Happy fifth birthday to the Government Communication Service

2 Apr 2019 12:31 PM

In 2018 we celebrated 100 years of government communication, marking the founding of the Ministry of Information. This year, we mark the fifth birthday of the Government Communication Service (GCS).

Happy Birthday cake

The new Government Communication Service officially opened its doors to members 1 April 2014. The new GCS launched in January 2014, setting out to move beyond the loose network of the then-Government Communication Network (GCN). The ambition for GCS as a profession and for individual members was to be more unified, less bureaucratic, and more skilled.

Five years ago – read

Earlier this year GCS launched an ambitious ‘Raising our Standards’ programme that brings together the GCS2020, Accelerate and Year of Marketing programmes under a single banner. GCS members can expect to hear a lot more about these in the coming months.

To mark our fifth year we have taken the opportunity to look back at five years of continuous improvement through the GCS Improvement Programme, a truly collective effort that has drawn on the commitment and skills of volunteer GCS members to develop a world-class communications profession.

David Rose who has served as Head of Standards and Secretary of the Ministerial Board over the past five years said: “It’s been exciting seeing the development of a new community, collaboration on campaigns and substantial professional improvement. It’s also true that the demands on government communicators have increased. In 2014 we started with a focus on evaluation and standards, we are now dealing with the digital Accelerate programme and opportunities and threats like AI and disinformation.”

A world-class profession – Five years of continuous improvement

Through the five completed phases of the GCS Improvement Programme, we have succeeded in building and delivering an impressive canon of professional practice which has enhanced the reputation of communications, the profession and Function across government, and in the communications industry both in the UK and internationally.

In November 2017, GCS launched Phase Five of the GCS Improvement Programme which consisted of six project strands:

GCS Improvement Programme Phases One, Two, Three and Four

Phase four of the programme consisted of four projects:

Phase Three (September 2015 – August 2016) drew upon the success of the first two phases to bring together a programme of five projects:

Phase One and Two of the programme saw the foundation of GCS (from the previous Government Communication Network GCN) through the implementation of over 100 improvement actions, including improved evaluation (Evaluation Council and GCS Evaluation Framework 2.0), cost-effective communications, and enhanced internal engagement.

David Rose, who has served as Head of Standards and Secretary of the Ministerial Board over the past five years, said: “It’s been exciting seeing the development of a new community, collaboration on campaigns and substantial professional improvement. It’s also true that the demands on government communicators have increased. In 2014 we started with a focus on evaluation and standards, we are now dealing with the digital Accelerate programme an opportunities and threats like AI and disinformation.”