Your evaluation criteria is the set of standards or tests that you'll judge proposals against, including preconditions, value for money, capability and capacity.
Preconditions, sometimes called pre-qualifying criteria, are prerequisite requirements that must be met or the offer will be rejected. They are either pass or fail.
Use preconditions sparingly and only for critical requirements that are essential to the deliverables.
A precondition could say that the supplier must:
Be explicit about what you require and word the precondition so it's easy to say whether the supplier meets or doesn't meet it. If you're worried about limiting competition through onerous preconditions, you could require that a supplier either meets the precondition now, or agrees to meet it before the contract begins.
Mandatory conditions are the requirements or rules about the process of submitting a proposal. They are either pass or fail - any proposal that fails to meet the conditions can be rejected.
Mandatory conditions can include:
You must highlight these conditions and provide clear guidance for suppliers on how to meet them.
Failure to meet all the conditions can result in an offer being automatically rejected, or you could allow discretion for minor failures that can be easily fixed (as long as you don't give the supplier an unfair advantage), e.g. providing five copies instead of six.
Qualitative criteria assess the merits of each offer, including:
Consider the provider or supplier's:
Past performance is a good indicator of capability and capacity to deliver – but you need to balance the importance of past performance as a criterion against the possibility that you might exclude new suppliers with an innovative solution.
If past performance is important, you can reserve the right in the RFP terms to consider information that's not included in the supplier's proposal. This means you can seek information from other agencies who have worked with a supplier.
The principle of value for money does not necessarily mean selecting the lowest price, but rather the best possible outcome for the total cost of the goods or services.