Follow the lead of Transport for London and other progressive clients and use this approach to integrate social considerations into a procurement process. This approach fits neatly within the guidance provided by the ISO 20400 in sustainable procurement.
Base your requirements on the need you’ve identified through consultation and stakeholder engagement. State links to policies, where they exist. Relate the requirements to core matter of the contract. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve.
Ask bidders to explaining what they would do, how, when and what this would deliver. Ask for targets or indicators, if you want to. Provide a word limit – small and medium companies can put in great responses when word limits are tight because they focus on what they do rather than inserting ‘corporate speak’. Be clear that the successful bidder will be contractually bound to deliver their action plan(s).
Include score(s) in a balanced scorecard approach to contract award. The higher the weighting the better! Be realistic about how much – or little – social value can be generated if the weighting is heavily skewed towards price.
The team delivering the contract might not be the same that write the tender. They might need reminding of their action plan(s) and need some encouragement to deliver them. If you have colleagues or local stakeholders who can help them, all the better.