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About the Government Communication Service

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is the professional body for public service communicators working in government departments, agencies and arm’s length bodies. Communication is one of the four main levers of government alongside legislation, regulation and taxation.

Goal: Our goal is to provide an exceptional standard of professional communications expertise to support the government, implementing the priorities of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to build a stronger economy, a fairer society, a United Kingdom and a global Britain. Some of the great achievements for us this year include; delivering life-saving communications and public information during the COVID-19 pandemic; our police recruitment campaign, which exceeded its target of recruiting 6,000 new police officers over a month ahead of its March 2021 deadline; and the #YouAreNotAlone campaign increased visits to the GOV.UK support page for domestic abuse by more than 1,000% during the first two weeks.

Who we are: We are a global community of 7,000 communications professionals serving the public across the United Kingdom and internationally: from Whitehall to Whitehaven, Inverness to Cardiff and Belfast – we work in all regions of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and across the globe. We support and promote the work of 25 ministerial departments, 21 non-ministerial departments and over 300 agencies and other public bodies. Overseas, GCS International (GCSI) works in partnership with other government departments and a network of our embassies to provide support to partner and allied governments and multilateral institutions internationally.

Mission: Our mission is to deliver world-class public service communications which supports ministers’ priorities, enables the efficient and effective operation of public services, and improves people’s lives. The GCS is held to account for the implementation of the annual UK Government Communications Plan. Our aim is to be a visible, trusted, strategic partner across government. GCS has expertise in all communication disciplines and we design, plan and deliver world-class communication work from strategy and planning, marketing and campaigns to media, internal communications, digital and social as well as external affairs and insight.

The Communication function: GCS is one of 14 professional functions that operate across the Civil Service, governed through departmental Directors of Communication and the GCS Board, which is chaired by the Minister for the Constitution. The board makes recommendations on the direction, operation and development of the profession and holds us to account for the implementation of our major campaigns. We carry out our work in accordance with the Civil Service Code, our Propriety Guidance and without political bias. We abide by legislation that affects our work such as data protection,  Welsh language, disability discrimination, freedom of information and copyright.

Strategic partnership: We partner closely with organisations in the public, private and third-party sectors in pursuit of the greatest cost-efficiency and impact. GCS works with professional bodies and organisations across the public sector to:

  • improve collaboration and partnership across public service communications programmes
  • share best practice and raise capability across public service communications, learning from the best
  • improve professional development and support UK public service communications professionals across all organisations.

To find out more about what we do, go to  https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk/

The New GCS Leadership 2021