This Guide reviews a common approach to preparing and submitting an application for a Request for a Proposal (RFP), also known as a bid or quote. Government RFPs are usually referred to as tenders and can be issued on a municipal, provincial or federal level.
RFPs consider both monetary and non-monetary costs. Timelines, transparency and flexibility are also evaluated.
Depending on the type of work or product requested, the issuer may have a template or guideline that you can utilize. Otherwise, ensure you have the following pieces of information in your proposal:
- Contact: Ensure you have a contact with which to clarify and discuss services.
- Qualifications: What skills and experience do you and/or your employees bring to the project? Why should the issuer choose you?
- Needs Assessment: Indicate that you understand the scope and purpose of the work. If necessary, list objectives that the issuer addressed. State the solution and end product or service that you can provide.
- Project Implementation Timeline: When do you start and when is the contract over? When can the issuer expect the final delivery?
- Project Scope: Provide the details of the project and what tasks will need to be completed in order to reach the end goal. Scope and timeline can be combined to form one section.
- Labour and Supplies Assessment: If applicable, list the hours, number or names of employees or subcontractors or other important information the issuer should know about your labour and supplies.
- Regulations and Laws: It is important that you understand and comply with them in the performance of the work. You don’t necessarily need to include this in your proposal, but your work and methods must reflect compliance with obligations and laws.
- Evaluation: Explain how the issuer will evaluate your work. At what steps will you require feedback? What recourse options does the issuer have if
the work is unsatisfactory or incomplete?
- Cost Breakdown: Provide a budget for the costs to complete the project. The more detailed, the better.
- Payment Terms: State when and how you accept payment.
- Appendix: Attach designs, copies, blueprints, schedules or anything else that supports your proposal
- Before submitting your bid prior to the closing, check to see if any changes have been made to the tender, or if the issuer has any suggestions or updates.
- Cover pages and executive summaries can be included.
- Have your proposal reviewed by a team member before submitting to ensure the information is correct.
- Your proposal should clearly define your competitive advantages and convince the issuer to choose you as the provider.
- Include any disclaimers or expiration dates, if applicable.