Founder Richard Dickins explains the thought behind updating the Social Value Quality Mark®
We established the Quality Mark in 2018 as a proudly independent Community Interest Company – the world felt a little different then. The term ‘Social Value’ was emergent and perplexing for most people; the British public were only just waking up to their power to influence change; and Covid wouldn’t hit ‘reset’ on our lives and lifestyles for another 2 years.
Yet we were on a cusp, and we knew we stood for something vital: the need for more rigour, trust, credibility and transparency to guide standards in the years ahead. An accreditation to separate, distinguish and recognise those businesses who were genuinely committed to making the world a fairer place. An award to celebrate and validate the charities driving community impact.
Fast forward to the present day and the Quality Mark holds more importance than ever. In a society that’s become more self-aware but also more cynical, where businesses understand the commercial opportunities of being seen to ‘do better’ but where value-washing is rife, the Quality Mark stands for something pure and distinct: measurable, verified, evidenced-based value.
As we expand the reach of the Mark, our new brand identity is designed to do a few things:
- Showcase our enhanced suite of accreditations
We’ve updated the Award Standards and Categories to align to emerging policies, and introduced respected social value and compliance leaders to our Oversight Panel. As we continue to raise our game and anticipate the emerging landscape, our brand needs to uphold this focus on rigour and trust.
- Support clients to truly distinguish themselves
The Quality Mark accreditation marks genuine achievement; our trophies are to be coveted and showcased, so the new metallic brand palettes, together with new terminology – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum – signal brilliance and value.
- Provide a clear pathway
Our award levels recognise increasing levels of social value maturity so we’ve taken steps to clarify the differences and logical progression between the awards. The weightings have been adjusted with a greater emphasis on planning, calculating and reporting at Bronze and Silver, while at Gold and Platinum levels we’re emphasising performance management, influence and leadership.
Over coming months, we will be bolder in our approach to cultivating and recognising the highest standards of values-based business. We invite our clients to join us on this journey to #ValueDistinction – and in turn, we’ll be looking at how we can do more to increase the influence and profile of those who hold the Mark.
In the meantime, please enjoy exploring Our Awards – and remember, there’s still time to become the UK’s first ‘Platinum’ awarded company!