Survey Results: How has the government’s new Procurement Policy impacted organisations on the ground?

The government’s new Procurement Policy – what’s changed for companies?

In 2021, the requirement for all companies involved in procurement is that they work in accordance with the Procurement Policy Note 06/20 (PPN). The new PPN requires companies of all sizes bidding for public contracts to plan and demonstrate how their operations deliver social value to our society addition to the initial services or goods they provide. PPN 06/20 made social value delivery and evidence mandatory, whereas before 2013 this was considered as more of a recommendation.

This change impacts the way companies now plan, implement and report on community engagement activities, subcontractor partnerships and the production implications of their products and services. All companies bidding for tenders must have a company social responsibility (CSR) scheme in place and a budget to support both implementation and reporting.

How has this impacted charities and social enterprises?

In order to understand what effects this change has had on the organisations that companies are now looking to partner with more than ever – charities and social enterprises – whatimpact conducted an interview-style survey with a mixture of 65 charities and social enterprises. Half of the respondents are members of the whatimpact platform, half are not.

The aim of this survey was to understand whether the social impact sector has seen any change in company interest since the introduction of the new PPN in January 2021.

Over 80% of respondents fit into one or more of the Social Value Priorities (focus areas that these procurement companies are now required to contribute to with their activities, whether linked to or outside of their main service):

  1. Covid-19 recovery: helping local communities to manage and recover from the impact of COVID-19
  2. Tackling economic inequality: creating new skills, jobs and businesses and increase supply chain resilience and capacity
  3. Fighting climate change: ensuring effective stewardship of the environment
  4. Equal opportunity: reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality
  5. Wellbeing: improving health and wellbeing and enhancing community integration

70% of organisations that took part in the survey operate locally, 20% nationwide and 10% globally – all could be great potential partners for companies bidding for local and nationwide tenders. However, out of the 65 respondents, only 3 organisations said that they have seen a rise in interest from companies.

Given that we at whatimpact are talking with tens of company representatives on a weekly basis who say that they struggle to fulfil the new and enforced social value obligations, this low percentage of social impact organisations that have actually been approached by such companies shows a clear lacking in effective communication between the sectors.

There is a clear gap in the market for social value organisations and companies to match and create mutually beneficial partnerships, in a way that delivers added social value to society. whatimpact has identified several reasons for this, and our social value marketplace platform is precisely planned to bridge these gaps. Read our white paper to learn more about this.

How can whatimpact help?

In order to prove the social value produced by a partnership, it is essential that companies collaborate with charities and social enterprises that report on the impact made, in order to prove the value that has been delivered – Social Value now forms a new score of 10-30% in the evaluation criteria for tender bids.

70% of our respondents already measure their impact and 86% said they would be willing to try our social impact reporting tool which is built into the platform, again making these organisations ideal candidates for procurement companies to work with. So how can help to facilitate these CSR partnerships?

  • Match your company with charities and social enterprises within the Social Value Model priorities and your preferred geographic areas
  • Show the impact that social value organisations have already made, their current projects, as well as aimed impact, enabling companies to find reliable and transparent partners that share your values and goals
  • Evaluate applications and carry out due diligence – we pull government data for all profiles and host due diligence process on the platform
  • Get a validated social impact report on the impact your company helped achieve, with testimonials and proof – a BS8950 aligned report with qualitative and quantitative data provided by each organisation you have collaborated with
  • Provide public, just-in-time evidence of activities also for other stakeholders – and your employees to engage with what you do

Next steps

We know from first hand conversations with companies that although the PPN change is recognised amongst organisations of all sizes, companies struggle when it comes to creating a coherent CSR strategy. whatimpact offers additional material and training for companies to build an effective CSR strategy. To start the process or to review your existing CSR strategy, download our free guide to creating an effective CSR strategy.

Awareness raising is needed on both sides of this equation. Charities and social enterprises are largely unaware of the increased need for their services. On the other hand companies are struggling to find the right social impact organisations to connect with. Try our platform to match your company with charities and social enterprises that produce the right kind of social value for your company – book a call with Rick Bradley, our Head of BD, and we will walk you through the process.

Want to meet with potential partners in a commitment free way? Attend one of our Speed-matching Socials – virtual events where your company will get the chance to meet with a selection of social impact organisations that suit your CSR needs. Learn more and register your interest here.

Find the right partner and change the world. Sign up today.

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