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.

25 September 2019


    Aspire: Communicating Locally (Webinar)

    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

    27 September 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

    30 September 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

    4 October 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

    8 October 2019


    Aspire: Leadership Masterclass – Making Time and Developing the Skills to be a Strategic Communication Leader 

    Course Summary:

    The Handbook of Time! How do we make time and develop the skills to be a strategic communications leader?

    Many leaders feel as though they lack time, and with increasing developments in the way the public can engage and communicate, pressure on time will continue to grow. Communications is no longer about giving messages to audiences but about having conversations with those audiences. We often found that ‘time’ was seen as some sort of mythical creature, and we are held to its mercy, for better or worse.

    It is no surprise that the more senior leaders get, the more people need and make demands on them. So we decided to explore how effective leaders make best use of their time and develop the skills to be effective Directors of Government Communication.

    Our masterclass seeks to provide support and advice over key personal measures you can take to improve your control over time, and how you can influence and support others around you to create even more space.

    Book Now

    9 October 2019


    Aspire: Introduction to Government Communications

    By the end of the course you will:

    • Understand the OASIS model and how to apply it;
    • Have a broad understanding of the four key MCOM disciplines including strategic communications; media, campaigns and digital; strategic engagement; and internal communications;
    • Be familiar with the role and function of the Government Communications Service;
    • Know how you can develop your skills and access learning and development opportunities.

    Book now

    9 October 2019


    Aspire: Communicating Locally (Webinar)

    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

    11 October 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

    11 October 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 October 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 14 October and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

    14 October 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

    18 October 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 18 October and we will assess it on a case by case basis.

    22 October 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

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

    28 October 2019


    Aspire: Internal Communications (Webinar)

    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

    4 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

    5 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

    7 November 2019


    Aspire: 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

    13 November 2019


    Aspire: Communicating Locally (Webinar)

    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

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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

    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

    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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