The Importance of Social Value in Your Bid Writing Response

What is Social Value?

Since the introduction of the Public Services (Social Value) Act in 2012, commissioning authorities have increasingly sought to obtain broader societal benefits when acquiring services, purchasing, or hiring commodities, or carrying out work. As a result, it is typical for tenders to include social value questions, in which tendering organisations are asked to commit to the social, economic, and environmental advantages they will provide if the contract is awarded. Social value became a critical component of tendering. This details how corporations must incorporate Social Value pledges into their tender forms and contract bids to the greatest extent possible.

Furthermore, it is a move away from awarding contracts based on lowest cost. Whereas evaluation criteria in the past may have been weighed 60% price and 40% quality, today we are seeing weightings of up to 20% for social value alone, so it’s a fundamental component of any successful bid.

Social value is usually divided into several categories. These include the following, with examples of specific value:

  • Social
    • Supporting local charities and community projects
    • Helping the community and its vulnerable and disadvantaged residents
    • Tackling serious issues such as homelessness, crime, poverty, and health within the community
    • Supporting and promoting local culture and heritage
  • Environmental
    • Working to reduce the impact on the environment by:
    • Reducing carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions
    • Minimising waste and promoting recycling
    • Using sustainable, environmentally friendly products
    • Being a part of an ethical supply chain
  • Economic
    • Offer local employment and training opportunities or apprenticeships
    • Offer work experience placements for schools and colleges
    • Focusing on workplace inequality and employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds 
    • Supporting and using local suppliers, agencies, and businesses

The central government will be obliged to go beyond the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 under a new social value model. These new regulations went into effect on January 1, 2021. It was created with the following goals in mind:

  • Creating new jobs and promoting skills.
  • Encouraging economic growth.
  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery.
  • Tackling climate change, and.
  • Levelling up the UK.

The Importance of Social Value

You must be able to demonstrate (with appropriate, preliminary evidence) a commitment to social value in your community as a corporation aiming to obtain larger contracts. Buyers are becoming more aware of the relevance of social value in tendering and will look for companies who make a concentrated effort to foster a healthy working environment.

Public sector bodies that invite proposals for work worth more than £180,000 are now required to ask about potential suppliers’ social value. It is more vital than ever to understand what it entails. In your bid responses, you must now demonstrate a grasp of social value.

Tips on Creating a Social Value Response

  • Research

Many government agencies, particularly local governments, publicise specific social, environmental, or charitable agendas. Strategic economic or social plans, such as the North East LEP Strategic Economic Plan, are common examples. This may be included in the tender or published on the website of the public sector body. It’s critical to do your homework and establish in your response that you share the same priorities.

  • Specificity

Don’t be vague. Make definite commitments and include:

  • Figures
  • Dates
  • Places
  • Names
  • Precise objectives and targets where possible

It’s critical to include realistic, proven assurances in your offer that are consistent with the buyers aims and the award criteria. If you say you’ll provide apprenticeship chances, be specific about how many, what kind of apprenticeship they’ll get, the certifications they’ll get, and any training providers you’ll collaborate with.

  • Specificity

Don’t be vague. Make definite commitments and include:

  • Figures
  • Dates
  • Places
  • Names
  • Precise objectives and targets where possible

It’s critical to include realistic, proven assurances in your offer that are consistent with the buyers aims and the award criteria. If you say you’ll provide apprenticeship chances, be specific about how many, what kind of apprenticeship they’ll get, the certifications they’ll get, and any training providers you’ll collaborate with.

  • Answer the Question

It’s crucial to avoid assuming you know what the buyer wants to hear. Instead, consider the question’s expectations and react appropriately.  Don’t make the mistake of reading the social value question and quickly writing about your organisation’s past charitable gifts or the number of apprentices it currently employs.

If the question is asking you to outline how you will boost societal value by introducing new employment/work experience chances, don’t get caught up in writing about adding value through charitable giving.

Most social value questions want a forward-looking declaration of the social value commitments you will deliver for the contract you are bidding on.

  • Commitments

Make sure your goals are achievable. The assessor must believe that the commitments you make are realistic and are corresponding to the contract’s worth. Make social value commitments that you are confident you can keep. Authorities will frequently hold you to the promises you make in your tender and overestimating what you can give could have long-term reputational and financial consequences.

  • Monitoring and Reporting

Consider monitoring and reporting. It’s critical to explain to the assessors how you’ll track and report on your social value commitments, as well as how you’ll continue to maximise the benefits you create over the course of the contract.

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