Safe space policy


SfAM is responsible for creating spaces, both offline and online, that are welcoming and respectful to everyone. Adhering to these agreements is a collective responsibility and everyone is individually responsible for checking their own behaviour. This includes SfAM members, committees, and staff.

This policy aims to enable group participants to enjoy, participate in and contribute to the SfAM community. It exists to ensure that individuals do not feel harassed or uncomfortable participating in group activities or communications.

SfAM Groups exist to provide members a platform to communicate with other members on a range of interests, which may include topics directly or indirectly related to applied microbiology or microbiologists. These groups enable members to express themselves, which provides members with the opportunity to exchange diverse perspectives and ideas. This in turn provides the opportunity to make research better and more relevant to all members of society. This approach to seek diversity is not to use differences to further marginalise groups without power or those who experience systemic exclusion. 


SfAM is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for all Groups participants, regardless of protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010 or aspects of diversity not currently covered by the Act (e.g. socio-economic status). SfAM does not accept harassment or intimidation of Groups participants in any form whether verbal, physical, or written (including on Social Media or by email).

Harassment includes, but is not limited to: 

  1. Offensive or unwanted conduct on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation which has the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment. 
  1. Use of sexualised or other inappropriate images or unwelcome sexualised content, inappropriate contact, unwelcome sexual attention or stalking. 
  1. Unwanted recording of conversations in groups and taking/sharing images without consent.

Intimidation includes, but is not limited to: 

  1. Making threats 
  1. Bullying 
  1. Personal attacks 

SfAM Groups participants who do not adhere to these rules will be asked to stop and expected to comply immediately. Participants may be removed from any group at the discretion of the SfAM group moderators if this behaviour continues.

If you are being harassed/intimidated, notice that someone else is being harassed/intimidated, or have any other concerns, please contact one of the SfAM group moderators immediately. They will be happy to help those experiencing harassment or intimidation to feel safe to participate in all future group activities. They will be able to step in to remove you or others from a chain of communication, if this is the preferred action, and can also facilitate a discussion or mediation. If you wish, you may also nominate someone else to support facilitating any mediation or as an observer to this process.

SfAM welcomes feedback on how we might improve this policy and make SfAM events, meetings and activities a safer space.