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Request for Proposal Outdoor Interpretive Panel Project Template


The following is a RFP template for interpretive panel planning, design and fabrication services - feel free to copy and adapt to your individual needs... Please remember to add HDC to your tender list!

RFP for external or outdoor interpretive panel planning, design and fabrication services

Add Your Agency or Organization Name

1) Agency Introduction

This introductory section gives the bidder an overview of who you are, what you do, why you do what you do, how you do what you do, and so on...

2) Interpretive Panel Project Introduction

This introductory section gives the bidder an overview of the interpretive panel project; its context, history, who is funding it, and most importantly what you want the interpretive panel project to accomplish when completed.

3) Interpretive Panel Project Requirements

This section provides more detail on what you are looking for from the project in terms of concepts, requirements, rationals and so on...

4) Project Outputs / Outcomes

This section should describe the specific interpretive panel project outputs and or outcomes. Remember that processes deliver OUTPUTS (i.e. what results from a process is an output) and OUTCOMES are a level of performance, or achievement (outcomes imply quantification of performance).

5) Scope of Work

This is one of the most important sections of the interpretive panel request for proposal (RFP). Here you will detail exactly what the scope of work will cover. The following is a template example of typical “scope of work” for a typical interpretive panel project.

The selected contractor will:
  • Conduct a focus workshop session with staff to determine/re-affirm, the main interpretive theme and sub-themes of the total interpretive message presentation.
  • Develop, with staff, the specific objectives (in writing)of each interpretive panel: * Learning objectives * Behavioral objectives * Emotional objectives
  • Review the facility visitor numbers, market make-up and mix, and seasonal visitation patterns that might influence interpretive panel design, and any needs for easily changeable interpretive panels (seasonal or topical).
  • For each proposed interpretive panel, the designer will develop an interpretive panel planning form that details that individual panels:
  • Main interpretive sub-theme or message concept.
  • The specific recommended/approved objectives that individual interpretive panel is to accomplish (learn, feel, do).
  • The best interpretive approach for that panel to accomplish its’ stated objectives.
  • The interpretive panel plan for the individual panels will be reviewed by facility staff and approved before moving on to the design phase of the interpretive panel project. The individual interpretive panels will be designed to accomplish the objectives stated, and draft designs will be reviewed for approval on how well the design addressed the specific objectives.
  • Working with facility staff, review the facility collections for appropriate photographs, or related materials to help illustrate the theme of each interpretive panel.
  • Develop draft label copy for the interpretive panels. Label text should be “interpretive” and based on Tilden’s 6 Principals of Interpretation.
  • Provide a final design (based on comments from the review of the draft interpretive panel design) for approval.
  • Provide interpretive panel fabrication as per your proposal.
  • Have the client review interpretive panels for any technical or editorial errors.
  • Have the client sign-off on the interpretive panel production after the review.
  • Ship interpretive panels by the deadline set forth in the contract.

Additional considerations
  • Contractor will provide a warranty on all panels - this should be at least a 10-year warranty against fading, delamination, misting, etc.
  • Interpretive panel specifications (list your panel material, size and thickness specifications here).
  • Required panel mounting system (kind of panel frames you want - add specifications if you want the contractor to provide the frames too).

4) Agency Provided Support & Resources
This is the section of the interpretive panel RFP where you list what products or services you will provide for the interpretive panel project. This might include, copy, research material, images, logos, brand standards and so on.

As part of the project our agency (name) will provide the following materials or services for the interpretive panel project:
  • Assistance in photographic research and photo selection.
  • Assistance in historic or biological research for text development.
  • Assistance in organizing meetings and providing meeting rooms and associated audio-visual needs as needed.
  • Other kinds of help you can provide for the project.

5) Qualifications
This section is where you list the qualifications that the successful bidder should possess. This is where many RFP's and subsequent project fall down. There are a huge number of cowboys claiming to interpretation experts - most are not. It is vitally important that you only hire trained, professionally qualified and accredited heritage interpretation professionals

Bidders should meet or exceed these minimum qualifications:

Degree in heritage interpretation
NAI Certified Interpreter
NAI Certified Master Planner
NAI or NPS interpretive designer
NAI or NPS interpretive writer
NAI or NPS interpretive researcher

10 or more years experience in:

Interpretive master planning
Interpretive research
Interpretive Illustration
Interpretive writing
Interpretive design
Fabricating of outdoor interpretive panels

It is recommended that the contractor has a professionally qualified interpretive master planner on the team to provide the interpretive planning expertise and interpretive text writing.
Have experience in planning/design of projects of a similar size or nature.
Be able to meet the design and fabrications specifications of the panels (panel materials, thickness, etc.)
Be able to provide a 10-year warranty of the finished panels.

6) Bid Submittal Requirements

This section might include:

Provide list/samples of interpretive panel design projects developed within the past year.

Provide a sample of your best interpretive panel design with a narrative of why the panel is interpretive (how did you use Tilden’s Interpretive Principles” in the design and message presentation?).

Provide a list of three references from recent interpretive panel projects.

Provide a list of personnel (resumes) who will be involved with the interpretive panel project management, interpretive planning, interpretive writing, interpretive design, research and fabrication, including any/all sub-contractors.

Provide a breakdown of budget:

Panel research, planning and design

Panel construction/fabrication

Panel delivery and installation

Provide a draft interpretive panel project time line.

Payment terms and conditions.
10) Selection Process

This is the section where you explain how your will judge the proposals and the criteria you have established to make your final selection. This could include:

Professional Qualifications

11) Selection Criteria

Our selection criteria follow the rules and standards of…(your agency, company, government, etc).

The selection of the successful candidate/bidder is not based solely on “low bid”, but on the best product to accomplish the objectives of the project.

The successful bidder will:

Meet our (agency or organization) standards for bidder qualifications through our formal bid process.
Not exceed the amount budgeted for the project.
Meets or exceeds the qualifications as listed in the RFP.
Clearly details how they will accomplish the stated scope of work

12) Interviews

The top three bidders will be invited (at their own expense) to deliver a formal presentation of their proposal, qualifications, examples of past projects, etc. to the selection committee.

13) Award of Contract

In this section you need to explain the process of awarding the contract...

Award of the contract is not based on low bid, but by the receipt of the proposal that best meets the needs of the (agency, company, government, etc.) and this project.

It is our intent to select the consultant/firm no later than (add date), and to have the project formally begin by (add date).

Send one (or as many copies as you need) copy of your proposal to: (Name and address you want the proposal sent to)

All proposals are due in our office by (add time and date).

Any specific questions about this project or proposal contents should be directed to (add the name of the project manager) at: (add address, phone, fax, e-mail).