Professional standards for government communicators

Find out how our standards play an important role in department’s leadership teams, support strategy and ensure communications are clear and targeted.

On this page:

Raising our standards

The goal of the Government Communication Service (GCS) is to provide an exceptional standard of professional practice in support of the government, implementing the priorities of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to build a stronger economy, a fairer society, a United Kingdom and a global Britain.

We maintain a suite of professional standards guidance to support and quality assure our work, to make the best standard, and to build a world-class public communications profession, GCS members commit to observing the highest standard of communications practice, professional development and ethics.

Our professional standards include mandatory evaluation of communications activity, and completion of over 4 pieces of professional development during the year, as part of the evaluation framework. 

Government Functional Standard (‘GovS011’): Communication

The HM Government Functional Standard for Communication (‘GovS011’), also called Communication Government Functional Standard, gives us a comprehensive baseline for the communications profession, bringing together GCS initiatives ranging from MCOM2.0 to the Professional Assurance (PASS) process for spending and the competency framework. 

Quality Assurance Framework

Our Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) brings this together on a single page to show how this works in practice, validating and promoting ‘next level’ excellence in public service communication.

Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM2.0)

The model sets out the essential skills, capabilities and practices required for an effective public service communications profession and function.

Guide to campaign planning: OASIS

The purpose of this guide for OASIS (Objective, Audience insight, Strategy, Implementation, Scoring/evaluation) is to ensure that all government communications are effective, efficient and evaluated. It will help you develop your plan and structure your thinking.

Propriety guidance

A comprehensive guide on best practice in propriety, made specifically for government communicators.

Communication practices

The communication practices set out GCS guidance covering MCOM disciplines and specific skills.

Crisis communication


Style guide

Learning and development