Circular for August 2014
List of Contents
Contacts & Coordinators
Prove your social value – get the audit!
Browsing recently through one of the e-mail circulars in my In Box, I came across the Four Pillar Approach to measuring social value produced by NPC. This report sets out a sound approach, which echoes much of what SAN has said and talked about (for years!). The process has, for example, re-introduced 'qualitative' and 'quantitative' data, a key element of the SAN Guide 'Prove, Improve, Account'.
But I am not worried by this new duplication – there are now so many guides, manuals, tools and approaches, that the main demand is for someone to help to navigate your way through them!
The process that we use should sort out itself as time goes on...
The challenge for SAN is to concentrate on the audit. We need to make the audit more universally used. But here is the conundrum – having worked as both a financial and a social auditor, I know that audit is made easier if the accounting process is also standard. So should SAN develop the audit or push for standard social accounting method?
A standard social accounting method is not so difficult to imagine and when financial accountants can see that social accounting is a good thing to do as it impacts on business sustainability and bottom line... then they might encourage more organisations to do it.
The SAN methodology offers not only accounting of your social value, but also the vital independent test of robustness and authenticity – the audit. For more information see www.socialauditnetwork.org.uk and prove your social value to your stakeholders!
New Regional Co-ordinator for Wales
SAN welcomes Phil Marks as our new Regional Co-ordinator for Wales. Phil has more than 30 years successful experience of community engagement, ethical business development, operations management and strategy setting to senior/board level in the community/voluntary, private and public and sectors (particularly in sustainable development, environmental improvement, waste management, resource conservation, manufacturing and materials processing industries), serving Welsh, UK, European and international communities.
Phil has been at the forefront of the movement in Wales towards the commitment to professional social accounting. He is a SAN accredited Social Auditor and has delivered many introductory courses in social accounting and audit to social enterprises and voluntary/community organisations. He has also co-developed and delivered numerous programmes of training/learning and support to social enterprises and voluntary/community organisations in South Wales.
Phil provides one-to-one mentoring with several South Wales based social enterprises, community organisations and public/private sector bodies, through to the production of full social accounts and external social audit where required and has delivered presentations and held workshops on social accounting and audit for pan-Wales Networks, SAN UK, Pembrokeshire College, Carmarthenshire Waste Forum, SCRAP, Cylch, Wales Cooperative Centre and CRNS Scotland.
Phil can be contacted at email@example.com
The full list of all regional co-ordinators is at the end of this newsletter, and they:
- can explain or promote Social Accounting and Audit (SAA) to others
- act as the main contact for people interested in SAA and SAN
- put people in touch with training opportunities, the SAN website, monthly circular, case studies or other practitioners, and advice
- arrange meetings of those who are interested in SAA in the region and co-ordinate events and training in a region
- run awareness raising events and longer training activities
A plan for public procurement: food and catering
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published “A plan for public procurement: food and catering”, claiming that “The plan sets out what standards the public sector and suppliers are encouraged to follow when buying food and catering services.
It proposes a new but voluntary approach, involving use of a balanced scorecard and an e-marketplace, to improve food procurement in the public sector.”
The plan has three components:
A balanced scorecard that describes an evaluation approach that includes, alongside cost, within the qualitative criteria, factors relating to production, health and wellbeing, resource efficiency, socio-economic e.g. fair and ethical trade, local and cultural engagement and quality of service
Social Enterprise UK has published Communities Count: the Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value is the largest and most comprehensive survey since the introduction of the Social Value Act, examining the views of commissioners, their progress in delivering social value, and the role of social enterprise. Findings include that more than two-thirds of local authorities and housing associations say delivering social value has led to better service delivery and community relations according to a new report.
The findings in this report are very good news and clearly demonstrate that integrating social value can bring a wide range of benefits to local authorities and housing associations and the communities in which they operate. It shows social value can be viewed as a strategy for innovation and cost savings, not just as the creation of positive social outcomes or, at worse, compliance to the Act.
European Commission New Standard
The European Commission has published a new standard to allow social enterprises of all sizes to better measure and demonstrate their social impact and so help them in their discussions with partners, investors, and public sector funders – press release is at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-696_en.htm?locale=en
SEUK New Website
SEUK have also created a new website for people who are interested in social value and the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. Social Value Hub, http://socialvaluehub.org.uk, aims to help councils, public sector commissioners and providers take advantage of the new legislation to deliver improved public services and cost-savings.
Also see Social Enterprise UK news items http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/news/social-value-guidance-your-fingertips-with-new-free-online-hub.
UCL Institute of Health Equity
In London, and of interest to organisations providing health and wellbeing services, the UCL Institute of Health Equity has published a set of ‘Marmot Indicators’ in 2011 and 2012. These are a small set, with spine charts comparing LAs to regional/England etc. More information can be found at: http://www.lho.org.uk/LHO_Topics/national_lead_areas/marmot/marmotindicators.aspx?
They also have produced a set of ‘recession indicators’ with Public Health England, which aim to measure the impact of the recession and cuts to local areas. At the moment they have only gathered together the data for London but most of the indicators are available nationally if you are interested - http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/indicator-set-the-impact-of-the-economic-downturn-and-policy-changes-on-health-inequalities-in-london
Two-day Social Audit Network Training
Following the successful two-day Social Audit Network accredited Social Accounting training course on 13/14 August 2014, Salford CVS will be hosting a second course on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th October 2014.
The two day Social Audit Network (SAN) Prove, Improve and Account (PIA) Workshop is aimed at people who wish to understand the Four Step social accounting process, either in order to facilitate the process with social economy organisations or to use it within their own organisation.
The Workshop will go through the Four Step process in detail from the perspective of a facilitator / trainer.
The purpose of this training will be to introduce and understand the process of social accounting and audit and to explore the resources in the SAN Guide and CD from both doer and facilitator point of view. Learning outcomes include to be able to compile a set of social accounts of one’s own organisation and present these for audit; and to be able to assist others in the process.
NB - You will need to have access to a laptop and bring with you for this training (the SAN Guide has an accompanying CD with additional resources). If you are not able to bring your own, please contact Salford CVS and we’ll try and organise this for you. The cost price for this course is £375, which includes a copy of the social accounting and audit guide & CD.
9.15 arrival for a 9.30am start. The course finishes at 4.45pm - both days
To book a place visit http://www.socialauditnetwork.org.uk/events-training/training/ - or email firstname.lastname@example.org