Thinking Social

The pre-procurement stage

There are opportunities to maximise social value across the commissioning lifecycle, but the greatest opportunity exists early in the process. PPN 01/21 states: “How social value will be included in contracts should be considered at the earliest possible stage. Considering the social value element of the contract at pre-procurement (i.e. business case) stage will ensure that the procurement strategy maximises the social benefits delivered by contracts.”

You should:

– Consider social value at business case stage

 – Complete a risks and opportunities assessment to determine the most appropriate social value them/indicator for the contract

 – Consider social value in any pre-market engagement activities

It is also recommended that Departments consult with communities affected by the procurement and with potential suppliers to identify the most feasible and beneficial way to promote social value.  Guidance on considering social value at business case stage and pre-procurement can be found here.  Advice on selecting the most relevant social value themes/indicators can be found here or contact

There are opportunities to maximise social value across the commissioning cycle beyond the scope of Procurement Policy Note 01/21 Scoring Social Value (PPN 01/21).  Incorporating sustainability aspects related to the goods/services and works that are being commissioned will help deliver the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle.[1]

All of the following elements should be considered.

  • the design of the procurement (to ensure it is accessible for micro enterprises and VCSE organisations);
  • the specification;
  • the supplier selection
  • the evaluation; and,
  • the contract management to ensure social value outcomes are monitored and reported on.

Get in touch if you have questions:

[1] ISO 20400:2017; Sustainable procurement – Guidance; p.6.

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