Delivering Social Value change and outcomes post covid-19 has never been more important. All bidders across the UK construction Industry seeking to secure public sector works must demonstrate the full extent of the social value they will generate.

From January 2021, a minimum weighting of 10% of the total score for social value should be applied in the procurement to ensure that it will be a differentiating factor in bid evaluation and a higher weighting can be applied if justified.

SONAR Engagement work with the UK Construction Industry delivering measurable and meaningful social value outcomes and positive changes in their communities.

About Social Value

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 outlines various duties placed on public-sector bodies when procuring goods and services with respect to social value


The Government’s Construction Playbook

On 8 December 2020 the government published its Construction Playbook, It has been developed by the Cabinet Office and the CLC and sets out how the government will procure construction work with the ultimate aim of projects being delivered faster, better and greener.

  • The “Cross Cutting Priorities” of the Playbook are:
    • To improve building and workplace safety
    • Take strides towards our 2050 net zero commitment and focus on a whole life carbon approach
    • Promote social value which will help local communities recover from COVID-19
  • The guidelines are set to be implemented over the next three years and will drive improvement in the public sector on a ‘comply or explain’ basis
  • An outcome based approach

Social value is a way of maximising the benefits of public procurement by encouraging employment opportunities, developing skills and improving environmental sustainability. This helps to contribute towards a level playing field for the UK’s small businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises.


PPN 06/20 – Taking Account of Social Value in the Award of Central Government Contracts

  • Information from the latest procurement policy note advises that the social value model will assess contracts (or bidders) on the following:
    • Supporting COVID-19 recovery, including helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of COVID
    • Tackling economic inequality, including creating new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience
    • Fighting climate change and reducing waste
    • Driving equal opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality, improving health and wellbeing and community integrat

What is Social Value?

  • There is no one definition of what social value is
  • SONAR Engagement believes that each location is unique and a generic SV plan is not transferable to each area.
  • Social Value is about outcomes – what actually changes as a result of the actions?
  • SONAR Engagement will help clients understand the communities they work in identify priority areas and help avoid duplication of effort on and align CSR and Social Value Initiatives

What social value isn’t

  • Past activities and prior successes provide fantastic evidence of social value being delivered in the past – but if questions focus on how you will provide social value, then those prior successes become less directly relevant
  • Nothing changes with respect to prior successes or ongoing activities to which you are already actively committed anyway, so no additional social value is created
  • These statements remain valuable in questions which do focus specifically on experience of delivering social value, or as evidence to ‘back up’ responses, but they cannot be relied on to answer questions on the social value that you will create