Social Value Toolkit – everything you need to know about social value in procurement

Given the shifting housing landscape in recent years and considering its significant impact on budgets and resources, HACT, together with like-minded supporters and peers felt the need to implement an informative and useful toolkit to support housing organisations keep themselves up-to-date with new practices. The implementation of new ways of working and innovative approaches has brought the delivery of social value in procurement into the spotlight.

HACT commenced working on the development of the Social Value Toolkit almost a year ago and not long after Consortium Procurement jumped on board to provide support and guidance.

The financial landscape for Housing Providers has shifted dramatically in recent times. As a result of policy and legislative changes, Housing Providers are expect­ed to deliver more to their residents than ever before, but with less resource. Given these complications, we believe the toolkit will act as a one-stop-shop for Housing Providers who intend to implement social value within their strategies and working processes. More so, the project intends to bridge the gap between the requirements of the social housing sector, public bodies and other housing organisations by drawing on in depth research practices and precise social impact measurement.

The development of the toolkit and the positive feedback we have received so far foreshows the need of further steps towards ensuring social value is understood and implemented by more organisations.

As a membership organisation, Consortium Procurement strives to deliver best service and on-going support at the highest level to its members. We have embarked on this project together with HACT because we listen to our members. We have been receiving numerous queries in regards to the implementation of social value in their procurement processes. We believe that by working on the development of the Social Value Toolkit, we can support our members with access to relevant information and advice.

Louise Chase, Procurement Manager at Consortium Procurement said: “Ensuring our members’ social value priorities are supported through our procurement activity has been a long standing priority for the Consortium. We understand that delivering social value in contracts is important to our members however we know it can be difficult to balance compliance with the procurement regulations and add social value. We have a longstanding relationship with HACT and were delighted to participate in such an innovative, clear and focussed toolkit to really help our members understand how they can compliantly include social value in their contracts.”

HACT do nothing but their best to spread the word about the Social Value Toolkit as much as possible so that more Housing Associations get the chance to benefit from it. They have recently implemented a new referral programme it already gives excellent outcomes. As a part of the programme dedicated Housing Associations send representatives of their supply chain organisations to HACT to learn more about the approach. If those supply chain organisation decide to take up a licence to use the Social Value Bank, HACT will provide half a day of training back to the referring organisation at no cost.

Mary-Kathryn Rallings Adams, Director of Research at HACT said: “The idea behind this process is to continue curating a network of like-minded organisations committed to truly delivering social value through procurement.”

“Throughout the development of this toolkit, we have very much enjoyed working with delivery partners Trowers & Hamlins and echelon Consultancy Ltd, alongside our project partners Consortium Procurement, Affinity Sutton, North Hertfordshire Homes, Riverside, Thrive Homes, Wandle, AkzoNobel, Mulalley, United Living, and Wates. The aim in this piece of work was to focus specifically on how both commissioners and contractors could generate maximum social value and how they could evidence the value created clearly, consistently and robustly. We look forward to working with Consortium Procurement and our other project partners and supporters in the coming months to embed the toolkit,” she added.

The toolkit is freely available for download here. If you would like to understand more about this project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Louise Chase, Procurement Manager at Consortium Procurement at louise.chase@consortiumprocurement.org.uk