Checklist for preparing a bid


Are you ready to bid on a Government of Canada tender opportunity? This resource guide will walk you through what you need to know to prepare your bid and ensure that it’s complete before you submit.

On this page: 

What you need to know before you start

Every tender opportunity is unique, so read its bidding details very carefully. Before you start preparing your bid, make sure to: 

  • review and make sure you understand the clauses, general conditions and standard instructions 
  • remember that the contracting officer specified, not the buying organization, is your only point of contact during the bidding process
  • submit your bid on time and meet all of the required bidding conditions to ensure your bid gets evaluated

Mandatory criteria

Before you start writing, figure out which criteria are mandatory. These are usually evaluated on a pass or fail basis. If your bid fails to meet any of the mandatory criteria, such as a surety bond, it will be considered non-responsive.

A surety bond is issued by an insurance company who assures that the enterprise performing the work can do it. When a surety bond is required, you must include in your bid a list of acceptable bonding companies together with the applicable surety bond form. 

For more information 

Write your bid 

The solicitation documents of a tender opportunity will explain exactly how construct your bid and how it will be evaluated. Make sure you follow the instructions provided and address each point completely.

You may be asked to include the following:

  • Technical section
  • Management section
  • Financial section

Technical section

This is where you usually provide the most details when preparing a bid submission. It is your chance to show the evaluation team that you understand the requirements. Describe what and how you would do the work if you were awarded the contract.

The technical section of your bid should include the following: 

  • A short introduction, which includes an evaluation of the current situation and the need for the project, objectives of the proposed work, reasons for carrying it out as proposed and the benefits that will be derived
  • A work plan, methodology and techniques that you are proposing to deliver the required goods or services
  • Feasibility, the degree of success expected, identify any problems anticipated and contingency plans in the event that problems arise
  • Specific tasks and deliverables and the schedule for completion or delivery
  • Information about how many people you will assign to the various tasks, their levels, and how many hours or days they will be assigned to the tasks. Do not include any pricing information in this section

If you would like to propose an alternate solution to what is being requested, submit it as a separate bid along with your main bid. You should respond to the specific request made in the bidding details first. Do no offer a substitute for what is being requested or your bid could be considered non-responsive. 

Management section

This section of the bid is where you introduce your team and outline how they meet the required qualifications. Include any supporting information required, such as resumes.

If you will be subcontracting part of the work, provide the same information for each subcontractor.

When completing this section, do not assume that the contracting officers know your organization and skills. Each bid is evaluated solely on its content, and the evaluation team is not allowed to use prior knowledge to award points or meet mandatory criteria.

Financial section

In this section, provide a detailed breakdown of the quoted price in terms of its cost elements. The bidding details will tell you what cost items will be considered in the financial evaluation. No other costs will be considered. 

Prices must only appear in the financial section of the bid. 

Provide certifications

Make sure that you complete all the certifications requested, such as: 

  • Education and Experience  
  • Federal Contractors Program

Depending on the size of your business, you will be required to certify that you have made a formal commitment to implement employment equity to bid for some federal government contracts. You can do so by filling out the Agreement to Implement Employment Equity form. Certifications must be submitted by the time and date specified in the bidding details, unless otherwise stated.

Complete security requirements

When under contract with the Government of Canada, you may need security clearance for your business to enter the bid. The tender opportunity will also specify what level of clearance is needed.

Security clearance is necessary if your employees require access to:

  • classified or protected information 
  • classified or protected assets
  • sensitive federal work sites

If you do not already have a security clearance, contact the contracting officer listed in the Contact information tab of the tender notice as soon as possible to get the process started.

For more information: 

Submit questions

Follow the process specified in the tender opportunity as soon as possible if you:

  • have questions about the tender opportunity
  • think you have found an error in the tender opportunity
  • would like to request if the closing date can be extended

To submit your questions, you can:

The contracting officer will compile all questions and answers and issue an amendment to the bidding details to ensure that all bidders have access to the same information. 

Pay attention to the timelines specified in the bidding details, as questions may need to be received before a certain deadline. 

Additional support

Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC) offers a range of webinars and resources to help you with the process of doing business with the Government of Canada.

In need of technical help? CanadaBuys has a dedicated Service Desk that you can call, email or chat with.

Related articles 

Date modified: