Social Value

If you are a voluntary, community or social enterprise then you are delivering Social Value in Rotherham.

What is Social Value

Social Value is the ‘catch-all’ term used to describe the difference an organisation or project can make to the community they are operating within.

Social value asks the question:

  • ‘If £1 is spent on the delivery of services, can that same £1 be used, to also produce a wider benefit to the community?’ (Social Enterprise UK)

Social – Economic – Environmental

Known as the ‘Three Pillars of Sustainability’, delivering outcomes in these three areas should enable organisations to move beyond delivering only profit and loss outcomes, and move to produce a “Triple Bottom Line”. Ideally the three elements should be in balance, and if they are it will produce a sustainable future society by making life more bearable, viable and equitable.


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Increasingly voluntary, community and social enterprise groups are being asked to demonstrate their Social Value in these areas.

Social value is the unique selling point for all voluntary, community and social enterprises and this is a unique opportunity for them to demonstrate their Social Value to a wider audience, to show the impact they are having on real people’s lives.

The key principles to evidence a Social Value approach are to:

  • Embed Social Value: adapt your policies and governance arrangements to emphasise the role social value will play in services
  • Deliver Social Value: implement social value through commissioning and procurement processes from assessment of assets and needs through to advertisement and pre-qualification questionnaires, specification, evaluation and contract compliance.
  • Demonstrate Social Value: evidence how and when you have introduced social value into service delivery and the impact that this has made.

Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental wellbeing when procuring and awarding contracts.

Rotherham Council Approach

In October 2019, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet approved the implementation of the Council’s Social Value Policy. The Council’s policy goes a step beyond the legislative requirement with the inclusion of Social Value criteria in all contracts (including Goods and Works contracts, not just those aligned to Services) with a value greater than £100,000.

To find out more about Rotherham Council, Social Value and their approach, visit