What is social value, and why does it matter in public procurement tenders?

Social value as defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act (2013) refers to the wider benefits to society that can be achieved when purchasing goods, services, or works. When applied to procurement, it’s about achieving maximum value for every pound spent, not just economically but also socially and environmentally. 

According to the UK Government’s Guide to Using the Social Value Model, “the huge power of public money spent through public procurement every year in the UK must support government priorities, to boost growth and productivity, help our communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and tackle climate change. There should be a clear ‘golden thread’ from these priorities to the development of strategies and business cases for programmes and projects, through to procurement specifications and the assessment of quality when awarding contracts.”