Reflections on a Small Charities Coalition event.


I attended the the Commissioning and Social Value 101 event today, which I was particularly impressed with.

Facilitated by Rita Chadha – Small Charities Coalition

Rita began by clarifying the differences between Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting which I found very useful actually, we often think we understand a concept but don’t.

  • Commissioning – the act of buyer deciding to buy a service, the design and development of a brief.
  • Procurement – the act of buying, governed by strict rules where you would tender or bid to be the seller of the service
  • Contracting – if you are successful, the legal contracts and systems you enter into contract delivery with the buyer.

Rita went on to discuss the key factors that precipitated this event.

  • Changes to rules post Brexit;
  • The governments new Green Paper currently out for a 12 week consultation – Transforming Public Procurement;
  • The reinvigoration of the Social Value Act through the Social Value Model PPN 06/20;
  • And the report produced by ACEVO, NAVCA and Lloyds Bank called Rebalancing the Relationship.

Please have your say on this Green Paper.

We then heard from Claire Dove who is the Crown representative for the VSFE sector.  I have heard Claire speak before, and really enjoy listening to her. 

She mentioned the five themes of the PPN 06/20 and its 8 policy outcome:  the social value model as being:

  • Covid19 Recovery
  • Tackling economic inequality
  • Fighting climate change
  • Equal opportunity
  • Wellbeing

Claire was very positive about the direction forward, she mentioned that going forward some contracts will be ring-fenced for the sector, and that Claire will also be holding more contract readiness webinars, and there is a Bidders guide on their website.

It seems that now is definitely the time to look at contracts as an income if you have not before and if your local authority are not moving in the same direction as government, now may be the time to question this.

The Small Charities coalition are looking at ways to support the sector with this.

We then heard from Nicola Lynch from Social Value UK who gave us a little more in depth detail around the PPN 06/20.  Quoting from this document she drew our attention to the following:

1.8 In-scope organisations must ensure that any benefit identified as social value in tenders or contracts under this policy is over and above the core deliverable/s of the tender or the contract.

Nicola went on to demonstrate the need to look at social value outcomes beyond the scope of what is done for beneficiaries (Inherent) for the purpose of tendering to statutory organisations and demonstrating Social Value.  She talked about social value for employees and volunteers (Embedded) through workforce wellbeing, health and safety, living wage and human rights as example areas.

Nicola then went on to looking at social value for the wider community (Additional) touching on areas such as crises response activities, leverage of external funding, partnerships and collaborations, and local purchasing and investing in local assets.

Her final words of wisdom with regard to completing those Social Value elements of a potential tender was this: You start by understanding your impact, but rather than measuring it, express it.


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