Useful resources on social value

 The official version of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and Explanatory notes on the Act.

 An interesting briefing on the Act by the public sector trade union, UNISON: UNISON Branch guidance on the Social Value Act 2012.

 Based on months of working closely with Birmingham City Council, our briefing paper, Social enterprise and the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012: A policy briefing for social enterprises and third sector organisations is packed with insights about how social value is likely to be actually implemented. It moves the debate forward from abstract theorising about social value to looking at the real-life challenges and practicalities of making the legislation work.

We have also produced a PowerPoint presentation based on the policy briefing above — you can download this in either in its original PowerPoint format or as a PDF.  There is an interesting ‘ten months on’ article on the Guardian’s voluntary sector network blog. Put briefly, this finds that the changes so far being seen in commissioning are neither as profound nor as swift as some had thought they might be. It notes that other related policies — such as Living Wage policies and Birmingham City Council’s Business Charter for Social Responsibility — are also coming to the fore as tools to help deliver social value.

→ Just published by BSSEC member Anthony Collins Solicitors,  Social Value and Public Procurement: A Legal Guide. Research by Anthony Collins’ procurement specialists, Mark Cook, Sarah Lines, Gayle Monk and Beulah Allaway. Click the graphic to download or visit Anthony Collins’ website.

→ Social Enterprise UK, in conjunction with Landmarc, has just published The Future of Social Value: A Report from the Social Value Summit 2014.

SEUK’s research identifies areas of outstanding good practice — including in Birmingham, the West Midlands, Knowsley, Durham, Liverpool and elsewhere — but concludes that overall:

  • Awareness of the social value legislation and how to use it is not as high as it should be one year on from the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 coming fully into force.
  • Pre-procurement consultation with the social sector has not been as thorough as was hoped.
  • Where awareness is higher, this hasn’t necessarily led to identifiable changes in procurement practice.
  • How to measure social value (for the provider) and how to ask for social value to be measured (for the commissioner) remain central largely unresolved questions.


Click the graphic to download the report

Click the graphic to download the report