Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 - asset transfers: social value guidance

Guidance on social value for the relevant authorities when they are considering asset transfer applications, and should be considered as one part of their overall decision making process.

Annex A

1. Examples of approaches used in Scotland to measure social impact

1.1 The following examples highlight some of the different approaches to calculate social value in the practical setting:

Example 1: NHS

To help inform NHS decision making and effectively allocate its resources, The Young Foundation created a tool that makes explicit the social value of various alternatives. The tool focuses on internal decision making and attempts to capture the value that accrues to the individual from being healthy, rather than sick; to caregivers; to the wider community (for example, from the control of infectious diseases); and to the taxpayer.

The tool is not a simple computer program or calculator. Instead, it is a framework for thinking about value. Like many of the tools used to assess social value, this one requires a series of judgments which fall into four main categories:

1) strategic fit (how well the proposed innovation meets the needs of the health service);

2) potential health outcomes (including likely impact on quality-adjusted life years and patient satisfaction);

3) cost savings and economic effects; and,

4) risks associated with implementation.

When faced with a proposal, users of the tool apply a 0 to 5 scale to rate the proposal on items in each of these categories. Proposals range from a promising idea from a group of doctors or nurses, to an idea that has already been piloted on a small scale or a venture that is ready for scaling up. Users can also provide commentary along with their ratings.

In some cases, decision makers can draw on strong data—for example, evidence from a randomized controlled trial. In other cases, they must rely on less certain numbers. To capture this variability, the tool also includes measures of the reliability of the evidence on which judgments are based. The visual presentation of the results then makes judgments and their reliability very clear.

Example 2: Local Authority

When considering community asset transfer requests, some local authorities have created a score card system to help them assess community benefit. This has been used to compare asset transfer applications with alternative use proposals. The table below outlines how this can work in practice:

Figure 1 Community Transfer Body Score

Community Benefit Score (score out of 90)


Financial Assessment (score out of 52)


Overall Assessment/ Best Value Conclusion

May represent best value, careful judgement required

Figure 2 Local Authority Score

Community Benefit Score (score out of 90)


Financial Assessment (score out of 52)


Overall Assessment/ Best Value Conclusion

Likely to represent best value

Community benefit assessment score sheet templates that have been used by Scottish relevant authorities are included at Annex B which provides further examples of how to breakdown assessment criteria. The above scoring was used by a local authority to consider an asset transfer request from a local community transfer body.

Example 3: Scottish Land Commission

The Scottish Land Commission has produced "Guidance on Assessing the Full Economic Benefits of the Productive Reuse of Land" (published April 2020) which demonstrates how to identify, capture and, where possible, quantify the wider benefits of reusing vacant and derelict land, including economic and well-being benefits, so that such benefits can be compared to the costs of bringing sites into productive use and to any changes in the value of a site.

This guidance may be relevant for any organisation involved in the reuse of vacant and derelict land. That could include landowners, land users, developers, funders, national government, local government, public sector agencies and local communities. The guidance can be used at the project development and appraisal stage, for example, where a business case is being developed that will include the reuse of vacant and derelict land or at the evaluation stage after a site has been brought back into productive use.

It provides a framework of core themes of value and impact and suggests that the benefits of each reuse project are assessed in relation to how they contribute to these themes in the light of local circumstances. The aim is to encourage a broader scope of thinking about a project's potential benefits and the themes described should act as a guide for this process.

Guidance on Assessing the Full Economic Benefits of the Productive Reuse of Land can be accessed here .

Example 4: Community Ownership Support Service (COSS)

In December 2020, the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) published "Managing risk in Community Asset Transfer: A guide for public bodies",which was designed to complement and enhance relevant authorities own approach to risk. It will help facilitate successful Community Asset Transfer by providing information and guidance on management of risks relating to asset transfer. The guide sets out some simple approaches to risk management and outline the more common risks encountered and how to mitigate them.

The guide considers many of the common risks faced by public bodies when considering asset transfers, including community organisations skills or capacity to manage the asset transfer process; the community organisations skills or capacity to manage assets long term; their ability to deliver forecasted benefits; their support from the wider community; multiple requests for the same assets etc. and how to mitigate these risks.

Managing risk in Community Asset Transfer: A guide for public bodies can be accessed here.



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