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Article Details

Published Date: 17-04-2015
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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Since the incorporation of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 we have found many companies struggle responding to related tender questions.

The Social Value Act dictates that contracting authorities must incorporate certain considerations into their procurement processes. They must consider how service providers can directly improve the social, economic and environmental aspects of an area.

As a result of the act there is a noticeable focus on these areas in both PQQs and tenders and bidders must take this into account.

Social value tender questions

Social value tender questions can often appear very tricky, but once you understand how to respond to them and what the evaluator is looking for, they become a lot easier. The phrasing can be confusing but it is important to understand that all questions, regardless of wording, are looking for the same assurances.

As mentioned social value revolves around social, economic and environmental factors and how your company can benefit the area should you secure the contract.

This is actually one area of a tender where smaller local businesses can gain an edge over larger non-local competitors. By already having an established local presence you may not even realise the amount of factors you contribute to social value.

Responding to the question

Social: The social aspect of the response relates to the local area and the people in it. The contracting authority is looking for community engagement and support of the area and culture.

Here are some potential areas to talk about in relation to social value:

  • Engaging with the local community, for example, working with schools and charities to support people in the area
  • Helping amateur sports teams or social groups
  • Providing or taking part in local volunteering programs

Economic: Questions about economic social value are looking for ways in which your company will directly improve the local economy. This can be through the creation of jobs or use of local suppliers.

Possible economic responses to include:

  • Create and sustain local jobs
  • Provide training or apprenticeship schemes
  • Utilise a local supply chain
  • Invest in other local businesses

Environmental: Environmental responses require you to show how your company will benefit the local environment and work to be as green as possible throughout operations. Aspects of this response may already be part of your company’s environmental policy, which should be referenced where relevant.

Environmental aspects of social value:

  • Saving energy where possible
  • Recycling
  • Working to reduce carbon footprint
  • Use of environmentally friendly goods
  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

For more information on responding to social value tender questions you can contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email

Or please see our sister company, The Social Value Practice, for further social value support.

For some tips on bid writing best practice, watch the video below:

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