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.

2018 Courses

12 December

Advanced Strategic Communications

This course is for experienced and/or senior individuals working in Strategic Comms teams, typically at the IO-Grade 6 level. Over the 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

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14 December

Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation

This course will demonstrate the value and importance of good audience insight as you work through every stage of the OASIS model, focussing on Objective setting, using Audience Insight to define problems, and Scoring/Evaluation. 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.

It is primarily aimed at SIOs working in planning, research and evaluation roles who are looking to improve their strategic analysis and insight capabilities. This course will also be useful to G6/7 and IOs who work in similar roles.

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