Social value – more than just an act of parliament for public services

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

Introduced in 2012, the Social Value Act was brought in to ensure that the public sector delivers local services in a way that social, economic, and environmental benefits are taken into account and contribute to local communities.

So, what is social value?

It’s not a new fad. Actually, it’s far more than that. By simply typing into Google social value, it will capture thousands of different definitions, covering elements of social equality, environmental sustainability, well-being, and economic values. 

Social value UK defines social value as “a way of quantifying the relative importance of impacts that are not already captured in financial or market transactions”.  At Openbrolly we believe this definition is highly important as it gives a range of relevance and outputs, to ensure the sharing of best practices and shifting power to make a difference.

In order for us to maximise our net positive impacts, we must hold ourselves accountable and address our social issues one by one, develop appropriate strategies, review them and improve on them over time.

With the use of a problem tree we can get to the root of the issues and start focusing upon solutions and positive impacts using innovative new design methods.

“innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat” – Steve Jobs.

Public sector organisations have to meet the needs of the whole of society, not just a specific target market and as a result, councils are required to monitor social, economic and environmental benefits of the decisions they make. This means that they face difficult challenges daily, and have to abide by different processes based upon impact and social value not just cost. Consequently,  officials need to do more than favour the lowest bidders, and are influenced to consider and report on what they and their providers could contribute to their area; including:

  • The creation of work opportunities and employing individuals from their local area
  • Supporting citizens and the community
  • Supporting businesses
  • Supporting mental health and well-being

This can be achieved by focusing on the following 10 steps: 

  1. Building trust
  2. Gaining credibility
  3. Building relationships
  4. Increasing community integration and supporting community-led initiatives 
  5. Help get more value for money 
  6. Encouraging local businesses to the market
  7. Promoting communities 
  8. Design better services
  9. Find new and innovative solutions to difficult problems
  10. Provide inclusive and accessible

The aim of The Social Value act is to enable non-profit providers e.g. community businesses and charities, sustenance in order to also compete with private companies. The model aids consistent approaches for departments and suppliers; that will streamline and standardise the procurement process. This model has been designed to fit into existing processes, limiting the impact on commercial teams and suppliers, and providing a clear and systematic way to evaluate policies in the award of contracts. 

At Openbrolly, our purpose is to deliver highly effective solutions that allow our clients to achieve their full potential and priorities. Openbrolly’s systems incorporate employment opportunities nationally and locally, promote social value through the supply chain by advertising local companies, suppliers and agencies, and provide diversity, inclusivity, and equality. As well as, providing tools for economic sustainability including green options and inward investment within our streamlined processes for end users. For our clients, systems are built to make lives easier, reporting economic impacts along the way! 

If you would like to find out more about our streamlined systems, please contact or check out our website for more information