GCN is now the Government Communication Service – find out more.

The Government Communication Network (GCN) is made up of members from across Departments and arms-length bodies (ALBs) in all areas of the United Kingdom. GCN members deliver effective communication programmes  in the most transparent, accountable and responsible way.

A small central team, based in the Cabinet Office:

  • Communicates a shared vision for government communications
  • Links all professional communicators across government
  • Supports them in gaining the skills and knowledge they need to carry out their roles
  • Shares information and best practice and drives up standards
  • Works with other Civil Service organisations to ensure that effective communication is at the heart of policy development and service delivery

The Network helps central government achieve its policy objectives by pioneering and sharing best practice; increasing collaboration and coordination; and eradicating inefficient and unnecessary spend.

Central Team

The central team is headed by Sean Larkins, the Head of Policy and Capability.  The team is responsible for four key strands of activity:


  • Supporting government Departments to deliver the first ever annual communication plan for government
  • Working with 10 Departments on improvement reviews
  • Ensuring that all the demands made upon communicators by the annual plan can be met


  • Increasing our level of engagement and communication with the sector
  • Ensuring there is the necessary advice and guidance available
  • Supporting Departments around communication propriety issues
  • Sharing innovation and best practice

Professional development

  • Delivering the core curriculum for government communicators
  • Providing a wider range of development opportunities -  fora, speaking events, workshops etc – particularly focused on priority areas such as digital engagement, partnerships, evaluation and channel planning
  • Working towards professional and academic accreditation of all training

Corporate support

  • Looking at improving and streamlining processes to make government communication more efficient and effective
  • Looking at co-ordinating opportunities in areas such as mentoring and secondments
  • Improving the centre’s engagement with arms-length bodies, the communication profession and suppliers