The Scottish government has issued a new Procurement Note – 10/2020 – “Measuring social impact in public procurement”. The policy note serves to clarify the Scottish Government’s policy on measuring social impact through procurement and support for application of this policy in the form of the sustainable procurement duty tools and accompanying guides.

Key Points

  • the Scottish Government does not endorse monetary gauges to measure social impact in procurement as part of the procurement process;
  • social impact is not fixed or easily transferable. Impact arises from the interaction between supply and demand, and therefore will be specific to the individual, community, and place. Public bodies must engage with communities who have an interest in the contract to get the best possible outcome;
  • care should be taken to ensure that impact measurements do not create a barrier to businesses;
  • success in contributing to Scotland’s purpose is measured in terms of outcomes. These outcomes align to the National Performance Framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and
  • this approach complements procurement principles of relevance and proportionality and Scottish legislation to rule out price only or cost only as the sole award criteria for public contracts.

More information is available at –   Measuring social impact in public procurement: SPPN 10/2020 – (