Request for Proposal Development of Suite of Learning Tools – Learning Modules and Diagnostic Tool

National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA)

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February 4, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  1. Request for Proposal (RFP)

The full RFP, including background information can be found at:

The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) invites you to respond to this Request for Proposal (RFP).  The purpose of this RFP is to identify a consultant or firm that can develop a suite of learning products geared to international pharmacy graduates seeking licensure in Canada. This activity is part of a larger project funded by the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program that will be described below. The contract to develop a (low stakes) diagnostic tool and the learning modules has a maximum value of $175,000. This contract is expected to have a start date of April 1, 2020 and a completion date of October 31, 2020. The modules are expected to go live on October 1, 2020.

  1. Introduction to NAPRA

Established in 1995, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) is the national voluntary association of provincial and territorial pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs) as well as the Canadian Forces Pharmacy Services, whose mandates are the protection of the public interest. NAPRA’s members regulate the practice of pharmacy and operation of pharmacies in their respective jurisdictions.

As an alliance of pharmacy regulatory authorities, NAPRA’s defined value proposition includes:

  • Leadership on national policy issues
  • Harmonization of standards to reinforce their credibility, dependability, and acceptance
  • A national, central point of contact for communication and engagement with pan-Canadian and international stakeholders
  • A community of practice for pharmacy regulatory authorities across Canada to address common issues and share knowledge and experiences relevant to pharmacy regulation
  1. Overview of the P4T Project

This activity is part of a larger project entitled Pilot Program to Prepare for Practical Training (P4T).  The objective of the P4T project is to develop and implement resources and tools for international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) to address the barriers that impede the successful completion of mandatory practical training and assessments required for licensure as a pharmacist in Canada. Those barriers are reported to be:

  • The practical experience an IPG has in a Canadian pharmacy is often not sufficient to undergo a practice assessment;
  • Communications with patients and other healthcare professionals;
  • Knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system and Canadian culture.

To address those barriers, the P4T project was put in place to

  • Develop and implement a mentorship program to enable IPGs to gain exposure and experience in a Canadian pharmacy environment. It is estimated that 150 IPGs will be paired with pharmacist mentors for paid work placements ranging from 4 to 12 weeks long.
  • Develop and pilot a diagnostic tool to identify gaps an IPG may have regarding professional communication skills, knowledge of Canadian culture and knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system. The project aims to have I50 IPGs pilot the diagnostic tool.
  • Develop and pilot learning modules to help IPGs address the gaps identified in the diagnostic tool.  The three modules will focus on professional communication skills, cultural integration, and knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system.  The objective is to have at least 100 IPG learners complete at least one of the three modules.
  • Project Context

In 2019 a firm was engaged to conduct an environmental scan on tools and programs already available for international healthcare practitioners practicing in Canada, existing diagnostic tools used to evaluate the gaps in knowledge for healthcare professionals, and tools or resources for learning to help healthcare professionals to improve that knowledge.

The scan resulted in:

  1. A review of diagnostic tools that were evaluated on their ability to identify knowledge and skill gaps an IPG may have regarding professional communication skills, cultural awareness and diversity in Canada, and knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system.
  2. A review of learning materials available in the three identified areas: professional communication skills in a pharmacy setting, cultural awareness and diversity in Canada, and knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system.
  3. A series of go-forward recommendations regarding the development of the products.

The purpose of this RFP is to identify a firm that can develop the diagnostic tool and the three learning modules.  The information and resources explored during this scan, annexed in Appendix A, should be used to inform and develop and/or adapt three learning modules that will focus on professional communication skills, cultural diversity and integration, and knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system. Findings from the report may also inform the development of a diagnostic tool that will be used to evaluate the gaps in knowledge and opportunities for learning that will guide people to the learning modules.

  1. Deliverables

Learning Competency Blueprint

The selected firm will:

  • Develop three competency blueprints that outline/map the curriculum, including content chunks/topics for the modules;

Diagnostic Tool

With guidance from the recommendations in the environmental scan, the selected firm will be expected to

  • Develop an online self-diagnostic, interactive tool to assess three areas of knowledge, identify areas of weakness or development, and direct users to a training program to further develop knowledge. The diagnostic tool should be robust enough to have the capacity to be used as a pre- and post- assessment. It should follow the learning competency blueprint outlined above.

Learning Modules      

For the Learning Modules, it is expected that the selected firm would undertake the following activities in order to arrive at three distinct learning modules to address the learning needs described earlier in this document: Knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system; Understanding cultural diversity in Canada; and Professional communication skills.  Additionally, learning modules must:

  • include some video or animated content;
  • Include a hybrid delivery (online and in person) where appropriate as decided with NAPRA (for example, in the professional communication module, there may be necessary in person learning components);
  • be developed using an agreed upon website development/learning management system;
  • be developed in a format which can be delivered consistently by multiple partners; and,
  • include examples and case studies in areas which have been identified by the steering committee as gaps for IPGs.

Sustainability Plan

Determine any financial considerations for program maintenance once federal funding ends, including a recommended plan for sustainability that details costs required to maintain the suite of tools and that identifies potential financial increases or risks.

General Considerations

A number of resources will be available to the successful applicant once the project is launched.  A mentorship framework that outlines learning goals for the mentorship portion of the project will be helpful in developing the diagnostic tool.  As well, NAPRA has entry-to-practice competencies that will not help in building a response to this request for proposals, but may prove useful in helping to give direction to certain sections of the learning modules. Further, the project is being guided by a steering committee made up of representatives from provincial regulatory authorities across Canada. Their input should also be sought in the development of the products.

It should also be noted that the selected firm or consultant will be expected to:

  • Ensure that all four products have the capacity for bilingual (English and French) delivery. For example, proposed learning management systems must recognize special characters. Video content must have the capacity for bilingual dubbing or voice-over;
  • Regularly consult with NAPRA and other key informants;
  • Address questions around collaboration cost/benefits, multidisciplinary approach to curriculum design and agreed upon principles;
  • Work with the project evaluator to determine what evaluation should be built into the diagnostic (how will you know you achieved the scope), this may include pre and post self-assessments for learners;
  • Ensure Universal Instructional Design principles are applied to the products, i.e. that products should be:
    • be accessible and fair;
    • be flexible, provide flexibility in use, participation and presentation;
    • be straightforward and consistent;
    • be explicit, explicitly presented and readily perceived;
    • be supportive, provide a supportive learning environment;
    • minimize unnecessary physical effort or requirements; and
    • ensure a learning space that accommodates both learners and instructional methods.
  • Ensure all online accessibility standards are adhered to (e.g., Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1);
  • In collaboration with the project team, develop a full usability and pilot test plan to test products before launching the modules; and

The selected consultant or firm may adapt/use any of its own pre-existing materials to develop solutions for this project. Additionally, the consultant or firm may wish to reach out to potential content partners (i.e., CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN), Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), University of British Columbia, University of Toronto and Touchstone Institute) as referenced in the environmental scan. It should be noted that any expenses related to outreach or adaptation will be considered part of this contract’s budget, and not a separate expense.

  1. Selection Criteria

NAPRA will use multiple criteria to select the most appropriate consultant.  Selection of the consultant will depend upon these criteria and are outlined in detail in section 6.

  • Demonstrated relevant experience in developing learning materials and knowledge assessment tools – experience in developing learning materials geared to international healthcare graduates will be considered an asset;
  • Working knowledge of Canada’s provincial and federal healthcare system; for example, interrelationships between provincial systems, the federal government, and healthcare professionals;
  • Understanding of professional healthcare communication and the challenges of professional cultural integration for foreign professionals
  • Proposal and work plan.

The proposals will be evaluated based on responses to section 6 of this RFP. Only proposals that are complete submissions, received prior to Proposals Due date noted in the Key Dates table will be evaluated.

An evaluation team composed of NAPRA staff will evaluate the bids.

  1. Response Contents and Format

For the purposes of understanding more about your company and your ability to successfully fulfill this important NAPRA requirement, please provide the information below as part of your response, clearly referencing each specific question.  If you provide attachments to support your response to any questions, please label attachments clearly and reference them in your response.   An additional 5 points may be awarded for relevant elements not included below.

1.1 Cover Letter (5 points)

  1. Statement of interest including a brief overview of your previous experience in working with organizations similar to NAPRA.
  2. Full contact information

1.2 Relevant Experience (10 points)

  1. Relevant professional qualifications and experience
  2. Experience developing curriculum, including the details of any projects that are similar in scope and requirements to those of NAPRA.

1.3 Understanding of the Assignment (15 points)

  1. Objective
  2. Context (both provincial and national)
  3. Key Assumptions, Challenges, Risks
  4. Demonstrate how the consultant/firm can best respond the needs of NAPRA as identified and why they are uniquely positioned to do so.

1.4 Workplan (45 points)

Please provide a proposed work plan for the diagnostic tool(s) and corresponding learning modules within a professional, adult learning environment, preferably in the healthcare sector.  Specifically, provide the following information:

  • Key activities
  • Timing
  • Information/resource requirements from NAPRA
  • Deliverables (go live date October 1, 2020)
  • Key milestones, checkpoints, and other decision points
  • Personnel

1.5 Financials (15 points)

Please provide a detailed budget that indicates:

  1. Total Number of hours and hourly fee
  2. The number of employees working on the project, and their titles
  3. The breakdown of costs affiliated with each activity referenced in the workplan

1.6 Annexes (10 points)

Please provide:

  1. Three professional references that have used your services within the past two years.
  2. One or more examples of a learning product comparable in size, scope and if possible, sector.
  3. The CV(s) of consultant(s)


7. Vendor Presentations

Our intention is to hold interviews with one or more firms on the Follow Up Interviews dates indicated in the Key Dates table below.  The presentations will likely be held by teleconference, and we will endeavor to provide the successful firms with as much advance notice as possible.

  1. Key Dates
Event RFP Issued Intent to Respond and

Questions Due Answers Provided Proposals Due Follow Up Interviews (if necessary) Final Selection

Announced Date February 4th,

2020 February 13th, 2020 February 19th,

2020 March 4th, 2020 March 12th and 13th, 2020 March 17th, 2020 Time 5:00pm EST 5:00 pm EST 5:00pm EST 5:00 pm EST TBD 5:00 pm EST

  1. No Obligation

The submission of a proposal shall not in any manner oblige NAPRA to enter into a contract or to be responsible for the costs incurred by your organization in responding to this request.

NAPRA reserves the right to:

Reject any or all proposals received in response to this RFP without obligation of liability to any potential vendor;

  • Enter into negotiations with bidders on any or all aspects of their proposal;
  • Accept any proposal in whole or in part without prior negotiation;
  • Cancel and/or re‐issue this RFP at any time;
  • Award one or more contracts; and
  • Retain all proposals submitted in response to this RFP.
  1. Insurance

NAPRA expects consultants to agree to maintain, at all times, a policy of errors and omissions insurance of a at least one million dollars. NAPRA may ask for proof of insurance at any time and the Consultant agrees to produce same immediately.

  1. Agreement of Non-Disclosure

This document is considered to be proprietary and shall not be disclosed to any other party. It is designed, developed and submitted to potential partners of NAPRA solely for the benefit of NAPRA.

  1. No Guarantee

NAPRA makes no guarantee of future volumes and offers volume information for directional purposes only, to assist vendors with proposal preparation.

How to Apply

Notification of Intent to Respond and Clarification Questions

Please indicate your intention to respond, by email, to the above email address by February 13th, 2020 as outlined in the Key Dates table below.  In addition, please provide the contact details of the individual responsible for coordinating your RFP response.  At the same time, we ask that you submit any clarification questions regarding the RFP.  Answers will be provided to all respondents by February 19th, 2020.

Response Delivery Instructions

Please submit an electronic copy of your proposal to the email address indicated in the Communications and Response section above.  All responses must be received on or before close of business (5:00 pm ET) on the 4th of March, as indicated in the Key Dates table below.

Salma Nsais is the designated NAPRA representative for this initiative.  For any information relative to this RFP, please direct all inquiries and submissions to her. Contact information is as follows:

Salma Nsias, Program and Services Administrator, National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities; 613-569-9658, ext. 231