How To Craft The Perfect Training Needs Analysis RFP
Choosing the best outsourcing partner hinges on talent, turnaround time, and price point. All of these are covered in the vendor proposal. Unfortunately, you can’t just wait around and hope that service providers sense your need for training assessment and reach out with estimates. Very few of them have telepathic powers strong enough to scan every L&D department. Proactive organizations draft RFPs so that vendors have all the information they require. From the project scope to evaluation criteria. But where do you even begin? Are there common mistakes you should avoid to maximize value for money? Follow these steps to write a winning training needs analysis RFP.
8 Stress-Free Steps To Write Your RFP
1. Determine The Project Scope
Crafting an RFP kicks off with a project overview so that vendors can quickly determine if they’re a good match. This includes objectives, delivery dates, and training sectors. For example, you need a vendor for sales training needs analysis this time around. The secret is to focus on the project at hand so that outsourcing partners can provide spot-on estimates. You can always discuss additional training solutions at a later date if everything goes according to the plan. Or even include a brief blurb at the bottom to give vendors a heads-up. For now, it’s best to narrow the scope for the sake of clarity.
2. Set A Spend Limit
Vendors should know how much you have to work with and what you expect for the price. For instance, your training needs assessment budget is XX. But 25% of that is reserved for JIT training interventions to bridge crucial gaps. They must also provide a detailed report that highlights training inefficiencies and include the following consultancy services. Of course, you don’t have to lay all your cards on the table in the RFP. Always leave a small buffer in your budget for unexpected fees.
3. Highlight Potential Training Challenges
The last thing vendors want is to accept the project, only to discover that you misrepresent the risks. You should include a detailed list of potential training challenges you’re already aware of. Outsourcing partners will use training needs analysis methods to disclose hidden gaps. However, the RFP must clarify the obstacles ahead so they can customize the estimate and TNA schedule. For example, your customer service certification program and leadership training curriculum are definitely part of the package. It’s also wise to include a list of data sources vendors can use to conduct the training needs assessments. Such as LMS reports (specify which system), business metrics, and survey results.
4. Specify Vendor Support
Maybe you need a TNA service provider who meets you every month to ensure your training program is still on point. Or works one-on-one with your team to fine-tune the objectives. Always include vendor support expectations in the RFP, as well as communication guidelines. While some organizations prefer a hands-off approach, whereby the vendor simply presents their findings at the end. Others look for training needs analysis partners who are more like team members than external consultants.
5. Include A TNA Timeline
Is the service provider even available for the project? Is their schedule packed for the next 3 months and you need to identify training gaps yesterday? Include a needs assessment timeframe so that vendors can plan accordingly. There is a caveat. Generally speaking, training needs assessment companies know how much work is involved. How much time it takes to complete each phase of the project and what issues may cause delays? Thus, you should be somewhat flexible about the TNA timeline and solicit vendor feedback.
6. Clarify Evaluation Criteria
How will you evaluate proposals? Are you looking for specific qualifications or training interventions? Once again, you don’t have to explain the entire vendor verification process. Simply provide enough information for TNA companies to formulate their responses and touch on all the key points. For instance, you’re only considering service providers who include these services in the estimate and have experience with hospitality training needs analysis.
7. Explain Follow-Up Protocols
Will you send a list of questions to vendors who submit the best proposals? Do you expect them to meet with you via video conferencing before you finalize the contract? Include follow-up protocols so that vendors know what’s expected of them. You should also mention the proposal AND vendor selection deadline, as well as how you will notify them of your decision. Last, but not least, provide contact info so they can email/phone you with questions or concerns.
8. Review Proposals
After you submit the training needs analysis RFP, prep your team for the review process while you wait for proposals. The evaluation criterium is already in place. But is everyone aware of the scoring system? Do they know which qualification to look for and how to compare outsourcing company portfolios? This makes things much easier when proposals roll in and you must make your decision in a timely manner. Selection delays push back your TNA timeline. And you run the risk of losing top contenders because they might accept other projects in the meantime.
Keep in mind that RFPs aren’t just for your benefit. They also give training needs assessment vendors the opportunity to pick and choose projects based on their expertise. For example, they may decline your request if they can’t meet the deadline or don’t cater to your niche. Thus, RFPs respect everyone’s time and ensure that only the top training needs analysis companies make it to your shortlist. Instead of discovering that they lack the necessary qualifications or fall out of your price range at the eleventh hour.
Which training needs analysis company earns an RFP? Check out our Top Content Providers To Help You Conduct Training Needs Analysis list to find the perfect outsourcing partner.