Proposal Writing Course – Lesson #5: Writing a Request For Proposal

Writing a Request for Proposal (also called an Invitation To Tender) is hard work.

After you have polished the final draft and sent it out, the next step is to wait for the proposals to come back in. If you’re working on a large tender, you can sometimes expect 20,30, 50 or even hundreds of bids to arrive on your desk.

One approach to evaluate these bids quickly is to include a “Format of Tender” section at the end of the Request for Proposal.

Remind the bidders that they must follow the “Format of Tender” criteria as otherwise they risk disqualification. In general, the criteria will mirror the main sections of the RFP itself.

The following section provides a suggested “Format of Tender” outline:

  • General Information
  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Fax
  • Email
  • Terms and Conditions

Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions as described in the request for proposal by the bidder and third parties. A statement from the bidder that none of the excluding circumstances listed in section <> are applicable.

Confirmation that the bidder understands the requirements and scope of the project and that the bidder should provide any other information that may be relevant to the proposal.

Required Format
Proposals should respond under the headings set out in “Section X” of the main RFP:

  • Details of Tendering Company
  • Details of Key Personnel
  • Overview of Solution
  • Understanding of requirements
    • Scalability & Performance
    • Deliverables
    • Audit Requirements
    • Testing
    • Skills Transfer
    • User Training
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Development Environment
  • Testing Environments
  • Maintainability
  • Development Support
  • Project Management
  • Quality Management


The costs section should provide the following:

  • Total Costs
  • Consulting costs
  • Software costs
  • Training costs
  • Implementation costs
  • Indicative costs (e.g. hardware)
  • Schedule of costs (costs associated with deliverables)
  • Validity period of costs

By mandating that these criteria need to be followed, your Evaluation Team will be able to review the responses much quicker and, in turn, speed up the procurement.

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