New GCS membership registration Q&A

Blog post by GCS Professional Development Team

Wednesday 24 May 2017

The new GCS membership registration system is now live. Read our Q&A to find out more about the new system.

Why do I have to register for GCS membership?

GCS is the professional body for all central government (department, agencies, arms length bodies) communications professionals. We are not an employing body and do not have access to department records, in order to be informed of GCS professional standards, guidance, news, career and professional development opportunities you need to register as a member.

I recently registered as a GCS member do I have to re register?

Yes, if you registered with GCS before 10 May 2017 you will have to re register. This is a new clean database, the old database will be switched off in due course.

How do I register with the new system?

Register here as a new GCS member by selecting the appropriate category – either GCS member or GCS Affiliate. You should then fill in your details as directed and click submit, after this you will receive an account verification email. To complete the registration process, you must click on the ‘verify your account’ link in the verification email. You will then be registered as a GCS member and be able to access your personalised account.

What happens if I don’t register with GCS?

If you do not register for a new account you will cease to receive information from GCS and miss out on essential guidance, professional standards, career and professional development opportunities that help you to progress and deliver world class communications.

GCS is not an employing organisation, we use your registration information to plan, develop and deliver programmes to develop your skills to deliver world class government communications and help you build a rewarding and successful career.

What is the GCS People Finder?

GCS People Finder is the public directory of government communications professionals. People Finder helps enables you to search and connect with communications professionals across government, build partnerships and develop your professional networks.

Under the old system the GCS People Finder was not linked to the GCS membership database, People Finder was managed by an administrator in each organisation. With the new system GCS members can manage, edit and update their details directly.

I have registered for the new account but my changes to People Finder are not showing?

The People Finder function is frozen during the transition of databases, changes made will not be visible until we switch off the old system. We will notify all GCS members once the new system goes public.

What do the membership categories mean / why have they changed?

Registration as a GCS member is open to communications professionals working in UK government departments, agencies and arm’s length bodies.

GCS Affiliate membership is for public service communications professionals outside of UK central government departments and arm’s length bodies. Affiliate membership is also open to those not currently employed in government communications but who wish to know more about GCS.

The two membership categories replace the old system of Core, Associate and Affiliate membership. Feedback from members showed this categorisation to be confusing for users and unnecessary for the GCS administrative team.

I work in an agency / arm’s length body what does the parent department mean / why do I need to complete this?

The new database uses the same hierarchy as GOV.UK which associates agencies and arm’s length bodies with a parent department, more information can be found here

If your organisation is not shown in any of the drop down menus please contact GCS

I haven’t received a validation email because it’s been blocked by my organisation’s spam filter, what do I do?

Please contact your IT department and ask them to whitelist the address to allow the validation emails through.

If the address has been whitelisted but the validation emails have been deleted and  can’t be accessed, please contact and we will be able to send you a new link that you can use to access your validation email.

I can’t find my organisation in the drop down list, what do I do?

Please contact and let us know and we’ll be able to add your organisation to list. We’ll send you a confirmation once that’s done so once you receive an email to this effect you should be able to re-register.

I’ve tried to register but the system isn’t recognising my email address, how do I fix this?

Please contact and let us know and we’ll be able to add your email address to the list. We’ll send you a confirmation once that’s done so once you receive an email to this effect you should be able to re-register.

I recently registered and confirmed my registration but cannot find the login page to make amendments?

During the beta testing phase, the log in page will remain disabled, therefore, you cannot make changes to your information. This is to allow us test out features and freeze content before a transition to the fully live system.

You do not need to take any further action. We shall send out an alert to all new accounts when the system is expected to go live at end of July.

I can now log in but I’ve forgotten my password, how can I reset it?

Use the login link on the GCS website and select the ‘forgotten password’ option.  Next, enter your email address to receive a link that will allow you to reset your password, from there you should be able to login as normal.