Professional Assurance

The cross-government No.10/Cabinet Office campaigns team works with government departments and Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) to ensure that, where taxpayers’ money is being spent on Government communications, it is cost-effective and reflects best practice.

Making a spending request for your campaign

The Professional Assurance application form replaces the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) Request Form. An application is required for expenditure on all programmes of communication of £100,000 or over.

All applications must have written approval from the relevant Minister and the departmental Director of Communications before submission. This also applies to ALBs, who must seek approvals from their parent department.

Download the Professional Assurance application form (doc, 83KB)

Cabinet Office operates these spending controls on behalf of HM Treasury. Guidance on spending controls is available on the Cabinet Office website here. Details of the Advertising and Marketing Controls are available on this page at Annex 3.

Submitting your application

There are no longer periodic ‘batch’ deadlines for spending requests. Departments should submit an application as soon as they are ready, and should expect to receive a response no later than 21 days from the date of submission.

In exceptional circumstances, we can attempt to get a response in a shorter timeframe, however this cannot be guaranteed: the 21-day turnaround should be factored into your planning in order to meet any internal deadlines. We encourage you to engage with us as early as possible ahead of formally submitting the application form. This will allow us to answer your questions, raise any queries, and advise on any further information that may be required.

The submission process is as follows:
1. When you have completed the form and received internal approvals, submit your final application to the communications.controls@cabinetoffice.gov.uk inbox.
2. You will receive an email notification confirming that your application has been received and when you should expect a response.
3. Your application will be reviewed by the Cabinet Office/No. 10 campaigns team, prior to submission to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
4. In the event of any questions, the campaigns team will be in touch directly.
5. Following a Ministerial decision, a formal confirmation letter will be provided to your Director of Communications.

Evaluating your activity

We ask every department (and ALB) receiving spending approval to report back on the effectiveness of their activity within 6 months of it being completed. To report back, please complete this evaluation form and return it to communications.controls@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Your professional assurance contacts

We strongly advise engaging with the professional assurance team as early as possible when preparing your application for any particular campaign. Designated individual contacts for departments (and their ALBs) are listed below. If you have general enquiries about the scope or process of Professional Assurance, please email communications.controls@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Departments Email
DfE, MOJ, MOD, Northern Ireland Office claire.pimm@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
Cabinet Office, DExEU mel.rouse@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
DIT, Home Office jpearce@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk
BEIS, DCLG, HMT, HMRC, DfID, FCO james.francis@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
Defra, DH, DWP, DFT, DCMS, Scotland Office, Wales Office clara.eaglen@cabinetoffice.gov.uk