Social value – achieving community benefits (2023)

Social value is defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act (2013) which requires all public sector organisations and their suppliers to look beyond the financial cost of a contract to consider how the services they commission and procure can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of an area.

As local authorities are becoming increasingly financially self-reliant, they are looking at how to make their limited resources go ever further while still maintaining the quality and breadth of services.

Councils, along with the rest of the public sector are encouraged to use procurement to achieve wider financial and non-financial outcomes, including improving wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment by making social value a decision-making criterion when awarding contracts.

Social Value Statement template

To enable Councils to outline key areas of focus, operational procedures, successes and resources available the National Social Value Taskforce have developed a Social Value Statement templatewhich can be used to communicate key messages and secure support from staff, partners, suppliers and other locally based organisations to help create social value benefits for your community. Over the past few months, it has become clear that the need for social value is greater than ever, as public and private sectors continue to face unprecedented challenges in the wake on the Covid-19 pandemic – having a clear, committed Social Value Statement will help communicate this to your key stakeholders.

Social value toolkit for councils

Hammersmith and Fulham Council Social Value Statement

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has become the first council to publish a Social Value Statement and the LGA encourages you to read about their journey and look to develop and publish your own – which we will host on these pages when more are completed.

In the past year Hammersmith and Fulham have developed a Social Value Strategy, introduced a mandatory requirement for all contracts above £100,000 to achieve a minimum of 10% in Social Value, recruited a Social Value Officer and set up a Social Value Delivery Group. They have placed Social Value at the heart of their key corporate strategies with the golden thread running through their Business Plan, Industrial Strategy and Climate Emergency programme to help drive local economic growth achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2030.

West Sussex Social Value Framework

As part of their ambitious Reset Plan West Sussex have created a Social Value Framework to ensure all projects and contracts commissioned by the County Council achieve maximum benefit for residents.

The Framework has three key targets;

  • In contracts over £100,000, where it is appropriate to generate Social Value, a minimum weighting of 10% will be applied to the evaluation criteria.
  • 80% of new tenders over £500,000 will have social value criteria included within their evaluation by 2024/25.
  • Where social value is a requirement of the contract, we will require suppliers to report quantifiable social benefits.

Social Value - National TOMs: Covid-19 Plug-in

During the Covid pandemicit has become clear that the need for Social Value is greater than ever, as public and private sectors continue to face unprecedented challenges in the wake on the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to the ongoing crisis, the Social Value Portal team have developed a Covid-19 Plug-in for the National TOMs 2020. While the core values of the TOMs remain the same, this revised framework includes a series of new measures, as well as additional provisions for existing contracts, to provide clearer guidance to bidders and suppliers during this difficult time.

It is important to emphasise that these revisions are not intended to create an additional burden for businesses, but rather they are modifications with the goal of making the TOMs more flexible and responsive during the current crisis. Download the Covid-19 Plug-in.

Social Value refers to the wider financial and nonfinancial value created by an organisation through its day to day activities in terms of the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital created and the environment.

Social Value is defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 (Act) which came into force inJanuary 2013 and requires all public sector organisations (and their suppliers) to look beyond the financial cost of acontract and consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social andenvironmental well-being of an area.

TOMs: measuring social value in local government procurement

We have partnered with the Social Value Portal to develop a set of Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) to help councils to measure the value they are achieving through implementing the Social Value Act.

The National TOMs Framework has been designed around 5 principal issues, 20 Core Outcomes and 48 Core Measures:

  • Themes – The overarching strategic themes that an organisation is looking to pursue
  • Outcomes – The objectives or goals that an organisation is looking to achieve that will contribute to the Theme.
  • Measures – The measures that can be used to assess whether these Outcomes have been achieved. For the National TOMs Framework, these re action based and represent activities that a supplier could complete to support a particular desired outcome.

The latest edition of the TOMs was launched at the National Social Value Conference in January and is now live with a number of new outcomes delivering solutions and additional community benefits with particular focus on the environment and the climate emergency, Modern Slavery and vulnerable members of our communities.

Download TOMs

Social value climate change emergency TOMs

Latest 2020 Social Value TOMs

TOMs Guidance 2019

The National TOMs - Engaging with stakeholders

National TOMs Calculator

Our short films below sets out how your council can use these TOMs and highlights a number of useful case studies.

Other resources

Download the Essex Social Value Toolkit (PDF, 10 Pages, 237KB) 236.43 KB - PDF

FMB provide some insights and recommendations on ensuring procurement processes are SME friendly in their report

FMB report: Improving Public Procurement for construction SMEs (PDF, 36 pages, 4MB - large file) 3.67 MB - PDF

Read about Government's commitment to helping small businesses to grow -

Small business, great ambition (PDF, 40 pages, 3MB - large file) 2.95 MB - PDF

If you are interested in doing business with councils here are some helpful tips.

How to do business with local government - selling to councils 144.1 KB - PDF

Specimen contract clause on payment terms

In the event that the Supplier, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, enters into a supply contract or a sub-contract in connection with this Agreement, the Supplier shall ensure that a term is included in the supply contract or sub-contract which requires the Supplier to pay all sums due there under to the sub-contractor within a specified period, not to exceed thirty (30) days, from the date of receipt of a valid invoice as defined by the terms of the supply contract or sub-contract (as appropriate).

Public Sector Payment Performance: facts all public authorities need to know (PDF, 6 pages, 250KB) 237.99 KB - PDF

Social Value in Public Procurement

The Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance is looking for pathfinder councils to input into a study on measuring social value in public sector projects, they propose an easy to use, blended solution for evaluation of social value.

Download the PDF, Social Value in Public Procurement (21 pages, 3.0 MB large file) 2.91 MB - PDF

Commissioning for Social Value

Socialvaluecommissioning.comis a free website created by Social Value UK and is a free of charge database where you can upload case studies explaining how social value has been increased through successful commissioning.

Please do help others to learn by sharing your own case studies and other resources. They can be uploaded by you or Social Value UK will do it for you if you email [emailprotected]

If you're interested on wider work on social value, take a look at the Social Value UK website where you can find out more about Social Value Principles or other research information on their crowd sourced database the Global Value Exchange.


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