Social Profit Calculator are very proud to be named as one of the 31 strategic partners collaborating in support of the Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy Living Lab project, “TIES Living Lab”. This programme was announced by Minister of State, Andrew Stephenson last year and is designed to drive innovation across major infrastructure projects in the UK. Other collaborators include Department for Transport, Network Rail, Construction Innovation Hub, construction innovators Kier, MMC specialists Akerlof, along with academic experts from the University of Dundee and Leeds.

Maximising Opportunities

TIES Living Lab is an alliance that aims to fuse the very best data and digitalisation techniques that UK infrastructure initiatives generate. This intelligence is critical in transforming the UK construction agenda and improving productivity. 

Advanced logistic approaches aim to identify and tackle systematic issues that hinder innovation in construction. TIES Living Lab plans to provide the tools and systems the construction industry needs to improve cost efficiency of projects and help identify Modern Methods of Construction to reduce time delays, cost overruns, reduce projects’ carbon footprints and improve safety skills for construction workers.

A Transformative Collaboration

Over the next two years, the partnership will invest more than £16 million in new approaches, tools, data systems, operations and processes. It will bring together industry experts and business leaders with academic institutions to develop and establish best practice in the way we utilise innovation within transport infrastructure. Furthermore, creating potential applications beyond transport infrastructure, and into other projects.

Andrew Stephenson commented:

“As we begin our green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the need to level-up our country and boost economic prosperity has only increased, and we are determined that we don’t just rebuild, we rebuild smarter. The Living Lab is a great opportunity for industry and academics to work together to embrace new more productive, more efficient and more sustainable ways of delivering transport infrastructure.”

Our Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Coughlan thinks this is a move towards a greater understanding of the whole life value and is another welcome advancement for the industry.

She says:

“SPC has been working with the TIES Living Lab and the DfT since last year. We are working with a host of industry and academic partners to push forward the social value agenda in infrastructure.”

This strategic, scalable and sector wide approach intends to be a catalyst for real cultural change, shifting focus within infrastructure delivery decision-making from the costs of construction to a greater understanding of its whole life value.

Our new team member, Angus Townsend, joins us in his new role as SPC’s Senior Consultant. Angus enjoys eating crisps, watching cricket and stumbling around after monkeys.

Let’s get to know him a little bit more…

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now? 

They would be fairly confused by the concept of social value and probably just ask me to get them some more crisps. But they would be satisfied if I told them it was a good thing, and would then run back off into the woods to whack a tree with a stick.

What’s your favourite part of your workday? 

It can be very satisfying to get stuck into a piece of work which requires some problem solving, even more so if done with someone else. 

What motivates you to work hard?

The positive nature of SPC’s work really helps, as does the desire to give my best and try to maximise my positive impact. The harder you work the more you get out of things. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

I can’t actually think of a single piece of advice that has cut through and been defining. Something I like people talking about and often see enacted is the desire to keep learning and developing no matter at what stage of their career they are at or how much they appear to have mastered something. Keep working on those off-cutters Jimmy.

Your top tip for wellbeing in lockdown?

Maybe surrounding yourself with plants, they really do seem to help with the workday mood. I have always hot desked in the office so haven’t been able to encase myself in them previously. It is also useful to start on that journey of keeping things alive, we are currently moving to step two and getting some fish and axolotls (with a chameleon on the horizon).

How do you address the work-life balance?

Definitely a challenge but I think it helps living with my partner and a couple of flatmates. They work pretty healthy hours so I can get pulled along into their schedule and you end up helping each other switch out of that workday mindset. It’s also not easy telling my partner I can’t watch the latest episode of Married at First Sight because I’m working late.

How would your friends describe you?

Socially valuable.

What show are you currently binge-watching?

I would like to highlight some of the hard-hitting dramas and documentaries we have been watching but really we get most pleasure from binging reality TV. Currently working our way through the aforementioned Married at First Sight (Australia), Below Deck and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

We want to hire you? I just can’t beat you at Settlers of Catan?

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?

It is usually a split between the extremes of spending the day in bed watching tv and eating crisps or going off to explore somewhere we haven’t been before.

Thanks for taking the time Angus. Welcome to the team and good luck in your new role!

Our new team member, Mica Schultz, joins us this month in her new appointment as SPC’s Technical Customer Support Advisor. Mica enjoys going to restaurants, fashion, and binge-watching series in under 24 hours!

Let’s get to know her a little bit more…

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now? 

I think 10-year-old me would firstly be confused as to why I’m not a professional gymnast, but then would be proud that I work for a company that plays an integral role in evidencing the positive impacts of projects that predominantly help others.

What’s your favourite part of your workday? 

Daily stand up for sure, I love that everyone comes together in the morning and discusses what they have planned. It not only keeps me on track and sets me up for the day but its also interesting to know what my colleagues are getting up to, keeps everyone in the loop and identifies where others knowledge or skills could make someone’s task easier. 

What motivates you to work hard?

Achieving goals and seeing results. I’ve always been a competitive person and that transpires into my work when meeting targets and doing my best. I enjoy seeing the outcomes of my efforts both in and out of work.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

To not be scared of going out of your comfort zone, I’m still learning to do this myself, but I’ve found doing something I wouldn’t usually often gives me new skills or helps me find something I enjoy which I wouldn’t necessarily have found without pushing myself to say yes.

Your top tip for wellbeing in lockdown?

Staying busy, I fill my time with pointless tasks just to make my days seem most productive, making my bed is sometimes my biggest achievement but who cares at least it’s something! I love to get out of the house and take advantage of my daily exercise, usually with a walk though – I use the word exercise lightly 😂

How do you address the work-life balance? 

I am fairly good at separating work and my personal life. I take time on the weekends away from emails as its important to have a total break after a busy week to come back fresh and motivated when the new week starts. I sometimes keep myself available casually throughout the weeknights over email, as with a role like mine it’s important to stay accessible and I enjoy being there for those who need so it doesn’t seem like I’m working.

Which of your personality traits are you most proud of? 

I’m very enthusiastic and energetic when I get my mind set on something and it’s something I enjoy I’m very ‘full-on’. My confidence has always been one of my favourite things about myself, I’m chatty, friendly and can be found with a smile on my face 99% of the time. I would like to think I was pretty funny but I know a lot of people who’d disagree. Despite my outgoing traits, I am also empathetic and proud to be a good listener.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

Emma Roberts.

What’s on your bucket list?

Orlando, Florida, done right, going to every single theme park in and around the city. I went when I was about 6 but can’t remember much and was probably too small to go on anything.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?

A long walk ending with brunch with my family. Then spend some time chilling with my partner watching whatever series we’re currently obsessed with before we head out for tea. Then from tea going out to meet our friends for a drink and a good dance!

Thanks for taking the time Mica. Welcome to the team and good luck in your new role!

Social value should be explicitly evaluated

In September last year, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) published its latest Procurement Policy Note (PPN) requiring all Central Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies to take account of social value in the award of Central Government contracts.

A consistent standardised process

It follows recent consultation and introduces a new model to ensure a standardised framework for evaluating the potential social value of a contract. It recognises that the public sector can better maximise social value through its procurements, an approach that has already been pioneered by local authorities and other public sector bodies.

Following the PPN, the Government published it’s Social Value Model giving further detailed guidance on applying the specified criteria. 

Supporting key social outcomes

In accordance with these new guidelines, Social Profit Calculator is currently revising our tool to allow users to report specifically against the policy’s menu of priorities. COVID-19 Recovery, Tackling Economic Inequality, Fighting Climate Change, Equal Opportunity, Wellbeing.

Our clients will be able to seamlessly include in the procurement, standard award criteria, delivery objectives that describe ‘what good looks like’, and metrics for contract management and reporting.

Helping you to implement this model in a clear systematic way so you can bid with ease and confidence.

Our enhanced software will be available very soon.

As a brand, we stand for more than just the products and services we offer. We understand our mission and our values impact your experiences and ultimately influence the decisions you make. Your people and our people matter, and we believe business ought to be conducted as such; that we must be the change that we seek in the world.

Big plans for 2021

SPC have an ambitious research and development roadmap outlined for the next 12 months, part of which is to embed a culture of relentless commitment to our client’s satisfaction. We are constantly looking for ways in which we can improve. 

To help us continue in our mission, we are proud to introduce Mica Schultz as our new Technical Customer Support Advisor who is on hand to offer our clients a reassuring and consistent single point of contact.  

As a company strongly devoted to developing close relationships with our clients, Mica’s appointment will strengthen and streamline communications, better establish expectations and due dates, and track updates with speed and efficiency. She is the first person we’ve had in at SPC who is wholly dedicated to your support and joins us at an exciting time as we grow. 

We are convinced having this wraparound co-ordinated support is best practice for making complex processes more productive and in turn, freeing up valuable time to serve you better.

Mica commented ‘I’m super excited to get introduced to you all and find a solution for your SPC support needs. I’ll be on hand to make sure it’s solved as quickly and efficiently as possible. As your first port of call I’m dedicated to seeing you get the help you need by creating a coherent link between you, the client, and my colleagues throughout the lifecycle of your projects. Time is precious and I’m on board to make sure you’re getting the most out of yours!’

Mica will be in touch to talk to all our current clients to introduce herself and to establish a great relationship, as well as walk you through how SPC intend to implement new structural changes to our business, which have been planned in with the customer at the heart of it.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us on our new dedicated number 01482 255112 or email us at support@socialprofitcalculator.co.uk


Our new team member, Harriet Parker, joins us this month in her new appointment as SPC’s Business Account Manager. Harriet enjoys being with her family, friends & her Basset Hound Missy!

Let’s get to know her a little bit more…

What inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

This is a new sector for me which is exciting. Building relationships lie at the heart of this role which I love and find rewarding. 

What attracted you to SPC? 

I have heard such great things about SPC and it’s growing rapidly. I wanted to be part of a forward-thinking company. SPC has exciting plans for the future and I am proud to be part of it. 

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting out on their career path?

Explore what you love doing and then make a career of it. Never give up on your goals, sometimes we may go off the path we had in mind but more often than not it can lead to a better place. 

Describe your perfect Business Development project? 

Understanding a client’s requirements and tailoring the solution to exceed these expectations is always going to be a perfect project. 

Your top tip for wellbeing in lockdown?

Regular breaks away from the laptop and a long walk after work. 

How do you address the work-life balance? 

Ideally have a set workspace so you’re able to shut off at the end of the day. 

What are your pet peeves? 

Rudeness.

Can you recommend a book you read recently?

Untamed by Glennon Doyle 

What’s the first thing you bought with your own money?

A pair of Nike Trainers.

What are three things you love about where you live?

We are quite rural so it’s pretty, some lovely walks and if the sun is shining there’s always a spot in the garden. 


Thanks for taking the time Harriet, welcome to the team and good luck in your new role!

Software Developer (.Net)

Full time permanent contract

Salary 25-30K dependent on experience

Location: Remote (preference for candidate with easy access to Manchester or Hull, but all locations considered. For Hull-based candidates, we have offices to which you would have access to including their in-house pool table and bar!)

Hours: 8-4 preferred (flexible arrangements available)

Purpose of the Role

We are growing our development team. We have an ambitious development roadmap for the next 12 months and we are looking for a self-motivated developer with experience working in an agile team to help us to deliver for our clients. We are looking for support in developing our TDD processes as well as someone who takes pride in their excellent, clean and readable code. 

Requirements

  • C# ASP.NET MVC In-depth understanding of C# with .NET Core and .NET framework experience
  • JavaScript Front end development experience using a JavaScript framework (Angular, React or Vue etc.)
  • OOP In-depth understanding of object-oriented programming and SOLID principles
  • Refactoring Must be confident in refactoring out-dated code with modern best practices
  • API Development Experience in developing and consuming APIs
  • Testing Experience writing automated tests
  • SQL Experience working with SQL 
  • Git Comfortable using Git

Desirable Skills

  • AWS
  • CI/CD pipelines
  • Experience of working in an Agile team

Person Specification

  • A degree in Computer Science or a similar discipline, and 2+ years of commercial experience. In lieu of a CS degree, proven industry experience would be equally good.
  • Experience working with or knowledge of the Scrum Framework.

Familiarity in some of the following areas: 

  • The basics of web development – HTML, CSS • Modern front-end JS technologies – Ember.js, or Vue.js would be a bonus! 
  • Server side languages – including PHP (Laravel), C# (.NET)
  • Database Technologies – including SQL Server, MySQL 
  • Knowledge of continuous integration tools would be perfect.

Why join SPC?

  • 23 days holiday + bank holidays + your birthday off!
  • Competitive salary and performance-related bonus
  • A Company supported pension
  • Family-friendly employer – SPC is the home of many parents who benefit from flexibility around their childcare responsibilities
  • Fully-remote team with staff across the world
  • Training opportunities to support your career development.

About Our Tech

We are a young team still working out what works for us. We currently have technology in PHP, .Net Framework and .Net Core. We present our work with HTML5, CSS and JS and our databases are in MSSQL. We rely on Jira to keep our workflow straight, Sonorcloud, and Resharper to keep us on our toes. 

About Social Profit Calculator

Social Profit Calculator (SPC) is a consultancy and software company specialising in the measurement, monitoring and calculation of social, economic and environmental impact. Our Social Value Calculator is accredited by Social Value UK and Social Value International to provide robust and credible calculations of Social Value across all project stages, from planning to operation, asset value, fund management and end-user experience.

At SPC, we use our practical knowledge, experience and expertise to provide clients across all sectors with innovative, forward-thinking and deliverable social value policies and strategies. We work with businesses of all sizes to offer a comprehensive range of tender services: including procurement support, social value offers, HM Treasury Business Case appraisal support and bid writing. We have a diverse client base across a range of sectors including construction, retail, finance, professional services, public sector and third sector organisations. Our target market is mostly in the construction and infrastructure sectors, although we work broadly too.

Social Value is a growth area, and we are a growing business. This means building a dynamic, inspiring culture where we celebrate diverse, bold thinking. We are curious, creative and open to new ideas and ways of working, and it takes the skills of a collaborative team to deliver on what we can do.

We recently took the decision to become a fully remote team and have successfully transitioned to working together online full time. We have ambitions, however, to meet in person (Covid-permitting) from time to time and hence would prefer a candidate with convenient access to either Manchester (where most of our team are based) or Hull, where our sister company, Pagabo, have excellent meeting facilities.


Application Process

Please provide a CV, covering letter and your Github to Sarah@socialprofitcalculator.co.uk.

We expect to conduct the recruitment process completely online during December.

Applications close 5th January 2020 23:59.


New year, new rules

From 1st January 2021, the government is introducing a new public procurement model that takes greater account of the additional social value created by contractors who are bidding for work.

Businesses that are seeking to procure government work must set out how they intend to deliver on the government’s social value priorities.

Currently, social value is only required to be ‘considered’ in central government procurement. However, with the new measures coming into place at the start of the new year, social value should now be ‘explicitly evaluated’ where the requirements are related and proportionate to the subject-matter of the contract. 

The social value model on which departments will assess contracts includes:

  • Supporting Covid-19 recovery, including helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of Covid
  • Tackling economic inequality, including creating new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience
  • Fighting climate change and reducing waste
  • Driving equal opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality and promoting community integration.

Sarah Coughlan, Chief Operating Officer here at SPC says that this new policy is an ‘opportunity for local businesses and communities as well as governments to take seriously and do good in communities, especially locally.’ 

Social value is proving to be an ever-increasing part of corporate social responsibility within the procurement process. Eight years on, we see the evidence of the growing importance of social value, now accounting for around 20% of bid and tender evaluations. 

The new model states that a ‘minimum weighting of 10% of the total score for social value should be applied in the procurement to ensure that it carries a heavy enough score to be a differentiating factor in bid evaluation’. All bidders will be tested, and bidders must demonstrate the full extent of the social value they will generate.

Whilst the new policy does not make it compulsory for local clients and businesses it does, however, emphasise the importance of social value-driven projects and calls for local clients to start getting serious about delivering real social value in partnership with communities to “build back better’. 

Sarah Coughlan believes this is a big move forward in embedding social value in procurement on central government contracts. She commented, ‘we await the detailed guidance, but look forward to seeing central government move towards standard award criteria, delivery objectives that describe ‘what good looks like’, and metrics for contract management and reporting. 

Renewed focus

This new government model inspires people to adopt a renewed focus on ‘what good looks like’ in the policy note. The new model has a focus on COVID-19 recovery improving work conditions and helping those unemployed due to the pandemic which in turn increases social value generated.

Social value is often met with the suspicion that the numbers aren’t completely reliable as it is oftentimes unclear how the figures are calculated. This new policy, however, signals a real opportunity to develop better-defined data, therefore creating a clearer understanding of the social value delivered and its statistics. There are now also more widely accepted benchmarks endorsed with historical data, forging an opportunity to build more trust among clients and contractors alike. Something we have seen repeatedly from our clients is a sincere desire to “positively disturb” the way that pounds-and-pence figures are applied to the social value of a project.

Construction Leadership Council’s Procuring for Value Toolkit provides helpful insight on how government, clients and the industry can maximise impact with a change in approach to procurement. Procuring for Value is a key theme of the sector deal and attempts to provide guidance, information and contact details as a support to suppliers when considering their ‘offer’ and delivery of social value. These are some helpful anchor points as the industry adapts and adopts new ways of working, which are all important steps towards improvement.

Enhancing community resilience

The policy note also stresses that clients will be free to target their social value requirements to the communities they reflect. In order to make the most of this, clients and constructors alike will need to renew their focus on engaging with local communities to deeply understand their real, rather than perceived needs, which will allow them to recover from COVID-19 together. 

Without this engagement, the risk is that social value is reduced to just a box-ticking exercise and not a factor that will actually help create a strong sense of social purpose with the potential to enhance community resilience. 

Targeted social value programmes should become the new industry standard in order to grow social value and truly make an impact to unite and level up the country while keeping local communities and businesses firmly at the heart of the recovery. Along these lines, social value will become a vital priority on the back of which we will hopefully see the creation of a whole new social contract.


National framework provider Pagabo is celebrating hitting its latest social value milestone, marking £3bn in social value being enabled by works procured through its frameworks since 2017.

Continuing Success

This marks another milestone in a hugely successful year for the firm, which saw the launch of its new Major Works and Professional Services frameworks go live in April, the appointment of several members of staff and the announcement of a transformational research collaboration with The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to name but a few. 

The figures have been enabled through Pagabo’s full suite of frameworks. As well as figures relating to the financial benefit to local economies, the measurement includes the creation of more than 2,750 jobs and the safeguarding of more than 11,000 jobs, as well as 900 work placements and more than 700 apprentice roles. 

Simon Toplass, chief executive officer at Pagabo, said: “Driving positive social impact for individuals, communities and businesses up and down the country is one of our core business values at Pagabo, so hitting this landmark £3bn enabled figure is a really proud moment for us.

“Social value is firmly at the heart of everything we do, and we make a conscious effort to be as directly involved as possible in order to help our clients generate the best social return possible from their projects. And there is, of course, no doubt that social value is set to play a bigger part than ever in the future following COVID-19 – especially when it comes to job safeguarding, job creation and the development of employment opportunities in the immediate future.”

How Social Value is generated

Pagabo generates its figures using our Social Profit Calculator (SPC) – the market-leading online tool accredited by Social Value UK and Social Value International. We use robust government data and methodologies to help organisations understand, evidence and measure the social impact of their work. 

Simon said: “Most organisations will already be delivering some form of social value through their employment of staff, skills development programmes and through working with local supply chains. The important next step is knowing how to measure these things and how they equate to true benefit for local communities. This is something that SPC is perfectly placed to do, accurately calculating the financial value of the social, economic and environmental impact of your work.

“It’s highly likely that we are going to see a significant push over the coming years regarding industry standards of data collection for social value – especially when it comes to regional differences. Tools like SPC will continue to grow in importance – as will the need for cross-industry collaboration to build a picture of what good social value looks like around the country for clients.”

Pagabo is set to announce the successful applicants for its brand-new developer-led framework – worth £47bn – in December.

For more information on how Pagabo enables social value, please visit https://www.pagabo.co.uk/social-value/

It’s a pleasure to announce that Overbury completed the £1 million transformation of an Arts and Design Centre at Dudley College of Technology that will provide dedicated teaching and learning facilities for students taking new T Level qualifications.

Using our market-leading reporting framework, Overbury has been able to evidence the staggering social value they have generated for the regional community.

On budget, in time and all during a pandemic

The national fit-out and refurbishment specialist has reinvented 151,000 sq foot of space at the three-storey building in Venture Way, Brierley Hill as part of a project that was delivered during the national coronavirus lockdown and localised tiers of restriction. 

The refurbished facility will provide a contemporary home for the region’s budding IT, design and gaming professionals, who will be the first to embark on the new T Level courses, a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience. 

The 14-week refurbishment programme began in a live campus environment in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and was completed on budget and in time for the College’s delivery of new T Level qualifications at the start of the academic year. 

Three storeys of sustainable design

Overbury has created a series of open plan and collaborative workspaces that will enhance student experience across all three floors, comprising new VR and computer suites for games design.  

The refurbishment includes a substantial mechanical and electrical fit-out, with the installation of new power-saving LED lighting, ceilings and air conditioning, as well as new desktop power facilities. The sustainable design includes the addition of glass panels to doors to maximise natural daylight, with new flooring laid throughout. 

Demonstrating real social value

Overbury was chosen to deliver the project following a competitive tendering process through the Pagabo Medium Works Framework. In addition to the main works, Overbury partnered with us to generate more than £1.85 million in social value through a range of social, economic and environmental initiatives, focused on local spend. 

Penelope Mitchell, education and public sector business development manager for Overbury, said: “Dudley College of Technology is at the forefront of building a world class, technical education system and we’re extremely proud to play a part in realising that vision. 

Overbury has created an amazing teaching and learning space in time to welcome the first T Level learners this year, giving generations of young people a new choice after GCSEs. We’ve taken a really collaborative approach to the delivery of this project to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone on site during extraordinary circumstances and we’ve worked with Pagabo and Social Profit Calculator to secure the best value from the public money being spent. It is especially pleasing to have delivered a high-quality building project that has supported the local community and invested in the regional economy during the pandemic.”

A word from Dudley College of Technology

Neil Thomas, chief executive and principal, Dudley College of Technology, said: “We are really pleased to see the new digital facilities up and running. The College is one of the first in the country to be delivering the new digital T levels as part of the government agenda to drive excellence in technical education. This new facility will mean those students have the first class facilities they deserve to study these exciting new qualifications as well as providing much needed updating of our facilities for wider digital curriculum such as game design, networking, systems support, virtual reality and application development. We now have a facility that is fit for purpose in training the information technology professionals of the future and supporting the many employers in the region who need these skills.”

Sam Hunter, estates coordinator and surveyor, Dudley Academies Trust, said: “When we awarded Overbury this project in the midst of a national lockdown, we were excited about the opportunity to work with them and anxious as to whether we would succeed in the timeframe, given budgetary and delivery constraints. Working alongside Overbury was harmony and I can honestly say that I have never been part of a more diligent, focused and determined partnership. Winning team work, collaboration and communication was at the forefront of every stage and collectively no problem was insurmountable. Health and safety was our highest priority at all times and quality was never compromised. We look forward to future opportunities to work together, creating aspirational environments for our learners.”

Pioneers of T Level Qualifications

Dudley College of Technology is one of the first institutions to deliver T Levels and will offer learners the chance to embark upon qualifications in education, design, surveying and planning, and digital production, design and development. The two-year technical courses are the equivalent to three A Levels and have been designed with employers to give young people the skills that industries need. 

Overbury specialises in the fit-out and refurbishment of higher and further education facilities. The contractor recently completed the fit-out and refurbishment of two lecture theatres and an M&E and plant room at the University of Warwick’s Gibbet Hill building, as well as two phases of refurbishment at Stratford upon Avon College delivering a new entrance and learning space.