Select a Solicitation Process and Template Guidelines

There are numerous corporate templates available for ministries to use.  Before undertaking a solicitation process, select the appropriate template and tool that best meets the needs. Following is a list of standard B.C. government templates, which have been corporately approved, and related information:

Note that some ministries may have differing processes (e.g. different recommended posting times, lower thresholds for posting to BC Bid) and/or their own approved solicitation templates.  Refer to the ministry links found at the right, or contact the ministry’s Procurement Specialist for more information.  

If a ministry-specific template is required but does not yet exist, ministries can request approval from Legal Services and Procurement Services to use a customized template.  Ministries should not use or modify a solicitation document as a template, unless this is approved by Legal Services and Procurement Services.

Core policy (see the Core Policy and Procedures Manual, section 6.3.3.a.1) allows ministries to directly enter into a contract without a competitive process under specific and defined circumstances.  Refer to Direct Awards for more information.

 

Short-Form Request for Proposal (SRFP)

Purpose

To acquire services (primarily) where price is not the only consideration in selecting a contractor.

Used When

The contract fits within the SRFP scope

Used For

Services, primarily, although it can also be used to acquire goods

Dollar Value

Contracts with a value no more than $250,000 on average per year

Award Basis

Value-based. Awarded to the proponent offering the best overall value (i.e. that meets all mandatory requirements and scores highest).

When Posted to 
BC Bid™

For services, it must be posted if the value of the contract is estimated at $75,000 or more, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

For goods, it must be posted if the value of the contract is estimated at $10,000 or more, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

Options include posting to BC Bid or directing to three or more vendors if the contract is for a lower value (see Core Policy and Procedures Manual sections 6.3.2.b.4 and 6.3.2.c.5).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

20 business days (i.e. 4 weeks), although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period.

Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, approved ministry template, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services

Corporate Template

Download here

Technical note: Chrome, Firefox and Safari's PDF viewers do not handle SmartForms. If you are unable to open the SRFP, please right-click and save the form or use Internet Explorer Accessing the SmartForm through DTS may also create issues. Read tips on how to download and use the SRFP or view this video

Guidelines Available?

Buyers' SRFP Information

Vendors' SRFP Information

 

Request for Proposal (RFP)

Purpose

To acquire services (primarily) where price is not the only consideration in selecting a contractor

Used When

The Short-Form Request for Proposals is not applicable

Used For

Services, primarily, although it can also be used to acquire goods

Dollar Value

Contracts with a value greater than $250,000 per year (on average); lower value contracts where use of the SRFP is not appropriate

Award Basis

Value-based. Awarded to the proponent offering the best overall value (i.e. that meets all mandatory requirements and scores highest).

When Posted to 
BC Bid™

For services, it must be posted if value of contract estimated at $75,000 or more, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list

(see Request for Qualifications).

For goods, it must be posted if the value of the contract is estimated at $10,000 or more, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

May be posted to BC Bid or directed to three or more vendors if the contract is for a lower value (see Core Policy and Procedures Manual sections

6.3.2.b.4 and 6.3.2.c.5).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

20 business days (i.e. 4 weeks), although some trade agreements may require a longer response period.  

Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, approved ministry template, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services

Notes

The resulting contract may require the inclusion of a specialized insurance clause in the RFP that differs from the wording in the standard template. 

Risk Management Branch and Government Security Office (RMB) and/or the RMB's guide to insurance (restricted SharePoint site) should be consulted before a RFP is issued.

Corporate Template

Download here

Guidelines Available?

Ministry Guide to the Request for Proposals Process

Proponents' Guide

 

Guidelines for Determining When to Use SRFP or RFP

The Short-Form RFP (SRFP) is to be used when the contract to be awarded has a value no more than $250,000 per year on average (some years can be at a higher value, provided that the average annual cost – including options to renew if applicable – does not exceed this amount), except where an assessment of the procurement exposure profiles indicates that the conventional RFP would be more appropriate to use.

Refer to the SRFP information to determine which RFP process to use (i.e. the SRFP or the conventional RFP).  Headings 1) Scope – When to use the SRFP and 2) Exposure Matrix for the SRFP will provide guidance to assist in this decision.

 

Request for Corporate Supply Arrangement (RCSA)

Purpose

To acquire offers for goods or services from which ministries and/or the broader public sector can enter into contracts, as needed.

Used When

Multiple ministries and/or broader public sector entities purchase similar goods and services.

Used For

For use by the Procurement Services Branch within Shared Services BC only.  Contact Shared Services BC for information on how to add a product or service not currently available in the

Goods and Services Catalogue.

Dollar Value

Dependent on the type of goods or services; some CSAs have restrictions on the upper value of a single purchase.

Award Basis

Can be either price-based (typically for goods where the lowest priced compliant bid(s) is deemed successful) or value-based (typically for services where success is dependent on meeting all mandatory requirements and scoring highest).

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Always posted.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 to 20 business days (i.e. 2 to 4 weeks), although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period.

Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

No.  Results in an offer to contract only; contracts are not formed until an order is placed with the CSA vendor.

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, Purchase Order off Standing Offer, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services

Corporate Template

Template developed for the Procurement Services Branch, Shared Services BC only.

Guidelines Available?

Award to Lowest Price (refer to information on RCSAs)

Award to Highest Score (refer to information on RCSAs)

 

Request for Standing Offer (RSO)

Purpose

To acquire offers for goods or services that are needed on an ongoing basis, where a specific ministry enters into contracts only when an order is placed, as needed.

Used When

A single ministry frequently purchases similar goods and services.

Used For

For use by the Procurement Services Branch within Shared Services BC only.  Contact Shared Services BC for information on how to initiate an RSO.

Dollar Value

Dependent on the type of goods or services; some RSOs have restrictions on the upper value of a single purchase.

Award Basis

Can be either price-based (typically for goods where the lowest priced compliant bid(s) is deemed successful) or value-based (typically for services where success is dependent on meeting all mandatory requirements and scoring highest).

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Goods: RSOs must be posted if the total value of the resulting purchase orders is expected to exceed $10,000. Services: RSOs must be posted if total value of resulting contracts is expected to exceed $75,000.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 to 20 business days (i.e. 2 to 4 weeks), although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period.

Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

No.  Results in an offer to contract only; contracts are not formed until an order is placed with the RSO vendor.

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, Purchase Order off Standing Offer, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services

Corporate Template

Template developed for the Procurement Services Branch, Shared Services BC only.

Guidelines Available?

Award to Lowest Price (refer to information on RSOs)

Award to Highest Score (refer to information on RSOs)

 

Invitation to Quote for Services (ITQS)

Purpose

To acquire services when price is the only deciding factor (i.e. lowest price that meets specifications is awarded the contract). 

Used When

The required services can be described in detail, and the contractor must deliver services as described.

Used For

Services

Dollar Value

Unlimited

Award Basis

Price based. Awarded to lowest priced bid that meets all mandatory requirements and specifications.

When Posted to 
BC Bid™

Must be posted if value of contract estimated at $75,000 or more unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

May be posted to BC Bid or directed to three or more vendors if contract is for lower value 

(see Core Policy and Procedures Manual section 6.3.2.c.5).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 to 20 business days (i.e. 2 to 4 weeks), although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period. Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement

Corporate Template

Download here

Guidelines Available?

Award to Lowest Price (refer to information on ITQS)

 

Invitation to Quote for Goods (ITQ)

Purpose

To acquire goods where price is the only deciding factor.

Used When

For use by the Procurement Services Branch within Shared Services BC only.

Used For

Goods

Dollar Value

Unlimited

Award Basis

Price based. Awarded to lowest priced bid that meets all mandatory requirements and specifications.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Must be posted if value of purchase order estimated at $10,000 or more. If under $10,000, it may be posted to BC Bid or directed to three or more vendors

(see Core Policy and Procedures Manual section 6.3.2.b.4).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

8 calendar days, although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period. 

Refer to Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

Purchase Order

Corporate Template

N/A

Guidelines Available?

Award to Lowest Price (refer to information on ITQs)

How to Buy Goods

 

Invitation to Tender (ITT)

Purpose

To acquire construction and other services where price is the only deciding factor.

Used When

Deliverables, and work to be undertaken, can be specified in detail and must be adhered to by the contractor.

Used For

Construction; some ministries may also use the Invitation to Tender (as approved by Legal Services) for routine services with detailed specifications, such as tree planting in the Natural Resource Sector.

Dollar Value

Unlimited

Award Basis

Price based. Awarded to lowest priced bid that meets all mandatory requirements and specifications.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Construction opportunities if the value of contract estimated at $100,000 or more must be posted, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

Service opportunities if the value is $75,000 or more must be posted, unless restricted to a pre-qualification list (see Request for Qualifications).

While goods are rarely involved in an ITT, if so, post in accordance with policy (CPPM 6.3.2.b.1) and applicable trade requirements.

May be posted to BC Bid or directed to three or more vendors if the estimated value is lower than the identified thresholds (see Core Policy and Procedures Manual section 6.3.2.c.5).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 to 30 business days (i.e. 2 to 6 weeks), depending on the complexity of the purchase and the requirements of any applicable trade agreement(s). Refer to How to Buy Construction  and Award to Lowest Price.

and Sufficient Time Posting Guidelines for more information.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

Works Contract, General Services Agreement, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services.

Corporate Template

Ministry-specific templates in place; contact the ministry’s Procurement Specialist for more information.

Guidelines Available?

Award to Lowest Price (refer to information on ITTs)

How to Buy Construction

 

Request for Information (RFI)

Purpose

To request general information regarding goods and/or services provided by vendors, and to invite input regarding the development of procurement strategies.

Used When

The RFI is a market research tool only. There will be no evaluation, ranking, or selection of vendors as a result and it will not be used to pre-qualify or screen vendors for a subsequent competitive solicitation process.

Used For

Goods, Services, Construction

Dollar Value

Not applicable

Award Basis

Not applicable. Not used to select a vendor for the purposes of awarding a contract.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Recommended that all RFIs are posted to BC Bid™.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

15 business days (i.e. 3 weeks)

Resulting in a Contract Award?

No

Resulting Contract Form

Not applicable

Corporate Template

Download here

Guidelines Available?

Market Research and Notifications (refer to information on RFIs)

 

Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI)

Purpose

To determine the market interest in a competitive solicitation process (i.e. how many vendors would be interested in competing on the opportunity).

Used When

The RFEI is a market research tool that helps to plan for the solicitation process. There will be no evaluation, ranking, or selection of vendors as a result and it will not be used to pre-qualify or screen vendors for a subsequent competitive bidding process.

Used For

Goods, Services, Construction

Dollar Value

Not applicable

Award Basis

Not applicable

When Posted to
BC Bid™

If it is anticipated that at some future point a competitive solicitation process (e.g. RFP, ITQ) may be undertaken, the value of the resulting contract should guide whether or not the RFEI is posted.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 business days (i.e. 2 weeks)

Resulting in a Contract Award?

No

Resulting Contract Form

Not applicable

Corporate Template

Download here

Guidelines Available?

Market Research and Notifications (refer to information on RFEIs)

 

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Purpose

To create a pre-qualification list of vendors who are eligible to participate in subsequent procurement process(es). 

Used When

RFQs are used when:

  • vendors must demonstrate that their products or services meet defined performance standards and specifications as a pre-condition to a solicitation;
  • the ministry anticipates multiple, similar acquisitions over a defined period of time, and vendors would otherwise be required to submit the same detailed qualifications each time; or,
  • purchasing a single, complex, high value set of services, where the solicitation will only be issued to a short list of vendors meeting a defined standard of qualifications.

Used For

Goods, Services, Construction

Dollar Value

Unlimited

Award Basis

Vendors are added to the pre-qualification list if they meet or exceed the qualification requirements stated in the RFQ.

Note:  creating a pre-qualification list does not eliminate the need to undertake a competitive process to select a contractor to provide a good or service. See Call to Market Against Pre-Qualification List, as well as the general guidance on the use of pre-qualification lists.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Goods: RFQs must be posted if the total value of the resulting purchase orders is expected to exceed $10,000.

Services: RFQs must be posted if total value of resulting contracts is expected to exceed $75,000.

Construction: RFQs must be posted if total value of resulting contracts is expected to exceed $100,000. 

Any of these may be posted to BC Bid or directed to three or more vendors if contract is for a lower value (see Core Policy and Procedures Manual sections 6.3.2.b.4 and 6.3.2.c.5).

Recommended Minimum Response Period

20 business days (i.e. 4 weeks), although some trade agreements, if applicable, may require a longer response period.  

Resulting in a Contract Award?

No.  Results in a pre-qualification list; subsequent contract award(s) are limited to the qualified suppliers only.

Resulting Contract Form

Not applicable

Corporate Template

RFQ template for establishing a pre-qualification list to be used for multiple contracting opportunities.

RFQ template to pre-qualify respondents for a subsequent solicitation (two-part RFQ process).

Guidelines Available?

Request for Qualifications

 

Call to Market Against Pre-Qualification Lists - Services

Purpose

To request competitive submissions from qualified suppliers selected from a pre-qualification list.

Used When

Government intends to acquire services from a qualified supplier and a competitive procurement process is required to select the contractor.

Used For

Services

Dollar Value

Unlimited.

Note: for competitive procurements with an estimated dollar value greater than $75,000 a Short Form Request for Proposals or standard Request for Proposals may be the more appropriate template. For guidance on the template to be used, contact the

ministry's Procurement Specialist.

Award Basis

The number of qualified suppliers from the pre-qualification list invited to submit a response will depend on the value of the individual purchase, the wording of the original RFQ and corporate policy.  For example, if the estimated value of the resulting contract is estimated to exceed $75,000, all qualified suppliers on the pre-qualification list that meet the criteria for a specific project (e.g. specialization) are to be invited to submit a response.

Generally, the basis for award between qualified suppliers would be the lowest price that has resources available to provide the services within the timeline specified.  Other criteria may be used, such as expertise in specific technologies or industries.

For guidance on the process to be followed for a specific pre-qualification list, contact the ministry's Procurement Specialist.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

 N/A. Sent to invited qualified suppliers only.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

The RFQ needs to establish this date through a term in the RFQ, which should not be less than 5 business days (i.e. 1 week), although some trade agreements, if applicable, will require a longer response period if not specified in the RFQ.

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, approved ministry template, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services

Corporate Template

A template exists for the use of the Procurement Services Branch, Shared Services BC only.

Guidelines Available?

No

 

Notice of Intent (NOI)

Purpose

To provide public notice of the ministry’s intent to direct award, where the ministry cannot strictly prove that there is only one vendor as required in the Core Policy and Procedures Manual (CPPM) sections

6.3.2.b.5 and 6.3.2.c.7.

Used When

Government believes (but cannot strictly prove) that only a specific, named  vendor is qualified and available to supply defined goods or services, and intends to enter into a contract with that vendor without competition, unless another vendor demonstrates that they should be given the opportunity to compete.

Used For

Goods, Services, Construction

Dollar Value

Goods: $10,000 and more
Services and Construction:$50,000 and more

Award Basis

Direct award if no successful challenge is received.  If a successful challenge is received, an appropriate competitive procurement process must be undertaken.

When Posted to
BC Bid™

Goods: Must be posted if contract is valued at $10,000 or more.

Services or Construction: Must be posted if contract is valued at $50,000 or more.

May be posted if contract for lower values.

Recommended Minimum Response Period

10 calendar days

Resulting in a Contract Award?

Yes

Resulting Contract Form

General Services Agreement, Purchase Order, Works Contract, approved ministry template, or custom form of contract approved by Legal Services.

Corporate Template

No

Guidelines Available?

Market Research and Notifications (refer to information on NOIs)