GCS Aspire courses

We offer courses for people working in the communications team of a ministerial or non-ministerial department or one of their arm-length body organisations.

We cover the following disciplines: leadership, strategic communication, internal communication, modern media, external affairs and marketing. To book a place you must be a GCS member

Event attendance

Your civil service pass or another form of photo ID will be required to access the venue.

You will need to give us at least 2 full working days notice if you need to cancel. You can do this on Eventbrite or by contacting gcsbookings@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Those on the waiting list will be informed if there are places available 2 days before the start date.

Courses

Introduction to Government Communications (10 December 2019)

This one day course will give you an overview of the basics of government communications and highlight opportunities for your own professional development. Please note: the final schedule for the day will be circulated a few days before the event.

Book now for Introduction to government communications


19 November 2019


Aspire: Modern Media

What it will cover:

This 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.

Book now

22 November 2019


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

What it will cover:

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

25 November 2019


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

26 November 2019


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

27 November 2019


Aspire Course: Advanced Strategic Communications

What it will cover:

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

This course is aimed at IO – Grade 6 already working in Strategic Comms.

Book now

27 November 2019


Aspire: Strategic Partnerships

What it will cover:

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.

Book now

28 November 2019


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

28 November 2019


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 28 November and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

29 November 2019


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 29 November and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

2 December 2019


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

What it will cover:

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

2 December 2019


Aspire: Introduction to External Affairs

What it will cover:

This course will give you confidence in all stages of stakeholder engagement. It will outline tools and techniques for assessing and prioritising stakeholders before making an initial approach, establishing and sustaining effective partnerships, and evaluating results. It puts the science behind the art, and offers tips on how best to identify, engage and work in partnership with key stakeholders.

Book now

5 December 2019


Aspire: 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 channels
  • Tailoring your campaign messaging for local audiences
  • Making the most of traditional and digital low and no cost platforms.

Book now

9 December 2019


Aspire: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

What it will cover:

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 December 2019


Aspire: Introduction to External Affairs (Webinar)

This webinar will give you confidence in all stages of stakeholder engagement. It will outline tools and techniques for assessing and prioritising stakeholders before making an initial approach, establishing and sustaining effective partnerships, and evaluating results. It puts the science behind the art, and offers tips on how best to identify, engage and work in partnership with key stakeholders.

Book now

10 December 2019


Aspire: Introduction to Government Communications

What it will cover:

This course is an introductory course and it is for anyone new to government communications. This one day course will give you an overview of the basics of government communications and highlight opportunities for your own professional development.

Book now

10 December 2019


Aspire: Strategic Partnerships

What it will cover:

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.

Book now

12 December 2019


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 12 December and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

13 December 2019


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 13 December and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

13 December 2019


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

16 December 2019


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 December 2019


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

18 December 2019


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

7 January 2020


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

10 January 2019


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

14 January 2019


Aspire Course: Advanced Strategic Communications

What it will cover:

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

This course is aimed at IO – Grade 6 already working in Strategic Comms.

Book now

10 February 2019


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.gov.uk specifying the 28 November and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

11 February 2019


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.gov.uk specifying the 28 November and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

19 February 2020


Aspire Course: Advanced Strategic Communications

What it will cover:

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

This course is aimed at IO – Grade 6 already working in Strategic Comms.

Book now

20 February 2020


Aspire Course: Advanced Strategic Communications

What it will cover:

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

This course is aimed at IO – Grade 6 already working in Strategic Comms.

Book now

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