Developing an Evaluation Plan

An evaluation plan is the planning and control document for conducting the evaluation of offers received in response to either a Request for Tender or a Request for Quotation. It outlines the conditions for participation, evaluation criteria, process, methodology and evaluation committee member responsibilities.

A well-prepared evaluation plan ensures:

  • probity in the evaluation process;
  • the selection of the best value for money offer; and
  • a result that can be justified.

The evaluation plan should be completed, and approved by an appropriate person within your agency, before the Request documentation is finalised.

The evaluation plan is not made public, but information on any conditions for participation, the evaluation criteria and any weightings are included in the Request documentation.

Who develops the evaluation plan?

The Evaluation Committee, users and management should be involved in the development of the evaluation plan.

When is the evaluation plan developed?

The evaluation plan is developed and documented during the planning phase of the purchase.

The evaluation plan should be developed:

  • after establishing the evaluation committee; as committee members should be involved in the development of the conditions for participation, evaluation criteria and methodology;
  • in conjunction with developing the specification; as it is important that the conditions for participation and evaluation criteria reflect the requirements stated in the specification. The specification may need to be clarified if it is found that it is not possible to develop conditions and criteria that allow for offers to be adequately evaluated; and
  • before inviting offers for probity and accountability reasons.

What should the evaluation plan contain?

A typical evaluation plan may include information on:

  • conditions for participation (the mandatory conditions that must be met in order for a submission to be considered);
  • any compliance criteria that is to apply;
  • the evaluation criteria - indicating if weightings will be applied and if so the relevant weight to be applied to each criteria;
  • the evaluation methodology including, where applicable
    • initial screening process
    • compliance checks
    • scoring technique, including rating scales, the application of weightings, pro forma scoring sheets and matrices
    • the process for short-listing offers (if shortlisting is to occur)
    • supplier presentations;
    • the process for evaluating alternative offers (if alternative offers are to be allowed); and
    • the calculation of value for money.
  • probity and accountability controls, including:
    • safeguarding confidential information;
    • the process to be used for late offers; and
    • the process to be used if it is necessary to contact suppliers during the evaluation process to seek clarification etc.
  • the evaluation timetable;
  • evaluation committee member details, including name, position, department and, if applicable, information on their specific roles and responsibilities (for example, some members may have been asked to join the evaluation committee to provide technical or financial advice); and
  • arrangements for debriefing unsuccessful suppliers.

For probity and accountability reasons, the conditions for participation, evaluation criteria, weightings and methodology should not be changed once the Request documentation has been issued.

Note that much of the information provided in the evaluation plan can be incorporated into the final evaluation report.

Template / example evaluation plans are available.