Writing tender applications for training or development programs
Organizations often need to write tender applications to coordinate and
implement a training and development program. They might seek to
provide leadership training to an organization or offer more
specialized modules to a broader association. Often, perhaps with the
exception of many government tenders, organizations are granted
considerable choice as to the content and format.
Features of the program
To construct an exemplary tender application, organizations first need
to consider the range of features, provisions, and activities they can
offer. In particular, they should consider the following list of
- Participants should be able to access a specific library of material, to enable future learning.
- Organizations should offer services to support clients after the
program officially ends. Examples include seminars on the latest
developments in some domain, inviting several of clients at once, or
- The training and development content should be adapted to align with
the competency frameworks or strategic objectives of the client
- The training and development content should be related to the ongoing tasks or projects of participants
- Organizations could highlight that similar programs have been
implemented with other clients, but that a unique blend of previous
activities has been developed to accommodate this client
- Organizations need to demonstrate the veracity of their training
content, such as the credibility of advisors and developers as well as
the scientific validity of your material
- Organizations need to describe how the programs are reviewed frequently and updated accordingly
- Organizations need to measure the impact of their programs on
performance, perhaps through performance management systems or
- Organizations need to emphasize issues of governance and probity,
such as accountability to a steering committee, project management, and
- Organizations should include provisions, such as monthly discussions,
which are intended to provide opportunities to discuss immediate and
unexpected issues that have arisen recently.
- Organizations need to specify provisions that can be introduced to increase efficiency and reduce costs
- Both experienced academics and practitioners should be involved in the program
- Experts on specific topics, including international visitors, should be involved and perhaps present during the program.
- Organizations should designate a client services team. This team
should include a person who coordinates interactions between the client
and the providers, a person who develops the program, a person who
audits the program, and a person who provides project management.
- Organizations could offer video conferencing or other technologies to ensure programs are accessible in remote locations.
- Podcasts or similar provisions should be created to enable participants to access the material at a later time.
Outcomes Many programs afford participants with credit towards formal
qualifications. For example, some workshops can be articulated to
Many programs afford participants with credit towards formal qualifications
Logistics A variety of forums should be available, such as group workshops,
individual coaching, diagnostic tools, action learning, remote
learning, online resources, and case study discussions.
A communication strategy needs to be implemented, ensuring that
participants are cognisant of the benefits, services, opportunities,
and developments. The communication strategy might include emails,
podcasts, meetings, and other facilities.
Availability of parking and convenient public transport for attendees should be available.
Content of the application
Title page (1 page)
Tender applications will generally begin with the title page, that includes:
- The logos of both the client and the provider towards the top or bottom
- The title of this program, such as "Leadership development program. ABC organization"
- The date of submission and the phrase "Submission proposal"
- Details of the provider, such as address, telephone number, fax number, URL, and other identifying information
Table of contents (1-2 pages)
Table of contents should include all of the main headings, enumerating between 5 and 20 sections.
Executive summary (1-2 pages)
The executive summary should:
- In one or two paragraphs, outline the primary objective, key goals,
and principal constraints of the client. An example might be "ABC
company would like to introduce a leadership program, intended to
enhance the capacity of executives to promote engagement, innovation,
and productivity. The company seeks a provider who can offer a program
that spans many locations, caters to various levels of expertise and
experience, as well as accommodates the demanding workloads of managers.
- Outline the proposed program--that is, summarize the key activities, facets, or processes.
- Specify the key features of this program, focusing on attributes that
are germane to the objectives, goals, and constraints of the client
- Summarize the key benefits and outcomes this program will generate.
- Introduce the key philosophy, if applicable
- Highlight that your organization is willing to refine and enhance the
proposed program, in response to feedback from additional stakeholders
and collaboration with the client.
Overview of the program
Perhaps, after the executive summary, include an overview of the main
phases, processes, activities, or services, sometimes represented in a
flow chart or wheel. The following flowchart represents a simple
Rather than phases, this flow chart might include the main services,
such as "classroom workshops", "virtual discussions", "communication
and reporting", and "strategic forums". During this section, you can:
- Describe each of these phases or services briefly
- Enumerate all the key features, such as accessibility to remote
locations, customization to fulfill the strategic direction of the
client, and implementation of an independent review.
Clarification of each phase or service
The next set of pages should provide more information about each phase,
activity, or service. During these pages, show how the various tasks
afford the features and benefits that were summarized before.
Personnel and organization
Between one and three pages should be dedicated to describing the
personnel and organization. Some of this information might appear in
appendices instead. Specify the names, qualifications, and achievement
- The client services team, such as the account manager and project manager
- The facilitators
- Support staff, such as individuals involved in communications, information technology, and accounting.
To describe the organization, depict:
- The history and structure of this organization, briefly
- Relevant achievements, clients, and testimonies, such as official
rankings, accreditations, and awards bestowed on the employees
- Relevant experience, such as number of years the organization has
operated in this market and industries to which they have provided
- Key values as well as learning prioriteies. Values might relate to
collaboration with clients, openness in communication, efficiency of
services, innovation of content, and management of risks.
Present a table that outlines the fees. For each phase, activity, or service, this table should:
- Specify the fee
- Specify the principal tasks
- Specify the supporting tasks
In addition, stipulate the assumptions of these fees, such as whether
or not venue hire, catering, travel, tax, advertising, workbooks, and
other costs are included. Furthermore, specify that fees are indicative
rather than definitive, and might need to be modified in response to
Finally, include a page that summarizes the proposal, delineates the next steps, and highlights:
- A willingness to discuss this proposal with the client, clarifying needs and expectations if necessary
- An appreciation towards the client for the opportunity to submit this application.
- Details of individuals to contact for further information
More detailed information can be presented in appendices, such as the
curriculum vitae of key personnel or extracts of training material,
such as workbooks or online sites
Style of the application
Obviously, the style of applications will depend on the industry,
brand, personal taste, and many other factors. Nevertheless, some
accepted conventions seem to have emerged recently. Most individuals
now prefer a simple, rather than ornate, layout. Most pages should
primarily include headings and text apart from perhaps:
- Some possible signposts. For example, many programs might include a
flow chart or wheel that outlines the various sections or features.
Pages that describe specific sections or features will often highlight
the corresponding segment of this flow chart of wheel, as shown below.
- Pages will usually include a header or footer that names the provider
and the client. In addition, a sentence that highlights the
confidential nature of this proposal should be included, such as
"Commercial in confidence: Intended for the ABC company only"
- On the top, side, or bottom of each page is often a row or column of
standard pictures that supposedly epitomize the brand or activities of
- Rather than text, sometimes bullet points, often represented as ticks, are included.