GCS learning resources
Boost your communication skills and knowledge with GCS on-demand learning resources.
Civil servants working in communication are expected to be up to date with learning.
We recommend you review your learning on an annual basis, with your Professional Development Plan.
These courses and guides together provide a sound base for understanding the role and expectations of government communications in practice.
All civil servants also benefit from and have access to training through Civil Service Learning.
Plan your professional development
As communications professionals, our work must always be of the highest standard, supporting ministers to deliver the government’s priorities. We can help you plan your professional development by using our learning and development offer (L&D) and a Personal Development Plan (PDP).
Civil servants working in government communications are required to complete 3 core courses and record them in their PDPs.
Introduction to propriety and ethics for government communication
Maintaining a high standard of propriety and ethics within government communications is fundamental to preserving the public’s trust in the government.
This introductory course will help you to demonstrate an understanding of what is meant by propriety and ethics and to identify and understand the core concepts and principles relevant to you. Using case studies and examples, it will help you to apply these principles whilst you’re carrying out day-to-day tasks in communications.
Watch Digital accessibility: best practice essentials webinar to learn how to apply techniques and best practices for making your content more accessible. This webinar is worth 2 CPD points.
Working with Parliament: Introduction to Parliament
This course explains Parliament’s role in holding the government to account. It highlights why this affects civil servants, and maps out the various ways they may need to interact with parliamentary scrutiny.
Explore on-demand resources
Access on-demand webinars, podcasts, guidance, publications and reading lists to help build your personal development plan.
The resources are categorised by discipline and type of content.
- Digital skills series (Core)
- GDS podcast (public)
- Building advocacy to get great communications outcomes (Core)
- Evaluating external affairs (Core)
- Introduction to external affairs (GCS members access) (Core)
- Building an internal communications campaign that works (public)
- Key issues in stakeholder management (public)
- Creating a communications plan for a senior leader (Core)
- Introduction to Internal Communications with Russell Grossman (Core and Associate)
- Introduction to internal communications (Core)
- Moving from internal communications to employee engagement (public, external webinar)
- Why planned change rarely happens, but how IC can help effect rescue! (Core)
- The role of internal communications in business change (Core)
- Working with special advisers and ministers (Core)
- IC Space (public)
- Internal Communications: A 101 Guide for New Managers (public, external blog)
- Internal communications: insight and evaluation (GCS members access) (Core and Associate)
- Secrets of speechwriting (Core)
- BBC podcast: the truth about fake news (public, external podcast)
- GCS in conversation with Neil Smith on media handling during crisis (Core and Associate)
- GCS Scotland in conversation with Graeme Donohoe on reporting a crisis (Core and Associate)
- GCS Scotland in conversation with Chris Starrs on continuity management during a crisis (Core and Associate)
- GCS in conversation with David Ross on managing a crisis (Core and Associate)
- GCS in conversation with Anna Macmillan on working collaboratively during a crisis (Core and Associate)
- GCS Scotland in conversation with Richard Baker on rebranding during a crisis (Core and Associate)
- Modern Media Operations guide (public)
- Crisis management strategies: Ian Mitroff on successfully managing crises (public, external webinar)
- High concern communications (Core)
- How to set up your campaign objectives using the OASIS model (Core)
- Lessons from Washington Embassy (Core)
- Understanding audiences: getting the best out of ourselves and others (Core)
- The science and art of storytelling with Emily Tofield (Core)
- Union and devolution communications (Core)
- Using behavioural science to communicate strategically (COM-B) (Core)
- Advanced behavioural science for communicators (Core)
- Business partnering for government communication (public)
- Emergency Planning Framework (public)
- Planning and Delivering Effective Communications Partnership Strategies (public)
- Principles of Behaviour Change Communications (public)
- RESIST 2 Counter Disinformation toolkit (public)
- Strategic Communications: a behavioural approach (public)
- The Principles of Behaviour Change Communications (public)
- Working together: a toolkit for campaigns collaboration across the public sector (public)
The resources are categorised by discipline and grade.
Other learning opportunities
Civil Service Learning
The Civil Service Learning website offers learning and development that supports you to provide excellent public services.
Whether you are presenting at internal meetings, briefings and public events to large or small groups of people, the techniques in this course will enable you to get your message across more effectively and confidently.
Good writing is essential for delivering public services, developing policy and improving your personal effectiveness.