GCS Aspire Courses


To book a place on an Aspire training course you must be a GCS member working in the communications team of a ministerial / non-ministerial department or one of their arm-length body organisations, and able to evidence that attending the course is part of a Personal Development Plan signed off by your line manager.

When booking, you need to make sure you receive a confirmation email. If you do not, use your Eventbrite account to check if you do have a ticket, or confirm by emailing gcsbookings@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Placing yourself on the waiting list does not constitute ordering a ticket.

You need to give GCS at least 2 full working days notice if you need to cancel. You can cancel on both Eventbrite by clicking your account – tickets – upcoming events will be displayed – then click on cancel order or by contacting gcsbookings@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

By not doing this, you are depriving other GCS colleagues of the opportunity to attend these courses, which are in high demand. Failure to notify GCS of your cancellation may affect your department’s allocation of places on Aspire.

Your civil service pass or another form of photo ID will be required to access the venue. If you do not have proof (or it does not match the name you booked under) you may be denied access to the venue and course.

2018 Courses

6 September

Introduction to Internal Comms

This GCS course is targeted at IOs and SIOs who do not currently work in Internal Communications (IC) and those new to an IC role. You will learn about the standards, principles and best practice in internal comms as well as the importance of internal comms as one of the four main comms specialisms.

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Modern Media Operations

This three hour course will provide an overview for our new Modern Media Operation Guide showcasing best practice. It will cover the important role for media relations in government communications; the particular pressures government media relations officers face, and how to handle them; the need to build relationships – inside the department, as well as outside; and how journalists work and what they’re looking for – and how you can achieve your goals by helping them to get it. It is also offered as a shorter webinar.

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10 September

GCS Partnerships Training

This course is designed to increase awareness and understanding of how successful partnerships can support the implementation of Government communications. It will give best practice case studies from different GCS teams including Business Partnership and GCS Local.

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18 September

Communicating Locally

The course will introduce you to the essentials of local campaign planning including: building successful local stakeholder networks; listening to the voices in your area; working with key partners (including devolved and national governments); identifying effective local channel; tailoring your campaign messaging for local audiences; making the most of traditional and digital low and no cost platforms.

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Introduction to External Affairs

Strategic engagement is a core pillar of MCOM. Stakeholders have the power to inhibit or accelerate achievement of our communications objectives and can galvanise resources far beyond government. The right approach can make all the difference. Stakeholders can add independent credibility to what we are trying to achieve, facilitate our access to audiences, feedback on the progress of campaigns, flag issues early, and add their expertise to the development of communications and policy.

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