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.

If you cannot see the course you are interest in listed, email gcsbookings@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the courses you are interested in and you will be put on the waiting list – you will then be emailed directly as soon as places are available to register for. Places on courses are offered to waiting lists first and any remaining places will then be advertised here.

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.


30 May


Aspire: Introduction to Internal Communications

At the end of the course:

  • You will have a good understanding of what IC good practice looks like.
  • You will be able to recognise how communication principles and practices translate across from external to internal comms
  • You will understand how media, digital, marketing, strategic campaigns and other comms experience is relevant to internal comms

Book now

30 May


Aspire: Strategic Communications

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to design and implement strategic communication campaigns. It is based on the Government’s model for Strategic Communication called OASIS (Objectives,Audiences, Strategy, Implementation and Scoring) and you will have the opportunity to explore its 5 stages in depth.

Book now

31 May


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

This course will include real life examples from the public private sector as well as some useful models and checklists. In three phases spread through the day participants will be asked to work in teams to handle an unfolding fictional crisis scenario using our private online crisis simulation platform, Crisis90.

Participants will be guided through three stages where they will be able to compare their strategic responses, key messages and tactical approaches.

Book now

5 June


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

This course will include real life examples from the public private sector as well as some useful models and checklists. In three phases spread through the day participants will be asked to work in teams to handle an unfolding fictional crisis scenario using our private online crisis simulation platform, Crisis90.

Participants will be guided through three stages where they will be able to compare their strategic responses, key messages and tactical approaches.

Book now

7 June


Aspire: Communicating Locally

By the end of this intensive half-day course, you will have learned the value of local communication, and why it’s essential to campaign planning.

Book now

7 June


Aspire: Presenting With Impact (Sold out)

What it will cover:

During this experiential course you will investigate your own strengths and weaknesses when presenting to increase your awareness of how you come across. You will explore tools and techniques to enable you to hone and develop your skills and to be able to adapt your presentation style as appropriate for different audiences.

Note: Due to the popularity of this course we require a short business case describing how this course will benefit yourself and your team. Please send this to gcsbookings@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk specifying the 7 June and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

14 June


Aspire: Creative Campaigns

The aim of this course is to:

  • Give participants the know-how to create effective communications campaign plans focusing on addressing policy priorities
  • Present a best practice model for campaigning (OASIS)
  • Give space to practice and experiment with the model

Book now

17 June


Aspire: Presenting With Impact ((Sold out)

What it will cover:

During this experiential course you will investigate your own strengths and weaknesses when presenting to increase your awareness of how you come across. You will explore tools and techniques to enable you to hone and develop your skills and to be able to adapt your presentation style as appropriate for different audiences.

Note: Due to the popularity of this course we require a short business case describing how this course will benefit yourself and your team. Please send this to gcsbookings@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk specifying the 17 June and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

18 June


Aspire: Strategic Communications (morning)

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to design and implement strategic communication campaigns. It is based on the Government’s model for Strategic Communication called OASIS (Objectives,Audiences, Strategy, Implementation and Scoring) and you will have the opportunity to explore its 5 stages in depth.

Book now

18 June


Aspire: Strategic Communications (afternoon)

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to design and implement strategic communication campaigns. It is based on the Government’s model for Strategic Communication called OASIS (Objectives,Audiences, Strategy, Implementation and Scoring) and you will have the opportunity to explore its 5 stages in depth.

Book now

19 June


Aspire: Advanced Strategic Communications

Advanced Strategic Communications is a new course for experienced and/or senior individuals working in Strategic Comms teams. Over the course of this one day course, participants will cover:

  • Challenges in strategic communications planning – setting objectives, the importance of contextual intelligence, and the wider strategic role of communications within government
  • Developing a deep understanding of context – taking an advanced approach to stakeholder relations and analysing networks
  • Meeting the challenges of campaign integration – matching stakeholders with channels, evaluating, and strategies for co-operation
  • Resource management in an uncertain world – budgeting and forecasting in an uncertain world, and critical path analysis
  • Coping with complexity – agile working, and dealing with surprises

Book now

28 June


Aspire: Introduction to Internal Communications

At the end of the course:

  • You will have a good understanding of what IC good practice looks like.
  • You will be able to recognise how communication principles and practices translate across from external to internal comms
  • You will understand how media, digital, marketing, strategic campaigns and other comms experience is relevant to internal comms

Book now

10 July


Aspire: Introduction to Government Communications

This course is an introductory course and it is for anyone new to government communications. It is specifically aimed at AIO – SIO or equivalent, although all grades are welcome to attend.

It is designed to give you an introductory overview of the key MCOM disciplines and the OASIS model. If you are interested in specific more advanced training, this is not the right course to attend.

Note: No code is required but you must be from a registered GCS member from an affiliated Government department or ALB.

Book Now

12 July


Aspire: A Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation

What it will cover:

This course will demonstrate the value and importance of good audience insight as you work through every stage of the OASIS model. This will give you the knowledge, tools and tips that you need to identify, gather and analyse data and apply insightful thinking that will improve your planning and evaluation skills.

Book Now

15 July


Aspire: Presenting With Impact (Sold out)

What it will cover:

During this experiential course you will investigate your own strengths and weaknesses when presenting to increase your awareness of how you come across. You will explore tools and techniques to enable you to hone and develop your skills and to be able to adapt your presentation style as appropriate for different audiences.

Note: Due to the popularity of this course we require a short business case describing how this course will benefit yourself and your team. Please send this to gcsbookings@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk specifying the 15 July and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

19 July


Aspire: A Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation

What it will cover:

This course will demonstrate the value and importance of good audience insight as you work through every stage of the OASIS model. This will give you the knowledge, tools and tips that you need to identify, gather and analyse data and apply insightful thinking that will improve your planning and evaluation skills.

Book Now

23 July


Aspire: Presenting With Impact

What it will cover:

During this experiential course you will investigate your own strengths and weaknesses when presenting to increase your awareness of how you come across. You will explore tools and techniques to enable you to hone and develop your skills and to be able to adapt your presentation style as appropriate for different audiences.

Note: Due to the popularity of this course we require a short business case describing how this course will benefit yourself and your team. Please send this to gcsbookings@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk specifying the 23 July and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

23 July


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

This course will include real life examples from the public private sector as well as some useful models and checklists. In three phases spread through the day participants will be asked to work in teams to handle an unfolding fictional crisis scenario using our private online crisis simulation platform, Crisis90.

Participants will be guided through three stages where they will be able to compare their strategic responses, key messages and tactical approaches.

Book now

9 August 


Aspire: A Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation

What it will cover:

This course will demonstrate the value and importance of good audience insight as you work through every stage of the OASIS model. This will give you the knowledge, tools and tips that you need to identify, gather and analyse data and apply insightful thinking that will improve your planning and evaluation skills.

Book Now

12 September


Aspire: Advanced Strategic Communications

Advanced Strategic Communications is a new course for experienced and/or senior individuals working in Strategic Comms teams. Over the course of this one day course, participants will cover:

  • Challenges in strategic communications planning – setting objectives, the importance of contextual intelligence, and the wider strategic role of communications within government
  • Developing a deep understanding of context – taking an advanced approach to stakeholder relations and analysing networks
  • Meeting the challenges of campaign integration – matching stakeholders with channels, evaluating, and strategies for co-operation
  • Resource management in an uncertain world – budgeting and forecasting in an uncertain world, and critical path analysis
  • Coping with complexity – agile working, and dealing with surprises

Book now

27 September


Aspire: A Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation

What it will cover:

This course will demonstrate the value and importance of good audience insight as you work through every stage of the OASIS model. This will give you the knowledge, tools and tips that you need to identify, gather and analyse data and apply insightful thinking that will improve your planning and evaluation skills.

Book Now

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