Quality Assurance Framework

This framework shows Government Communication Service (GCS) leaders on a single page how standards of government communication will be assessed.

Quality Assurance Framework


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Check your team’s structure and performance

Check your team’s structure and performance against the areas listed under Governance, Campaigns, Practices and People.

In particular, ensure that:

  • you are compliant with, and can provide assurance on, governance and spending control requirements
  • your strategic aims align with the Government Communications Plan
  • all your staff are compliant with the GCS and Civil Service Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • communications follow the GCS framework for planning, evaluation and insight
  • teams are structured in accordance with  Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM) principles
  • team activity follows MCOM best practice, as set out in GCS operating models
  • recruitment, development of your people and talent development uses the tools specified in the Leadership and People section of the Quality Assurance Framework
  • the GCS Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan is embedded in all your team’s work, including the delivery of accessible communications

Steps to take

Share the framework with your team:

  • follow the Government Functional Standard for Communication
  • there will be Executive Director of Government Communication (EDGC) departmental visits – six-monthly. Professional Standards Dashboard ratings awarded annually.
  • there will be capability reviews – departmental (every 3 years) and cross-discipline reviews (rolling basis)

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Action Plan embedded throughout our practices, culture and ways of working.


This is section 4 of the Government Functional Standard for Communication.

  • Governance: departmental communications plan which supports strategic aims of your organisation and compliant with department’s governance framework
  • HM Government Communications Plan: team strategic objectives support overall Plan
  • Spending/ Professional Assurance (PASS)/GCS Flow: all spending complies with GCS processes
  • Codes of Conduct and Ethics: all staff are aware and compliant


This is section 5 of the Government Functional Standard for Communication.

  • Guide to Campaign Planning (OASIS): all communications plans follow these principles and structure
  • Evaluation Framework: insight and evaluation for all, communications activity follows the frameworks
  • Insight: draw on a range of sources to create a full picture of the audience
  • Ownership and decision-making: complies with Functional Standard


This is section 6 of the Government Functional Standard for Communication.

  • Modern communications operating model (MCOM 2.0): team has capability to deliver disciplines as described in MCOM 2.0
  • Work of the disciplines carried out according to best practice principles set out in the various MCOM operating models/guides
  • Overarching GCS guidance: communications activity follows wider GCS principles, for example, brand, writing style and RESIST Counter Disinformation Toolkit


  • Recruitment and selection: recruit using GCS competencies (Insight, Ideas, Implementation, Impact) and Success Profiles and evidence of continuous professional development (CPD)
  • GCS Leadership model: use this to develop teams, build senior stakeholder relationships and ensure quality customer service
  • Talent and career development: support GCS early and senior talent schemes, ensure all staff have a personal development plan (PDPs) and use Careers Framework
  • Integrated professional development: All staff complete a minimum 4 pieces of CPD (30 points) per year


If you have any questions, contact Jo Pennington, Head of Standards, Performance and Innovation: gcs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.