Professional bodies

GCS members are entitled to certain benefits, discounts, and offers available through professional bodies that represent marketing and public relations professionals.


Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)

Get free access to webinars and most events, members discount for face-to-face training and masterclasses with the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

We have a partnership with the PRCA to agree that all GCS Core and Associate members (not Affiliate) are now members of the PRCA. If you work in a communications role within a ministerial or non-ministerial government department or one of their associated arms-length body organisations you are eligible to become a member.

Register on the PRCA website.

Benefits of membership

PRCA is the largest PR association in Europe, representing over 12,000 people in agencies, communications teams, and individuals. GCS staff have full access to the following:

  • Unlimited use of PRCA’s extensive live and interactive webinars
  • Unlimited access to most PRCA’s events
  • Free access to the PRCA’s insight library
  • Free access to the PRCA’s regional and sectoral groups
  • Member discount on all PRCA face to face training and masterclasses
  • Unlimited access to HR Knowledge Base – this offers documentation, templates, contracts, policies and procedures, etc
  • HR News and Legal newsletters
  • PRCAXtra
  • Counselling helpline
  • Access to PRCA research and reports
  • Cover by PRCA Codes of Conduct

On demand webinars

To access to PRCA webinars on demand, GCS members need to:

  1. Contact your development advisor to learn the unique GCS coupon code.
  2. Register on PRCA website: hover on ‘Membership’ and then select ‘Join Today’. You will be recognised as a public sector member by your email domain.
  3. Once registered, choose the webinar of your choice, select on ‘book, ‘add to cart’, ‘Checkout’.
  4. Enter the GCS coupon and select ‘Add coupon’ to redeem your free webinar.

Market Research Society (MRS)

The Market Research Society (MRS) is offering core members of the GCS the opportunity to join the Society as a member at a 50% discount for the first year, plus waiving the joining fee; gaining professional recognition, career and business development and many other benefits.

Join the largest community of research, insight, analytics and marketing sciences professionals. MRS membership is made up of the best and brightest individuals across the research, insight, analytics and marketing sciences sector.

As an MRS member you will benefit from our industry-leading products and services. You receive a passport to respected development programmes, inspiring conferences and empowering networks. Our awards are the most prized in the business and our publications the most widely read. We help you to grow, connect and understand.

MRS is for all those who need or are interested in the development, generation or interpretation of evidence to support commercial or public policy decisions.

Reduced core membership rate (1st year only)

Member: £79 (reduced from £158)
Joining fee: £0 (usually £40)

Annual renewals will be at the standard membership renewal fee.

For more information, visit the Membership section of the MRS website for details.

How to apply for membership

To join as a MRS member, download and complete the Member application form available on the Membership section of the MRS website, quoting ref: GCS1019.

Read the MRS membership terms and conditions.


The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is a professional body for PR practitioners.

Becoming a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner

If you have completed three years of GCS Learning and Development, you are eligible to become a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner.

What is chartered status?

Most established professions have chartered status, and everyone understands the value of a professional opinion from a chartered accountant, a chartered surveyor or a chartered engineer. In public relations, chartered status is more recent, and not yet established as the norm. It is however, as in other professions, the main accreditation of experienced professionals, and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations plans to make chartered status the norm for experienced practitioners within the next decade.

Why become chartered?

Chartered status is a simple, portable accreditation that you can transfer to a new employer, wherever you go. It represents the highest form of professional accreditation for those working in public relations and communication and confers equivalent status to the title chartered accountant or chartered surveyor. It carries the protected designatory letters Chart. PR. Many people working in public relations began their working life in another field, or have not done any kind of assessment for a long time. People in this position find chartership a welcome validation of their experience, knowledge and leadership ability.

How to become chartered

You will need a copy of your learning log or personal development plan (PDP), signed by your manager, for the last three consecutive years.

Some GCS members are already CIPR members, either individually or through Corporate Affiliate schemes with for example Crown Prosecution Service, HMRC, the Ministry of Defence, Office of the Public Guardian, and The Valuation Office Agency. For new joiners, CIPR membership costs £235 per year (MCIPR grade), plus a one off joining fee of £55.

Complete a membership application for the CIPR online and send a signed scan of your L&D record to membership@cipr.co.uk.

Once you are a member, you’ll have access to CIPR CPD. Record your learning activities and collect points for each one. You can then sign up for a Chartership Assessment Day and prepare for the assessment using the materials the CIPR sends you. The Assessment Day normally costs £400+VAT but CIPR is now offering an online Chartership Assessments at a reduced fee of £300 + VAT.

Once you pass the assessment you become a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner. This status is retained as long as you remain a CIPR member and continue to log your CPD with the CIPR.


Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) represents developing marketers, teams, leaders, and the profession as a whole.

About CIM

Marketing is about bringing the customer or citizen to the heart of strategy and communications. CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing) is the leading international professional marketing body and the only one which can award Chartered Marketer status. With 35,000 members worldwide CIM’s networks have an unrivalled breadth, depth and diversity.

Membership

CIM membership gives access to unmatched ideas, insights and resources to help you develop your career, navigate from problem diagnosis to practical solutions, and deliver exceptional results for your organisation. This includes CIM’s CPD programme where you can map your development needs, identify actions to meet them and log progress and CIM’s knowledge and insight.

Find out about CIM membership.