The RVC, as all other higher education institutions, has a responsibility to ensure freedom of speech and academic freedom are  balanced absolutely with our commitment to tolerance, understanding and equality and diversity. Whether one is debating politics, religion, society’s attitude to animals or the ethics of the research environment, we believe that education, knowledge and free and effective debate are central to the enlightenment and respect that we demand of a civilised world.

Professor Stuart Reid, Principal

Prevent is one of four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST). The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a statutory duty for specified public authorities to 'have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.

Universities became subject to the new Prevent duty on 18 September 2015, with OfS (Office for Students) being given responsibility for assessing how they meet the requirements under the new duty.

The RVC will seek to meet its obligations under the Prevent duty by ensuring that proportionate, appropriate and effective measures are put in place to safeguard and support vulnerable individuals within our community.

RVC is committed to ensuring that it remains a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment for teaching, learning and research. In line with OfS requirements the RVC has taken a risk-based approach to implementing the requirements of Prevent, and you can read more about these activities on this page.


What is Prevent?

Prevent is one of the strands of the government’s CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy. The purpose of Prevent is to prevent terrorism. The other strands of CONTEST are Prepare, Protect and Pursue.  

Part 5 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act addresses the risks of being drawn into terrorism and Section 26(1) establishes a duty on a specified authority to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” in the exercise of its functions. This is known as the Prevent duty. Parliament approved statutory guidance covering the implementation of the duty on the 18th September 2015.   

The authorities to which this applies include local councils, prisons, Relevant Higher Education Bodies (RHEBs) and Further Education (FE) colleges, schools, nursery schools, NHS Trusts and chief constables.

OfS is the monitoring body for PREVENT at RHEBs and statutory reporting is submitted for review directly to OfS. The framework for the monitoring of the Prevent duty in higher education in England outlines how the regulator will monitor providers’ implementation of the statutory Prevent duty in the higher education sector in England. 

The RVC approach

The oversight of compliance is led by dedicated Prevent leads, in collaboration with the Student Union and through the formal governance channels of the Student Development Committee and College Executive Committee.

The leads continue to work with key stakeholders across the institution to ensure that the requirements of Prevent are implemented proportionately and effectively. 

The RVC maintains and updates a risk assessment and action plan for implementation to review compliance.

The key areas of policy and practice affected are:

  • Policy and Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Expression
  • Events bookings and space management, on and off campus
  • External speakers and visitors Communications and information sharing, internal and external
  • Acceptable use of RVC facilities, including IT
  • Staff and student wellbeing support infrastructure and faith facilities
  • Engagement with Student Union and societies

Furthermore, the RVC has made a commitment to develop our capability and knowledge in dealing with vulnerable individuals in our community to ensure they are identified and properly supported. All senior staff and key staff in pastoral roles will be briefed on Prevent and how to engage any related enquiries.

The Prevent duty requests senior management oversight of all activities, and the RVC Executive Committee, Audit Committee and Council have all been thoroughly briefed.


Statutory Submissions

On-going monitoring: Please contact the RVC Prevent Leads for copies of the Annual Reports submitted to OfS.

Training resources

It is a statutory requirement for RVC to have a record of your training, as we are obliged to report on this to The Office for Students (OfS) each year.

Further information

Other training resources 

A number of other helpful resources are made available for those seeking additional insight and context of Prevent. 

Further resources

Further guidance


Raising Concerns

Information on what to do if you are concerned that a member of the RVC community is being radicalised (i.e. moved toward an extremist position at odds with the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith) and/or is at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity.

The Royal Veterinary College is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for every member of its community.

  • If you have concerns that a member of the RVC community is being radicalised or is at risk of being drawn into terrorism, you should discuss these concerns as soon as possible with any senior member of staff or one of the Prevent leads via
  • While the RVC cannot respond to anonymous concerns, it will protect the identity of individuals raising concerns as much as possible.
  • Senior staff across all areas of the RVC have been briefed about the Prevent duty. Any of these staff will be able to discuss concerns that are raised with them. Following that discussion, they may conclude that concerns should be referred to the Prevent leads. Alternatively, they may be able to identify other forms of support or intervention that are more appropriate.
  • Where cases are referred to the Prevent leads and only if deemed necessary, they will be considered by a committee composed of relevant senior staff to ensure the approach taken is appropriate and sensitive to the individual’s and RVC community wellbeing and safety.
  • You can contact the RVC Prevent leads on
  • Staff Concern Information Flow (PDF)- please contact the HR Department for up-to-date information

RVC Report + Support

Action Counters Terrorism (ACT Early)

  • If you are worried about someone, you can share your concern, in confidence, with specially trained officers. Call the national police Prevent advice line 0800 011 3764, open 9:00am – 5:00pm every day. Calls outside of these hours will be transferred to specialist Counter Terrorism officers. If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a police non-emergency number is available as a text phone service on 18001 101. Remember in an emergency, please make sure you’re safe and dial 999.
  • Note: under the Terrorism Act (2000), if you believe or suspect that another person is alreadyengaged in illegal terrorist-related activity, you must report this to the Police.

Support for those affected by terrorism incidents

If you have been affected, or know someone who has been affected by incidents of terrorism please seek help, even if you feel you can manage it, as there are a multitude of resources available that will suit your concerns.

  • The Home Office Victims of Terrorism Page provides advice on how to access helplines and charitable funds, mental health support, how to support victims and advice on handling requests from the media if you are more directly involved. 
  • Please approach the Advice Centre if you are a student, or the free, impartial and confidential Counselling Service Care First if you are a staff member (details on HR's intranet pages).
  • Resources for parents, children and their educators can be found on the Home Office Guidance pages, including how to deal with the fears and trauma arising after incidents. 


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