Social Value Toolkit


What is this toolkit for?

This toolkit has been designed as a guide for commissioners, procurers and providers. It provides guidance to support commissioners, procurers, and providers of goods, services and works in any sector, to embed the principles of social value into the Council’s procurement process in a proportionate way. It is aimed particularly at commissioners and procurement officers and those advising on legal issues to inspire and generate ideas when considering the many options available in the process of delivering social value as part of the commissioning and procurement cycle.

What is the Social Value Act 2012?

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 for public services was passed in February 2012 and came into force in January 2013. The Act which is administered by the UK Cabinet Office provides the statutory requirement for all public authorities to consider (a) how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and (b) how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.

Definition of Social Value

Defining what social value means and providing evidence that such value can be created should be at the heart of commissioning and procurement. There is no single definition of social value, but it is the recognition of the importance of social, environmental, and economic impacts on the community and the people living in these communities. Social value is defined by the Social Value Hub (Source: Rotherham Social Value Policy): ‘The benefit to the community from a commissioning or procurement process over and above the direct purchasing of goods, services and outcomes.’ This definition is the one that has been adopted by the Council.

Social Value Policy – Creating Social Value in Rotherham

In October 2019, the Council’s Cabinet approved the implementation of the Social Value policy which sets out the Council’s approach to Social Value and the practical steps it will take to maximise the local impact of the Council’s expenditure.

The Social Value Policy sets out 6 key outcomes:

  1. Raising living standards for residents
  2. A strong local economy with employment and skills opportunities and a growing business base
  3. Young people have the opportunity to develop skills and find worthwhile employment
  4. Equality of opportunity for disadvantaged people and communities including disabled people
  5. Strengthened and sustainable community and voluntary sector
  6. Greater environmental sustainability including accessible green public spaces.

Rotherham’s Social Value Policy can be found at:

The Council has made a commitment to ensure that through its processes and procurement procedures that it will aim to maximise the social value available from its commissioning and procurement activity.

National Themes Outcomes and Measures

The Social Value Framework contained within the Policy sets out the specific key measures / actions the Council are seeking suppliers to deliver through the contracts it awards, which are derived from the National Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs). The National Themes Outcomes and Measures can be found at:

Rotherham Themes Outcomes and Measures

The Council has developed its own bespoke measurement framework. Detailed descriptions, guidance and evidence requirements for each of the Rotherham’s TOMs are included at the following link.


Q Where can I get more information and training on social value?
A. Provider sessions are held every month. Please refer to the Social Value Portal Guide: and Using the Social Value Portal for Bidders & Suppliers watch?v=jd6Zv18AgLk

Q What difference does social value make to the Council and communities across Rotherham? How do we evidence and communicate this?
A This evidence and narrative will need to be considered over a prolonged period of time and the distance travelling captured as part of contract management activity.