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Social Value Portal

Mastering Social Value Measurement: Insights from our latest webinar

Read the essential highlights of our recent webinar: Mastering Social Value Measurement. 


At Social Value Portal, we have identified six ‘success factors’ that are essential for a successful Social Value strategy: Culture, Governance, Measurement, Levers, Bids, and Supply Chain. A truly impactful strategy hinges on these elements working in harmony. 

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In our recent webinar, our experts Nathan Goode (Chief Strategy Officer),  Ashley Morgan (Head of Customer Business), and Rachel Davis (Senior Social Value Advisor) delved into one of the most important elements of this discussion: Measurement 

Social Value is skyrocketing  

Ashley Morgan set the scene with a top-level look at Social Value. Initially championed by the public sector following the 2012 Social Value Act, it's now surging in the private sector. With the implementation of the Procurement Act approaching, Social Value is becoming integral to both buyers and bidders. 

Our Success Factors survey confirms this trend: 

  • 59% of organisations have a CSR or Social Value-focused executive. 
  • 82% expect to spend more time on Social Value in the next three years. 

Mastering Social Value measurement 

Measuring Social Value isn’t a tick box exercise – it’s your compass for improvement and a tool to demonstrate results. Our experts provided three key tips: 

  1. Establish defined measures relevant to your needs and priorities and those of the communities you serve. 
  2. Prioritise consistent, standardised data capture. We suggest using the Social Value TOM System, like market leading organisations such as Durham County Council, Equans, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, and Mars. 
  3. Create comprehensive, engaging reports. Only 39% feel their Social Value reports are well-understood by stakeholders – bridge this gap by combining quantitative and qualitative insights to tell a full Social Value story. 

The power of the Social Value TOM System™  

The Social Value TOM System is the UK’s established standard for measuring Social Value. Ashley outlined five reasons why its trusted by thousands of organisations: 

  • A complete system: Its structure of Themes, Outcomes, and Measures makes societal benefits core to your operations. 
  • Transparency: The TOM System’s underlying methodology is fully accessible, inspiring confidence in stakeholders. 
  • Robustness: It is underpinned by official government sources, and our data review team validate all data on our platform, eliminating the risk of ‘social washing’. 
  • Flexibility and compatibility: The TOM System aligns with key standards like the UN Sustainable Development Goals, GRESB, SASB, GRI, and the Social Value Model.
  • Continuous evolution: The TOM System is a living entity, constantly improved based on user feedback and latest research. 

Using Social Value Portal and the TOM System was a simple way to help us look at what we want to derive in exchange for that space to the benefit of Islington residents and businesses. We looked across our services against a series of TOM System Measures to understand what to target. 

Caroline Wilson, Director of Inclusive Economy and Jobs at Islington Council 


Reporting using the TOM System allows us to identify our strengths and areas of improvement. For instance, we might see that we are great at creating opportunities through apprenticeships, but that we also need to focus more on creating opportunities for responsible businesses in our supply chain. We're now able to think more strategically about where we go next, because we have the data we need to support those decisions.

Charlotte Davies, Social Impact Manager, Equans

Benchmarking Social Value

Nathan shared some of the ground-breaking insights into the growth of the Social Value movement from our Social Value Insights Report. 

Unprecedented growth  

While Social Value has been on an upward trajectory since the Social Value Act 2012, the past few years have seen a seismic shift – specifically, 650% growth in Social Value delivery since 2020. The report provides a granular, sector-specific view of this growth. 

Delivery exceeds expectations 

Our analysis has revealed that organisations aren’t just meeting their Social Value targets, but often exceeding them – on average achieving 129% of commitments. 

Setting the standard 

With years of robust data, the report redefines what "good" looks like, with industry-level data on Social Value created per contract. Plus, we debunk the myth that smaller businesses can't make a big impact. 

Public procurement drives adoption 

In 2022-2023, UK public sector procurement spend hit £393 billion. Our report lifts the lid on just how much Social Value is being created through public-private collaborations, from the average “Social Value-add” per contract, to the impact of a strong Social Value offering in bids.  

Q&A highlights

With around 250 Social Value practitioners in attendance, had the chance to answer several important questions. Here’s a snapshot: 

How can suppliers improve their Social Value delivery?  

Rachel: "One key thing is improving communication between buyer and supplier - that means the client communicating their desired outcomes and suppliers making sure they are really up to speed on the Social Value landscape, as well as the buyer's Social Value priorities. When both parties are on the same page, the process tends to go far more smoothly." 

Why is it important to check and validate Social Value data?  

Ashley: "Having your Social Value data validated is a very effective way to make sure that you aren’t falling into any reporting pitfalls, like overclaiming. We're also seeing an increasing interest from businesses in going public with their Social Value reporting. Having validated data can give you confidence to do this." 

How do you avoid conflating Social Value in contracts with corporate Social Value?  

Nathan: "This is a really important issue, as getting this right helps you avoid double counting and overclaiming. There are a few nuances to consider – for instance, you wouldn't count something that's been happening for a long time already as additional Social Value. On the other hand, if you were to expand that initiative or launch a new one, that could be counted. A good starting point is to understand what Social Value means for different parts of your business." 

When setting Social Value targets, should businesses align to turnover?  

Ashley: "Social Value was a procurement-centric concept for a long time, but it’s now becoming more and more prominent in corporate reporting as a way of capturing the good your business does more broadly. Many of our members do use turnover as a baseline or reference point, but the key thing is to identify your current capabilities and what good looks like for you." 

Watch the full session

The on-demand webinar, complete with the full Q&A, is available to watch. Plus, our Social Value Insights Report can be downloaded from our website 

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About Social Value Portal

Since 2017 Social Value Portal has been at the forefront of the Social Value movement. As creators of the endorsed Social Value TOM SystemTM, hosts of the annual Social Value Conference and founding members of the independent National Social Value Taskforce – they set industry standards and lead the business agenda.

Their unique mix of consultancy, cloud platform and programmes offer organisations the complete solution to accurately measure, manage and report Social Value – and create lasting impact.

In 2022, SVP achieved B Corp status, scoring above average in all assessed. The company’s aim is to promote better business and community wellbeing through the integration of Social Value into day-to-day business activity across all sectors.

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