When responding to social value questions it’s important to explain to the evaluator how you will monitor and report on your commitments.
If you’ve answered a central government social value model question recently, you’ll be aware that if you’re successful the commitments in your response will ultimately be used to establish a set of key performance indicators which the authority will use to manage the contract. For example, the model includes standardised reporting metrics such as the number of full-time equivalent employment opportunities created under the contract or number of apprenticeship opportunities created. While providing quantities and numbers will paint a clear picture of what it is you’re offering, it should also prompt you to think about how you will monitor and report on the delivery of your proposals. Indeed, evaluators will often ask for this information as part of your social value response. With this in mind, what should you look to include?
The central government social value model takes a qualitative approach to evaluating the social value aspect of your bid. In other words, it is not just the quantity of what is being offered but also the quality. However, we still want to include clear, quantifiable outputs which will enable the evaluator to understand what is being offered and enable them to monitor whether it has been achieved. Also, remember to make it clear if these outputs are per year, over the contract duration or linked to any contract value if you are bidding for a place on a framework.
Include details of who will have ownership of monitoring and reporting data. On a day-to-day basis it might make sense to build this into existing working processes. For example if you have committed to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases arising from delivering the contract, it might be your environmental manager or fleet manager who collects this data, but will there be someone else responsible for compiling all social value outputs at a contract level?
As well as capturing data on the outputs delivered, there is a requirement to capture evidence of what you deliver for contract monitoring and reporting. When you decide on your commitments, consider what types of evidence might be appropriate to substantiate delivery, for example keeping a register of staff who took part in a community volunteering programme, how many hours they spent, what organisation they supported, photographs of activities (if appropriate), and a letter of acknowledgement from the recipient organisation. Providing details on how you will collect and provide evidence will give the evaluator further confidence in your proposals.
Reporting frequencies and format
It’s common for social value KPIs for central government contracts to be reported quarterly, but check the documentation to see if alternative arrangements are proposed for the opportunity you are tendering for. As well as formal reporting to the authority, consider including details of how you will be monitoring and reviewing data as part of your ongoing internal contract management meetings to make sure everything remains on track and enable any issues to be identified and corrective measure made, demonstrating how you will be proactive.
Measuring outputs provides a means to track the progress and delivery of your social value commitments quantitatively. However, to support qualitative monitoring you might also want to consider collecting some outcome data to establish whether your actions are having the desired effect and to identify future improvements. This needn’t be onerous: for example, it might involve asking staff who take part in health and wellbeing programmes to complete a simple electronic or paper-based survey to understand if the interventions you are delivering are having the intended impact.
For more information on responding to social value tender questions, visit our dedicated division The Social Value Practice, contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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