New Modern Communications Operating Model is now available

The Modern Communications Operating Model 3.0 (MCOM) has been updated and is available today. It sets out the knowledge, skills and attributes government communicators need, the expectations on those who lead them, and the support available from the Government Communication Service (GCS). It is for everyone who works in government communications, from those in smaller Arm’s-Length Bodies (ALBs) to central Whitehall departments.

The 3 pillars of MCOM

MCOM is a user-friendly ‘how to’ guide which is available on the GCS website, and brings together all the policies, guidance and tools communications teams need. The MCOM ‘house’ has 3 pillars which underpin the delivery of the GCS Strategy 2022-25: Performance with Purpose and the UK Government Communication Plan. These are: 

  1. People and Structure: these are the team design principles to guide the set up, management and development of high-performing, inclusive communication teams, and for working effectively with ALBs and embedded communicators.
  2. Policies: these are the mandatory elements of government communication, which includes the Functional Standard GovS011 and requirements around governance, propriety, procurement and spend controls, data protection, accessible communications and HMG branding.
  3. Guidance: these are the tried-and-tested tools for delivering best in class communication activity, bringing together good practice on the OASIS model, Evaluation Framework, Crisis Communications, Behavioural Science, discipline operating models and the Media Monitoring Unit.   

‘Must, should, could’ structure

MCOM has been designed using a ‘must, should, could’ structure to give clarity on:

  • The policies that teams must follow
  • The policies we recommend teams should follow
  • The guidance teams could consult on, and apply, where needed.

This mirrors the ‘shall, should, could’ structure of the Communications Functional Standard (GovS011), with ‘shall’ changed to ‘must’ in MCOM to make it more user friendly.   

Whilst MCOM has been designed with directors and heads of communication (in ALBs) in mind, it will be a useful tool and reference point for everyone working across government. Whether you are new to GCS, or an established leader who wants an accessible guide to good practice, this MCOM is for you. It will be updated regularly, so please give email your feedback to, so we can ensure it remains relevant to you.