A request for proposal (RFP) is basically a detailed document that enlists the eLearning requirements of the organization that they seek to receive from a prospective vendor partner. If your RFP is clear and specific, you are likely to get good responses from the right vendors.
At the same time, you will be in a better position to evaluate the responses and choose the vendor who will be the ‘best fit’ for your organization.
So, how do you write an RFP for soliciting eLearning services for your organization? What information do you need to share in an RFP? Let’s look at the answers to these questions.
Key components of an RFP
An RFP should contain the following information.
- Objective or Statement of Purpose – What is the purpose of the eLearning course? Who is to take the course and what is their profile in the organization?
- Learning objectives to be achieved – What are the specific learning objectives that are planned to be achieved through the course and what are the learners expected to accomplish at the end of the course?
- Background information – About the company, training division and eLearning vision of the organization.
- Scope of Work – Describes the range of services expected from the vendor – Would it result in end-to-end eLearning course development or just a single component such as production? Does it also include LMS hosting and LMS administration. What are the tools on which you expect the vendor to work for the project?
- Deliverables at the end of the contract – What are the deliverables expected at the end of the contract – For example, 1 hour eLearning course with audio and interactive elements?
- Vendor profile – What are the qualifications you look for in a vendor – For example, expertise in handling large scale eLearning projects, learning expertise and technical competence in handling a wide range of rapid authoring tools etc.?
- Contractual Terms – What are the terms and conditions under which the contract will be executed?
- Payment Terms – What will be the payment terms for the project?
- Timelines – What is the timeline with respect to the award of the contract and what are the timelines with respect to the execution of the project? When is the project expected to be completed?
- Format and Method of submitting the proposals – A template or format that ensures you get uniform content that is easy for evaluation
- Criteria for awarding the contract – On what basis will the contract be awarded to the vendor? What are your criteria for choosing the ideal vendor?
- Award notification – When will the announcement for the contract award be made?
- Contact persons – Who are the persons who should be contacted in case of queries?
Often, when organizations are venturing into eLearning for the first time, they have no clue about the RFP process and what to write when requesting for proposal. Broadly speaking, the points listed above are the typical areas that need to be covered in an RFP. You can of course customize and create templates to suit the specific needs of your organization.