Achieving community benefits - Social Value

Councils can use procurement to achieve wider financial and non-financial outcomes, including improving wellbeing of individuals and communities, social value and improved environment.

Social Value - National TOMs: Covid-19 Plug-in

Over the past month it has become clear that the need for Social Value is greater than ever, as public and private sectors continue to face unprecedented challenges in the wake on the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to the ongoing crisis, the Social Value Portal team have developed a Covid-19 Plug-in for the National TOMs 2020. While the core values of the TOMs remain the same, this revised framework includes a series of new measures, as well as additional provisions for existing contracts, to provide clearer guidance to bidders and suppliers during this difficult time.

It is important to emphasise that these revisions are not intended to create an additional burden for businesses, but rather they are modifications with the goal of making the TOMs more flexible and responsive during the current crisis. Download the Covid-19 Plug-in.

Social Value refers to the wider financial and nonfinancial value created by an organisation through its day to day activities in terms of the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital created and the environment.

Social Value is defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 (Act) which came into force in January 2013 and requires all public sector organisations (and their suppliers) to look beyond the financial cost of a contract and consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of an area.

TOMs: measuring social value in local government procurement

We have partnered with the Social Value Portal to develop a set of Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) to help councils to measure the value they are achieving through implementing the Social Value Act. 

The National TOMs Framework has been designed around 5 principal issues, 20 Core Outcomes and 48 Core Measures:

  • Themes – The overarching strategic themes that an organisation is looking to pursue
  • Outcomes – The objectives or goals that an organisation is looking to achieve that will contribute to the Theme.
  • Measures – The measures that can be used to assess whether these Outcomes have been achieved. For the National TOMs Framework, these re action based and represent activities that a supplier could complete to support a particular desired outcome.

The latest edition of the TOMs was launched at the National Social Value Conference in January and is now live with a number of new outcomes delivering solutions and additional community benefits with particular focus on the environment and the climate emergency, Modern Slavery and vulnerable members of our communities.

Download TOMs

Social value climate change emergency TOMs       

Latest 2020 Social Value TOMs

 TOMs Guidance 2019

The National TOMs - Engaging with stakeholders

National TOMs Calculator 

Our short films below sets out how your council can use these TOMs and highlights a number of useful case studies. 

Other resources

Read NCVO's top tips on Commissioning for social value - National Council for Volunteering Organisations website.

FMB provide some insights and recommendations on ensuring procurement processes are SME friendly in their report  

Read about Government's commitment to helping small businesses to grow - 

If you are interested in doing business with councils here are some helpful tips.

Specimen contract clause on payment terms

In the event that the Supplier, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, enters into a supply contract or a sub-contract in connection with this Agreement, the Supplier shall ensure that a term is included in the supply contract or sub-contract which requires the Supplier to pay all sums due there under to the sub-contractor within a specified period, not to exceed thirty (30) days, from the date of receipt of a valid invoice as defined by the terms of the supply contract or sub-contract (as appropriate).

Social Value in Public Procurement

The Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance is looking for pathfinder councils to input into a study on measuring social value in public sector projects, they propose an easy to use, blended solution for evaluation of social value.

Commissioning for Social Value is a free website created by Social Value UK and is a free of charge database where you can upload case studies explaining how social value has been increased through successful commissioning.

Please do help others to learn by sharing your own case studies and other resources.  They can be uploaded by you or Social Value UK will do it for you if you email

If you're interested on wider work on social value, take a look at the Social Value UK website where you can find out more about Social Value Principles or other research information on their crowd sourced database the Global Value Exchange.

New Procurement Rules for VCSE and SME's

AGMA have kindly agreed to share their slides from a training event for VCSE's on the new EU Procurement Directives:

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