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The E-coach Blog
What to Include in an E-Learning Request for Quotation (RFQ)
By Alison Bickford on April 6, 2012
We need to engage an external e-learning provider to develop a course. What should we include in a Request for Quotation (RFQ)?
An RFQ is used to provide e-learning providers with enough project detail to enable them to give you an accurate quotation. It is an important document for several reasons:
- It begins the internal process of making the parameters of the e-learning project clear
- It can form part of the overall agreement with the successful provider
- It gives the provider an insight into the maturity of your e-learning project knowledge
The e-learning provider will quote on the design and production of the course, and consulting time associated with the project itself. Generally speaking, the more certain you are of your project inclusions, and the more mature you are in your internal project methodology, the less consulting hours are required for the quote. So, be sure to reflect these elements in your RFQ.
Contact your procurement office before you begin to write the RFQ. They may have a RFQ template with legal clauses that will need to be included in your document.
Contact your LMS administrator for technical specifications and overall project assistance. They will be pivotal in testing your course in the LMS, and providing guidance about your overall e-learning strategy and business adoption.
Your RFQ should generally cover the following topics:
- Introduction: Company brief, audience, current and desired course delivery
- Project inclusions: Content topics, interactivity requirements, design & editorial requirements, project tasks, project timelines, progress tracking
- Output requirements: Quality control, course format, optional hosting
- RFQ submission inclusions: Cost, timeline, RFQ assessment criteria, budget
- Contract requirements: RFQ evaluation, payment terms, copyright etc (speak with your procurement department)
- Project team contact details: It is a good idea to accept questions only via email, and BCC your response to all RFQ proponents
How many e-learning providers should I send the RFQ to? Well, many organisations will require a minimum of 3 responses for comparison. I generally advise 4 to insure against 1 proponent dropping out. Be sure to contact the providers first to ensure they have capacity for your project, otherwise you have wasted the opportunity to send your RFQ to someone else. Choose your providers wisely.
Should I include a budget? I think you should provide a budget range, to help guide proponents in their response.
Should I include the content? Providing proponents with the content enables them to get a sense of the work involved to interpret the content for e-learning design. This helps proponents to give an accurate quotation. However, your content may be sensitive. If you would like to supply proponents with content to aid in the quotation process, you should request the proponent sign a confidentiality agreement first.
An RFQ is not a tender. Tenders usually involve larger budgets and are therefore open to more proponents. Procurement is generally much more involved in a tender process.
The botom line: Be clear about your requirements, and you will receive quality RFQ responses.
If you would like support about this and other e-learning project management needs, why not consider joining the E-Learning Academy?
Over the next few weeks I will continue with this blog theme. E-Learning providers – please feel free to comment & add to this topic.
4 Responses to “What to Include in an E-Learning Request for Quotation (RFQ)”
As a provider, I find the more details a potential client can provide the easier it is for me to produce an accurate quote.
In particular, details on interactivity and budget are great. Also, let the provider know if you intend to be able to update content yourself in the future as this often influences the methods and software I will use in production.
A final word of warning though… I have often been asked for login details to other platforms I have worked on. This just isn’t often possible as client details are confidential and we don’t just hand them out. You should be able to ask for screenshots and samples though!
Thanks so much for your contribution, Mike. It’s interesting how clients may want to see work you have done for others, but they wouldn’t be happy for you to share the work you have done for them. That you are sensitive of confidentiality speaks volumes. Thanks again.
Haricharan said on April 18th, 2012 at 10:08 pm
I have been approached to develop elearning courseware (ppt and storyboard document) for cloud computing. They have asked for my quotation. Can you inform me about the rates that courseware developers usually charge?
Hello. This is a little difficult to answer, as I don’t fully understand your requirements such as design approach, such as authoring tool, output requirements etc. However, if you are considering an Articulate-like (rapid e-learning) output, then a 30 min e-learn with narration, visual treatment and assessment may take 2-2.5 days, including 2 rounds of testing. Rate about $120/hr. This is very dependent upon how much consultation is required between the client & developer, which is dependent upon the readiness of the storyboard and knowledge of the requirements.
Video “how to” using Camtasia is another approach to using e-learning to train a system. This requires a different kind of scripting.
High end e-learning developers in Australia can cost up to $175hr. Freelance sole traders who only develop of a finished storyboard (i.e. they do very little consultation with the business) may charge about $100/hr. These are all approximate Australian dollar rates. I hope this helps.