Sponsors of credentialing programs often seek assistance from contractors and vendors. To obtain the best set of responses and select the most qualified provider to assist you, your organization is obligated to develop and disseminate a clear request for proposal (RFP) or request for information (RFI). Although it sounds quite easy, it is critical that you take the time and the effort to organize your needs into a well-delineated set of business requirements: this way, your organization can ensure that it will receive comparable responses from providers. This paper provides tips for the development of clear and concise RFPs, including how to describe the goods and services your organization is seeking and the criteria for judging the responses.Just as important, this paper will provide examples of pitfalls likely to confuse contractors and vendors, resulting in proposals that are difficult to judge. The content of this paper is designed to be applicable to the wide variety of RFPs you might develop, from requests for strategic consulting to specific research investigations, from examination planning and development to administration and scoring, and from auditing to validating your program’s requirements, to name just a few.
Meet the Authors
Sandra Greenberg, PhD is Vice President for Research & Advisory Services at Professional Examination Service (ProExam) where her responsibilities include strategic planning; serving as a liaison to key clients and stakeholders; developing business relationships and expanding client engagements in new sectors; and coaching and mentoring colleagues. Dr. Greenberg has conducted large-scale studies of professions; standard setting, feasibility, and recertification studies; and developed observational scales, portfolio-based assessments, and practical examinations for nationally- and internationally-recognized credentialing programs. She has been an active participant at the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors, and the Association of Test Publishers (ATP). With regard to ICE, Dr. Greenberg has served on the Program Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Publications Committee (chair), the Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Marketing and Communications Committee, and has presented numerous times at the ICE annual conference.
Carla M. Caro, MA is a Research Director at Professional Examination Service, where she is responsible for conducting large-scale engagements such as job/practice analyses and the development of competency frameworks; feasibility studies; validation projects involving a range of complementary data collection initiatives; value proposition studies; and standard setting, for a range of nationally- and internationally-recognized credentialing programs. Ms. Caro has previously worked as a public policy analyst and in the area of educational advocacy. Her volunteer activities with ICE include serving on the NCCA Standards Revision project in the Technical Advisory Group for Psychometrics, and on the Publications Committee. She is a frequent presenter at the ICE annual conference.
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