Social Enterprise UK has published research on the progress of the Social Value Act, almost one year since its implementation. Results of a survey commissioned by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) were published to coincide with the 1-year anniversary of the implementation of the Public Services (Social Value) Act on Friday the 31 January.
The survey, which is the most extensive research on the progress of the Act to date, provides a ‘split picture’, where commissioners are likely to feel far more confident about the application and use of the Act than those who provide services. 180 respondents took part in the survey. These break down into commissioning and procurement staff (52), provider organisations (65) and other stakeholders (63). According to SEUK more work is needed to help social sector providers use the Act to demonstrate the social value they create, and to enable commissioners and providers to work better together at achieving and measuring social value.
More than 80% of the commissioning and procurement staff who took part say their organisation has taken steps to identify their social value priorities, and more than 75% say their organisation has issued tenders using social value criteria. According to Social Enterprise UK, these figures are higher than predicted on the strength of anecdotal evidence to date. Just under a third (31%) of commissioning and procurement staff who responded feel there’s a lack of guidance on the Act, compared with more than half (51%) of providers who responded.
The launch of the research coincided with the UK’s first Social Value Summit (28-29 January), a two day conference where politicians, public sector staff, private businesses and social enterprises discussed the Act’s progress.