STAR Procurement

STAR 12 Steps to Social Value

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

STAR has a strong track record of delivering demonstrable Social Value through procurement and the wider improvement of local spend and SME/VCSE engagement. We have been recognised nationally as leaders in embedding Social Value in procurement. As part of our continuous improvement approach, we reviewed where we can take this next to ensure we deliver even more to our local communities.

We wanted to do even more as we passionately believe that social value has so much potential to support our services to the local community. It has been a difficult time for procurement as we tackle budget pressures, inflationary contract increases, market uncertainty and supply chain instability. However, it was important for us to continue to drive social value through procurement in an our organisations to ensure we continued to deliver the best we can for local resident. As such we developed our 12 Steps to Social Value.

The 12 steps have been identified as the key actions needed to further embed Social Value and to support our Partners to achieve their Corporate Objectives. It provides a framework for us to work through that provides clarity over priorities, roles and responsibilities and has helped to bring the wider organisations and Partners on our social value improvement journey.

Importantly the 12 Steps to Social Value make it clear that social value is more than a procurement responsibility, and rather a whole organisation approach to social value that delivers to the corporate objectives.

The 12 steps are:
1. Support better bidders to be match fit, tender ready and social value organisations
2. Use policies and law to direct change
3. Grow social economy organisations and remove barriers
4. STAR Partners to become social value organisations
5. Increase local spending within STAR Borough’s and Greater Manchester
6. Refresh Social Value Strategy/Responsible Procurement Strategy
7. Target social value to GM key priorities e.g. sustainability/carbon neutral 2038
8. STAR partners to produce an annual social value statement
9. Challenge social value through the supply chain
10. Target social value TOMs to our desired outcomes within STAR Boroughs and Greater Manchester
11. Review our approach to measuring, reporting and delivery of social value outcomes
12. Develop a ‘place-based’ approach within STAR Brough s and Greater Manchester & influence anchor institutions

What are the key achievements?

Key achievements to date include:
– Secured 40.79% of the contract value as added value in Social Value to date
– 77% of spend retained within Greater Manchester
– Social Value applied to all procurement over £25K
– Social Value forms part of the evaluation model with quality and price and to ensure on average a minimum of 20% weighting
– Use of National TOMS (Themes Outcomes and Measures)
– Use of the Social Value Portal (SVP) above £50K activity to capture, secure, contract manage and report on Social Value from winning contractors.
– Mapped TOMs to Corporate Objectives to ensure the social value helps to deliver to corporate priorities
– £1.7m of social value delivered by the STAR procurement team in 2021/22
– Held various Meet the Buyer and Social Value training session with local businesses to support them to deliver more
– Delivered a social value training programme for Council commissioners to ensure they have a good understanding of process, expectations and benefits of social value
– Shared our approach with Greater Manchester partners and wider to promote best practice and try and deliver consistency to the market
We have exceeded our own expectations of what could be delivered and more than achieved our targets. We are currently developing our measures for 2022/23 and will continue to give ourselves stretched targets to help continue to drive continuous improvement.

How Innovative is your initiative?

Social Value is often thought of as a procurement responsibility, where as the STAR approach makes it clear that this is an organisation-wide responsibility. The benefit of this means that social value is bespoked to each organisation and delivers the corporate objectives.
The types of social value that each organisation requires will be different depending on their social, economic and environmental priorities, and through the 12 Steps, we can provide this information to bidders to ensure they select the social value that will have the greatest impact in that area.
Cross-Council working groups has also helped to identify existing schemes and projects underway by the Council that can be supported through social value submissions. It has also meant there are contacts available for bidders to discuss options and opportunities. It also means that social value activity not linked to procurement continues to be developed and implemented.

What are the key learning points?

This approach is absolutely replicable and scale-able to any size and type of organisation. One of the key challenges to our approach was to change the mindset of social value being a procurement responsibility to a council-wider approach. To resolve this:

– Sign up from the top to the new approach including Leaders, members and chief officers
– A comprehensive engagement programme with officers, members and partners
– A continual cycle of training updates for local businesses and organisations and opportunity for them to feedback to us
– Simplified procurement documentation and approach
– Specific measures and reporting process to ensure accountability and performance
– Stretch targets to drive continuous improvement
– Workshops to help identify new ways of working and innovative approaches

As part of the work we have done to date to promote social value, we have worked with partners across Greater Manchester and contributed to the GMCA Driving Social Value in GM Public Procurement report which sets out the next steps on the Greater Manchester Social Value journey. GMCA and all Greater Manchester Authorities have confirmed their commitment to the report which demonstrates the approach is working and delivering, and can be replicable and scalable across organisations.