Social Value - Bidders

What can I do?

Your response to the Social Value questions could make the difference whether your bid is successful or not. To assist bidders / suppliers in considering Social Value in your bids effectively, we have set out some helpful information below:

Pre-Tender

  • Consider helping to infuence the shape of the buying organisations Social Value policy and strategy by getting involved in policy work, strategic discussions, and any market engagement activites.
  • Familiarise yourself with the buying organisations procurement strategy, and any Social Value materials published.
  • Familiarise yourself with the buying organisations corporate priorities.

During the tender

Before writing your bid:

  • Read the buying organisations procurement strategy, and any other information published that higlights how they approach Social Value.
  • Investigate the buying organisations Corporate Priorities.
  • Consider the TOMs "menu" for ideas.
  • Consider what you might have done on previous contracts.
  • Be aware that solutions that are not part of delivering the Core requirements should be delivered at no additional cost to the buying organisation. The costs of delivering these additional elements should be bourne by you.
  • Read the tender documents, and any guidance they provide to you on responding to the Social Value element.
  • Read the questions properly.
  • If you are unsure of any terminology used, or what the buying organisation is asking, ask them - that's what clarification periods are for.
  • If you don’t think social value has been considered, then ask them about it during the tender period;
  • Talk to your own supply chain / consortium members, they may be able to help you to identify and deliver Social Value commitments.
  • Feel free to consider options that will help you as a business as well as the buying organisation:
  • Such as health and wellbeing support for staff.

When writing your bid:

  • Answer the question(s) asked, not the question(s) you think they should have asked.
  • Social Value may be both a core requirement of the contract, as well as exploring what additional solution(s) you may be able to deliver. Make sure you set out clearly how you will approach both.
  • DO NOT use stock answers. Make sure your response is specific to the buying organisations needs / desires.
  • As a general rule, and where the tender is subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (and where otherwise stated in the buying organisations tender), make sure your response is specific and definitive about what you will do. i.e:
  • DON'T just talk about policies in place or activities you are curently doing.
  • DO talk about specific things that you will:

·       Start to do if you win the contract (e.g. new job, volunteering).

·       Be able to continue to do if you retain / win the contract (.e.g retain a job, continue volunteering.

·       Expand on if you win the contract (e.g. volunteering in the buying organisations area, set up local community group).

  • Be innovative. It still should be appropriate and relevant to the tender but don’t be afraid to come up with something unique.

Post Tender

  • If successful, it is very likely that you will be contractually obliged to deliver on your Social Value commitments promised, so ensure that they are realistic and deliverable.
  • Agree with the buying organsiation how and when you will report on your progress in delivering your Social Value commitments during the contract.
  • If unsuccessful, ask for feedback and specifically ask about Social Value, so you can improve your offer / approach for the next opportunity.

Social Value FAQs

Why don't I always see social value in the quotations I am submitting?
Not all tender opportunities that we advertise are suitable for the capture of additional Social Value. If Social Value is not included in a tender document, you can always ask during the tender period to check that it has been considered and discounted

Will current suppliers have an advantage in the evaluation process?
No. The Council makes sure that all suppliers are treated equally, by providing all bidders with the same detailed information to support their submissions

If I am a supplier who is not based within the Council’s area, does this mean that I won't win any work?
No it doesn't, but you can enhance your bid by offering and providing Social Value within the Council’s locality

Is it all about price?        
No. Evaluation criteria is based upon proportionality and relevance to what we are buying in terms of Price, Quality and Social Value

Can you offer market engagement to assist bidders with their Social Value offer?
We work very closely with Commissioners of services to assess and understand what is relevant and proportionate to the contract in terms of social, economic and environmental opportunities. We then engage with the market as appropriate, to provide the opportunity to feedback prior to the issue of the tender