ac.uk 

Do you need help?

Management Group Committee/ Constituent Union Commitee: Your MG Chair/CU Committee is trained to help you with this topic. Please find your relevant contact here.

Union Email Contact:  activities@imperial.ac.uk 

Contact: Student Opportunities and Development Manager

121 Session: Available for this topic, book here

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