About social procurement - suppliers

Learn how the Social Procurement Framework can help to create equality and improve environmental outcomes in our local communities.

What is social procurement?

Social procurement is when organisations use their buying power to create social value.

Social value is created when a procurement activity delivers social or sustainable outcomes. This can be things like:

  • creating jobs for Victorians finding it hard to get work
  • achieving a better outcome for the environment
  • purchasing from a social benefit supplier
  • training young people so they have the skills they need for a successful career

There are direct and indirect approaches to social procurement.

Direct approach

This is where a social benefit supplier contracts with the Government to provide goods, services, or construction. In this situation, these suppliers give the Government direct social value.

Indirect approach

This is where a mainstream supplier contracts with the Government to provide goods, services, or construction.

Mainstream suppliers might have special clauses in their contracts. These clauses ensure the suppliers give the Government social value.

A mainstream supplier might need to:

  • subcontract work to a social benefit supplier
  • employ priority jobseekers
  • reduce its impact on the environment

In these situations, these suppliers give the Government indirect social value.

What is the Social Procurement Framework?

The Victorian Government set up Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework. It uses its buying power to create:

  • jobs and skills-based training opportunities for priority jobseekers
  • business opportunities for social benefit suppliers
  • environmental outcomes

The Social Procurement Framework applies to all the goods, services and construction that the Victorian Government buys. It came into effect on 1 September 2018.

Access Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework.

Who is a supplier under the Social Procurement Framework?

Under the Social Procurement Framework, there are 2 main types of suppliers. Suppliers provide an Agency with goods, services or construction.

Social benefit suppliers

Social benefit suppliers are Victorian suppliers that are:

  • a social enterprise certified by Social Traders 
  • an Australian Disability Enterprise listed with BuyAbility and providing ‘supported employment services’ in line with section 7 of the Disability Services Act 1986 (Commonwealth)
  • an Aboriginal business verified by Supply Nation or Kinaway

On 30 June 2023, the map for impact was decommissioned. Buyers are now required to find certified social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Finder.

For more detail, refer to the Supplier diversity - Social benefit suppliers fact sheet.

Mainstream suppliers

Mainstream suppliers are all other suppliers that are not social benefit suppliers.

For more detail, refer to the Supplier diversity - Mainstream suppliers fact sheet. It outlines:

  • what to consider when bidding for new projects
  • how to connect with social benefit suppliers
  • where to find support

Which Victorians are a priority for outcomes under the Social Procurement Framework?

The Social Procurement Framework focuses on Aboriginal Victorians, Victorians with disability and Victorian priority jobseekers.

Aboriginal Victorians

People who identify as a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. Their local community must also accept them as such.

Victorians with disability

Victorian people who have long-term impairments. When combined with other barriers, they may be prevented from participating fully and equally in society.

Impairments must be lasting for 6 months or more and can be:

  • physical
  • mental health
  • intellectual
  • neurological
  • sensory

Other barriers for can include negative attitudes or places that are not accessible.

Victorian priority jobseeker

Victorian priority jobseeker means a person residing in Victoria, who is eligible to work.  

A person eligible to work refers to: 

  • Australian citizens 
  • permanent residents or temporary residents under Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program who hold visas with work entitlements 
  • other groups consistent with the current guidelines for Jobs Victoria Employment Services 

A Victorian priority jobseeker must also be one of the following:   

Long-term unemployed 

  • unemployed for six months or more 

At risk of long-term unemployment 

  • currently unemployed, or working less than 12 hours per week in casual, temporary, or intermittent work
  • at risk of long-term unemployment due to employment barriers

Young Person 

  • aged 15 to 24
  • unemployed or working less than 12 hours in casual, temporary, or intermittent work
  • not in full time study

 Employment barriers refers to the following barriers to employment: 

  • not completing secondary education 
  • low English language proficiency 
  • low literacy (reading/writing) 
  • personal circumstances (e.g. experience of family violence, drug and alcohol dependence, carer’s responsibilities)   
  • health difficulties (including mental health or disability) 
  • criminal record 
  • unstable housing or homelessness

The Department of Government Services has issued this list and it is subject to updates.