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Training to publish on GOV.UK

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I know many of you are having trouble getting places on our training to write for and publish on GOV.UK. So I wanted to give you an update.

We’ve been busy

Since April we‘ve trained about 1,100 people in about 200 sessions. We’ve given Whitehall publisher accounts to over 500 people. We’ve answered over 800 help tickets about training and accounts.

We now have a new content training assistant, Lydia O’Sullivan, who started in January. So we’re back up to having 2 people in the office running training, as well as 3 trainers working part time.

What you said

We started tracking what you thought of the courses last summer. Since then, 80% of the people we’ve trained have said they learned what they needed to know. And 90% have found the courses clear and easy to follow.

The biggest complaint we get is that we don’t provide tea and coffee. We agree it would be nice, but we’d rather offer the training for free.

In November we overhauled ‘Writing for GOV.UK’ for the first time. The course now focuses more on editing and how to structure content for GOV.UK, as you told us that’s what you spend most of your time on.

What’s next

Rooms are still a nightmare. They’re hard to get, hard to keep and frequently attendees need a chaperone to go to the toilet. It’s not great, but we think it’s worth it to keep the course free. If you know of any rooms we can use in central London, please let us know.

We’re gearing up for another content conference on 8 March in Manchester. This one is focused on how content designers on digital services and on GOV.UK can and should work together.

We’ve just launched a new course to help policy professionals write user-focused digital content. We ran the first 2 sessions last week, and we need to fix a few things that came up in the feedback we got.

We’ll then open it up to anyone interested from the end of February. We’ll be happy to send our trainers to you if you have a group of around 10 policy professionals who are interested. That’s so we can work with content teams to make sure they can support the training.

What we need from you

No empty seats

On most of these courses about 30% of people who sign up don’t turn up on the day. If you book onto a course, please show up or cancel with enough notice for us to give the place to someone on the waitlist. And if you’re a GOV.UK lead and book a space for someone else, please make sure your colleague attends or knows how to cancel.


We’re working on a few new courses. We did a test run of a blogging course with GDS content people last week. We’re improving it, and will offer it to content designers in departments when we can find rooms.

What training would help you be a better content designer or manage your content better? Send me an email at

Find your lead

Booking for all of our training must go through your GOV.UK lead. So we’ll announce training on Basecamp, but we’ll only send links to GOV.UK leads. If you don’t know your lead, there’s a list in Basecamp, or you could ask your GOV.UK publishing team.

Manage your own bookings

We provide tickets for all of our events through Eventbrite. That means you can book a place and cancel your own ticket if you can’t come. Please don’t book a place unless you need to publish to GOV.UK.


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