Why should I measure social value in my public sector offering?
Do you measure Social Value in what you provide to the public sector? If not, you're going to have to start.
Since 2021 arrived, we’ve seen a big shift in how public sector bodies and the UK government procure. For starters, they now want to see how a suppliers offering can provide social value and make genuine change to citizens through public sector services. Many providers to the public sector haven’t yet started to measure social value – internally in their organisations or within the services or goods they offer. They should start!
What is social value?
As the Social Value Portal define, “social value” is an umbrella term for the broader effects an organisation makes by contributing to the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities and society in general.
The Social Value Model (SVM), published in September 2020, articulates the areas of priority focus for social value delivery in central government procurement, in the form of policy themes and outcomes.
There are five main themes within the model and eight subsequent policy outcomes relating to each theme. For example, theme one of the social model is COVID-19 recovery, with the associated policy outcome to help local communities to manage and recover from the impact of COVID-19.
For more information about the Social Value Model, read our blog here.
Why should you measure social value?
Back in March as part of the Social Procurement Festival 2021 hosted by Supply Change, Catherine Manning (Interim CEO of Social Value UK), emphasised the need for businesses to measure social value, whether quantitively and qualitatively. As Manning highlighted, failure to measure social value, puts the whole social value movement at risk. Potential failed targets, false claims or lack of progression will undermine the agenda of the social value mission. As a consequence, citizens, or service users will not reap the benefits of the procurement.
Furthermore, here at Advice Gov, we would advise public sector suppliers, or those wishing to sell to the public sector, to document their social value for the sake of potential tenders and opportunities.
As of September 2020, central government opportunities must include a social value question with the minimum weighing of ten percent, as noted in the Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20. By ensuring that you measure your social value or keep a log of your social value related policies and activities, you will be able to answer these questions more efficiently and effectively. Public Sector buyers will not want to procure from suppliers who do not value social value and cannot evidence their social value.
Lastly, recording your social value allows suppliers to access whether the delivery of their service actually provides social value. Being able to quantify or document your social value allows you to develop and harness the power of your service.
It is recommended that suppliers consider completing relevant assurances and accreditations relating to social value. As an outcome of completing assurances and accreditations, suppliers will build confidence and trust between themselves and public sector buyers, in addition to promoting good practices with the procurement landscape.