The British Standards Institute yesterday released a new Standard, the catchily titled BS 8950 "Social Value - Understanding and enhancing - Guide". It is aimed at "decision makers within organisations and those who support the decision-making process". It seeks to cover organisations from all sectors, including but not limited to those that are already measuring social value.
The BSI is at pains to state that "This is a guide, not a requirements standard. Also it doesn’t provide detailed practical instructions for carrying out specific related social value activities; and standardized data for qualifying impact.". Nonetheless a national guide, published by the national standards body, is absolutely to be welcomed.
The more that different industry sectors and thought leaders across the public, private, and civil society spheres are on the same page, the more our energies are concentrated on achieving the same goals. And the guide intends to help with robust data collection, measurement frameworks, and accountability for and reporting on social value - all of which is vital to making achieving social value a mainstream part of every organisations activities.
I will be reading the guide that accompanies the standard with interest!
We are delighted that the British Standards Institute have published a standard on social value. It’s fantastic because it’s not just about measuring, it’s a standard for enhancing social value which is what we should all be striving for. I encourage anyone who is serious about social value to read and adopt this standard.