How to write an effective Request for Qualifications

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is a normal part of a business process while dealing with potential clients or suppliers. Often, it's part of a larger process that's called a Request for Proposals (RFP) where bids are requested, and a selection is made between various parties as to who has the best bid, and who can do the job according to your specifications. The RFQ however is a smaller part of this process, where you may only want to know which companies or individuals can indeed fulfill your needs. To get the best result however, you have to write your request in a way that is clear and precise, and that's why a template is best in these cases. Here's how to write an effective Request for Qualifications template.

An RFQ will typically contain several sections, in a document form, each of which describes a particular part of the request. If you often need to create Requests for Qualifications, either because you work for a large corporation, or perhaps a government entity, or just because you do a lot of RFPs, you should have a RFP template setup. The template needs to convey efficiently the message you're trying to say. Typically, the document starts with a paragraph describing yourself or your organization. This should be kept brief, and is mostly there in case those who send in qualifications don't happen to know you very well. Then, the description should follow. This is a paragraph or a list, depending on the type of work that's involved, and should be quite exhaustive. Everything that needs to be done should be listed. For example, if the contract you're looking to award is for the production of marketing material, and one part of it is making email newsletters, that should be specified here, because the companies responding must know how to successfully do these things.

Typically in a Request for Proposals, you would then follow with a list of deliverables, things that must be provided at the end of the contract. But since here you're just looking for qualifications, this can be omitted. Instead, you should say exactly what qualifications you require. One example would be if you need a company for a job at a government office, perhaps you need people who are certified with a certain security clearance level. That's the type of things to say here. Following that, you should be clear on what you want included in the qualification they will provide. This includes any paper or document you need to see from whoever responds to your request.

Finally, the bottom of the template should be for logistics. You need to be clear on the dates for this request. If you need all responses within one week, you must write down exact dates and times, otherwise people may feel cheated if you deny a qualification because it was submitted too late. Also be careful what the criteria for selection will be. If you're the one who will pick who has the best qualifications, and can then enter the RFP, then you must say what your selection process will be. Perhaps a committee will look at them, or maybe it will be voted by an assembly. Overall, it's not hard to do an effective Request for Qualifications.

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