Government Communication Functional Standard

Government Communication Functional Standard GovS 011 sets the expectations for the management and practice of government communications in order to:

  • deliver responsive and informative public service communications that support the effective delivery of HM Government policy and priorities
  • assist with the effective operation of public services

Standard update on 3 September 2021

Version 2.0 of this standard replaces the previous edition [version 1 dated August 2019] and has the same purpose, scope and intent.

The main changes relate to:

  • updated references from the GCS Canon of Professional Practice
  • minor wording changes to ensure consistency across the suite of functional standards
  • splitting the key Principles [section 2] from 7 into 9, for purposes of greater clarity


The standard provides direction and guidance for:

  • permanent secretaries, directors-general (and chief executive officers (CEO) of arm’s length bodies)
  • senior leadership and board members within organisations;
  • those commissioning communications
  • communications leads within organisations
  • those involved in developing, managing and delivering communications
  • third parties engaged in government communications, including in partnership marketing


  • About this government functional standard
  • Principles
  • Context
  • Governance
  • Campaign life cycle
  • Communication practices
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Framework for gaining audience insight