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An insight into the The National TOMs Framework

Implementing social value into public-sector procurement alone could add an additional £60 Billion benefit to communities.

The National Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework for social value measurement has been launched at the National Social Value Conference in Birmingham 14th November, where the speakers included Chris White, Hazel Blears and Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands

The National Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework for social value measurement was launched at the National Social Value Conference 2017 in Birmingham.

The Framework is the result of 18 months of work and consultation with over 40 public and private sector organisations and represents a major breakthrough in establishing a minimum reporting standard for social value. It has been developed in direct response to one of the key challenges arising from Lord Young’s 2015 review of the Social Value Act that specifically called for a measurement standard to support better and wider implementation of the Social Value Act.

The TOMs Framework comprises 35 measures to capture social value. Each measure has been selected with the National Social Value Taskforce to reflect a particular need in society, and has been allocated a financial proxy value.  This allows organisations to assess the additional contribution that a project will make to society in terms of fiscal savings, broader economic benefits and value to local communities.

But the TOMs Framework is more than just a way of measuring social value: it has been specifically designed to embed local priorities and sign post businesses to areas of the greatest need in our communities, where their actions will add the most value. Priorities will vary from place to place but often include e.g. the need to help provide jobs for young adults leaving care, opportunities for long term unemployed, support for community groups and protecting the environment.

If applied effectively across public sector procurement and planning, the National TOMs Framework could unlock an additional £60 billion in value for our communities.

Chris White, sponsor of the private members bill that saw the act through Parliament, says:

‘‘The Social Value Act was a major breakthrough at the time and raised the importance of cross sector collaboration to deliver more value for our communities. The work by the National Social Value Taskforce helps plug an important gap in the bill in presenting a concise and robust definition and measurement standard that may be picked up by both the public and private sectors.’’

More Effective Procurement

There is now no doubt that the Social Value Act is transforming the relationship between the public sector and business; it is hard to argue against doing more with the public pound especially as austerity continues to bite.

This is principally because there is clear evidence that embedding social value into commissioning and procurement unlocks additional value, does not cost more and ultimately leads to better community outcomes. It also ensures that the best and most responsible businesses are rewarded with the opportunity of working with the public sector.

Councillors get this, officers also get this, but as importantly Business now understands that this is a necessary part of working with our public sector.

However, the issues of ‘definition’ and ‘how to measure social value’ remained a key concern for everyone. This is why the National Social Value Taskforce in collaboration with the Local Government Organisation (LGA) National Advisory Group has developed the National Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework for social value measurement.

The National TOMs Framework

The National TOMs Framework is built around 5 principle Themes as follows:

Promoting Skills and Employment: To promote growth and development and ensure that all communities are offered the opportunity to develop new skills and gain meaningful employment.

Supporting the Growth of Responsible Regional Businesses: Local businesses play an extremely important role within the community in terms of job creation and wealth generation which will continue to increase as central government grants are cut. It is therefore essential that local businesses are not only provided with the skills to compete but are also offered the opportunity to work within public sector and big business supply chains.

Creating Healthier, Safer and More Resilient Communities: To build stronger and deeper relationships with the voluntary and social enterprise sector whilst continuing to engage and empower citizens.

Protecting and Improving our Environment: To ensure the places where people live and work are cleaner and greener, the promotion of sustainable procurement and protecting the long-term future of our planet for our children.

Promoting Social Innovation: To promote new ideas and innovation to solve old and new social problems.

Proposed Themes  Desired Outcome and Goal
Jobs: Promote Local Skills and Employment  More local people in employment
 More opportunities for disadvantaged people
 Improved skills for local people
 Improved employability of young people
 A workforce and culture that reflect the diversity of the local community
Growth: Supporting Growth of Responsible Regional Business  More opportunities for SMEs and VCSEs Local companies
 Improving staff wellbeing
 Social Value embedded in the supply chain
Social: Healthier, Safer and more Resilient Communities  Crime is reduced
 Creating a healthier community
 Vulnerable people are helped to live independently
 More working with the Community
Environment: Protecting and Improving Our Environment  Climate Impacts are reduced
 Air pollution is reduced
 Better places to live
 Sustainable and Ethical Procurement is promoted
Innovation: Promoting Social Innovation  More innovative ideas to solve old problems

The National TOMs can be downloaded free of charge for everyone along with guidance on how to use the framework as a procurement tool and to measure social value.

About the Authors

The National Social Value Task Force was founded in February 2016 in order to establish a best-practice framework for the integration of the Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012 (‘Act’) into our public-sector commissioning and procurement.

It is an open network and welcomes any organisation that wishes to get involved and who wishes to share good practice.

The SV Task Force comprise 38 members representing 35 organisations and aims to bridge the gap between public and private sectors recognising that it is only through collaboration and partnership that success will be achieved.

Social Value Portal (SVP) is a social enterprise dedicated to embedding social value into all organisations. SVP led the work on the National TOMs Framework including development of the ‘values’ that allows organisations to better understand the broader value that their activities could bring to society.

Task Force Members and other contributors

Association of Greater Manchester North East Procurement Organisation
Balfour Beatty Network Rail
BWB LLP ORBIS (Surrey & East Sussex County, Brighton and Hove)
Birmingham City Council Salford City Council
Brent Council Sandwell Council
Bristol City Council SCAPE Procure
Cabinet Office Social Value Portal
Colchester City Council Social Value UK
Crown Commercial Services Solihull Council
Cornwall Council STAR Procurement
Coventry City Council Surrey County Council
Dudley Council Supply Chain Future
Durham Council Wates Group
Halton CCG Walsall Council
Halton Borough Council Willmott Dixon Foundation
Harrow Council West Midlands Combined Authority
Greater London Authority West Midlands Fire Service
Local Government Association Wolverhampton Council
London Fire Brigade YPO

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