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Commissioning social value - FAQs

Commissioners - where do we start?

Anybody involved in commissioning and procurement should ask themselves, at the beginning of each project, “How can I use this procurement to generate additional social, economic or environmental benefits for Shropshire?” This requires commissioners to understand the things that are important to our customers and communities, and how to reasonably and proportionately build those additional benefits into the procurement opportunity. This means that, when we're engaging, consulting and working with customers and stakeholders to design services, we should enlist their help in defining service outcomes, including social value outcomes.

We can, and should, define social value outcomes in procurement documentation and service specifications, and should apply a weighting for social value when evaluating tenders. We're not prescriptive about the weighting to be applied because it will depend on individual circumstances. As a guide, around 10% overall weighting is reasonable, but where it’s appropriate we can apply a higher weighting.

Have a look at our overview for commissioners and contracts staff.

What can I do as a business, community or other organisation?

  • Read the Social Value Commissioning and Procurement Framework and take a look at this presentation to understand how your organisation can contribute
  • Speak to us / share – we’re still learning as well!
  • Be proactive – there are lots of other great resources on the internet
  • Be proactive – get involved in early market engagement where possible
  • If tendering for services:
    • Check the specification
    • Answer social value tender questions as comprehensively as possible but make it relevant
    • Think about how you'll demonstrate the social value you say will be delivered – evidence, reporting, relevance
    • Who else can help you to deliver great social value?

What form can social value take?

We've developed a Social Value Commissioning and Procurement Framework, which sets out a range of ways in which social value can be generated in Shropshire. The framework was developed through a social value group consisting of representatives from Shropshire Council, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office, NHS Commissioning and Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (VCSA).

The framework requires that social value generated through a commissioning and/or procurement exercise should contribute to one or more of the council’s primary outcomes. This will ensure that the social value we generate is based on the things that people and communities have told us are important. The framework also requires that social value is integral to any commissioning and/or procurement exercise, and not simply seen as an ‘add-on’.

How is social value measured?

We understand that it can be quite hard to measure and demonstrate social value. We've developed a set of simple measures to support our aim of ‘support for the Shropshire economy’. Commissioners can use any of these measures to demonstrate social value through contracting arrangements.

Additionally, even if an organisation isn't contracted by us they can, if they wish and if relevant, use these measures to demonstrate their social value to their customers, suppliers or funders.

We'll develop further measures during 2017.