Community benefits in procurement

Community benefit requirements are defined in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014  as a contractual requirement imposed by a contracting authority:

a) relating to:

  • training and recruitment
  • availability of sub-contracting opportunities

b) or which is otherwise intended to improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of the authority’s area in a way additional to the main purpose of the contract in which the requirement is included

All public sector contracting authorities are required to consider including community benefit requirements for all regulated procurements where the estimated value of the contract is equal to or greater than £4 million. Their use does not need to be limited to procurements of this value as research has shown that community benefits can be achieved in procurements under the £4 million threshold.

Community benefits have contributed to a range of national and local outcomes relating to employability, skills and tackling inequalities by focusing on under-represented groups. The Act aims to achieve the maximum use of these requirements in public procurement.

Use of community benefit requirements may also demonstrate compliance with the sustainable procurement duty which applies to all regulated procurements.

All public sector contracting authorities must set out in their procurement strategies their general policy on the use of community benefit requirements and review compliance with that policy in their annual procurement report.

The Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland has - as a strategic objective – the promotion of measures which maximise economic and social benefits through procurement. This includes the promotion and further development of approaches to delivering community.

Support and guidance

We have produced the following guidance on the use of community benefit requirements:

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) provide a range of help to public bodies wishing to include skills and training requirements in a range of construction contracts. Please contact them for information on the support available.

Our Skills Force information for employers on programmes and financial assistance available for recruitment and training.

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