• Alastair Cooper
  • 4 minutes
  • 29/06/2022

Tailoring the TOMs framework: Nathan Goode on the 2022 updates

Nathan Goode is our Chief Strategy Officer. He is always on the lookout for new ways to help the public and private sectors find new opportunities to create social value and improve their communities. Here he talks us through why the updated  National TOMs are perfect for organisations in 2022.

In June this year, we launched our National TOMs 2022 update. We are delighted to see so many of you engaging with the update, whether joining our webinars or downloading the tools we’ve provided and getting to work tracking social value.

This is the third major update since 2017. You might ask why do we regularly refresh the National TOMs?

Social value is not static – it changes all the time. There are always new challenges, and new opportunities. The framework is designed to drive change, which means we also learn from how it is used and try to fix issues that come up.

The National TOMs is open-source and so, feedback from its users is important to us. There’s always more work we can do to improve the framework and keep it practically relevant. Which is why we are constantly reviewing and updating.

Keeping things simple

Over the years, and in response to our users’ needs, the list of National TOMs measures has become longer and longer. Whilst this means it’s really flexible, we’ve also heard from our users that such a long list can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

We know the National TOMs needs to be accessible as well as comprehensive. So, we’ve looked at the structure and created two new ready-made sets, core and light.

The light set has 18 measures and is designed as ‘entry level’ social value measurement. It provides a good first step for anyone starting their social value journey, or for organisations who are dealing with smaller contracts or bidders.

The core set has 40 measures.. Based on our research and feedback, it covers most organisations’ social value needs.  If there are more specific measures needed, all others are in the non-core set and are still free to access. We recommend that non-core measures are used selectively..

As needs change, we will continue to add new measures,, but this structure should help to provide greater certainty  for future use

Helping you become an expert in social value

We’ve also created more help and guidance to simplify using the National TOMs, including 10 short video guides covering the basics. You can also have a look at our on-demand webinars and updated guidance PDF. There’s more coming too – visual measures cards and the Social Value Academy (register your interest in the academy here).

Making it easy to be green

The other main driver for this year’s   update is to better address the climate crisis. People do ask why social value and the National TOMs should be concerned with the environment when there is so much environmental reporting around already.

The answer is simple. Social value is about going above and beyond business as usual. We need organisations to do that for the environment as much as for any other aspect of social value. More so, in fact. Because we know the knock-on effect to our communities is huge.

We were surprised to see low levels of engagement with the Environment Theme in the National TOMs because we know how focused our users are on reducing their impact on the environment. Something didn’t stack up.

So, we created a simpler starting point for users. We’ve  overhauled the environment theme, with a clear focus on reducing emissions and managing resources.

We’ve also added a Greenhouse Gas Calculator, a simple tool for organisations that don’t have access to more sophisticated measurement tools and resources. We hope this makes it easier for you to use the TOMs, and crucially, play your part in combatting the climate crisis.

From here, the plan is to build out this theme to focus on the social context for environmental action and decarbonisation.

The power of the social value movement can only be harnessed if people and organisations take part. We want every organisation to start reporting in the environment Theme.  Continuing to support social value creation

We’re thrilled with the feedback so far on the National TOMs updates and can’t wait to see how you put them to the test. Explore our range of learning resources and report on the social value you create.  

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