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Sunday 28 May 2017

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Invitation to tender—Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Services for the global accounting profession on the fundamentals of IFRS Standards

 09 May 2017


The IFRS Foundation (the 'Foundation’) has decided to provide a suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) services to support understanding and implementation of the IFRS Standards through education.

About the strategic area of focus


The Foundation wishes to extend the range of services it currently offers. It wishes to provide opportunities for learning using online CPD services for different audiences with different levels of experience in and exposure to IFRS Standards including IFRS for SMEs. The primary focus is to offer CPD services where existing provision may be limited or does not exist. The services are targeted to support implementation in developing economies and may be offered with the support of International Organisations.

The offering


The Foundation's series of CPD modules will be housed on a Learning Management System (LMS). The selected provider will already have a versatile LMS as part of their offering. It is anticipated that there will be a range of CPD services for:

  1. the full IFRS Standards; and
  2. the IFRS for SMEs Standard.

Each Standard will require a number of modules. Those modules will provide the expected understanding to apply the principles of the IFRS Standards in countries around the world. Certificates of completion may be awarded for successful completion of key activities.

At the time of writing, there are 139 countries globally which have adopted or permitted the use of IFRS Standards. As an international provider, the Foundation would expect challenges such as language provision, bandwidth, complexity of offering, storage of learning undertaken, media, customer support, maintenance of the technology platform and the accessibility of the content of the Standards to be key facets of provision.

The provider


The chosen provider will need to share the vision and values of the IFRS Foundation. The Foundation expects primarily to offer this service commercially. However, as a not-for-profit entity serving the public good, other financial arrangements may need to be considered from time to time. The implementation of the Standards and the education of students, qualifying accountants and professional accountants are central to the success of the Foundation’s mission. It may well be the case, therefore, that the Foundation will distribute this service through institutions wishing to support the adoption of the IFRS Standards by their members. This may happen at (agreed) rates which promote widespread adoption rather than achieve the greatest profitability.

The provider should be flexible in structuring commercial arrangements for the services allowing the provision of CPD under different commercial terms as the need arises. Any need to restructure these arrangements must be agreed by both parties.

Scope of the provision required


The Foundation is looking for a partnership with a CPD platform provider with the skills and experience to deliver online CPD globally and appreciate sensitively the Foundation’s overall mission and objectives.

The platform provider will work in conjunction with the staff at the Foundation to deliver a series of online training services and modules. The platform provider is expected to meet the requirements detailed below.

Platform/Technology requirements

  • a Learning Management System (LMS) to hold all customer records in compliance with the latest data protection laws;
  • the ability to provide online and offline access to the course materials;
  • a responsive design of courses enabling different types of devices (mobile, table, laptop, PC etc.) to access the materials appropriately;
  • the ability to start a course on any device and continue where the participant left off on any device;
  • the ability to work offline and then sync progress when the user comes back online;
  • the ability to take online payments for the modules;
  • the ability to customise branding for the platform and materials dependent upon specific client requirements;
  • the maintenance and update of the platform to keep the service competitive;
  • the ability to offer the content and management system in multiple foreign languages including but not limited to English, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese; and
  • the provision of first level of customer support for the service.

Content requirements

  • the ability to create e-learning modules in a series from each of the Foundation’s Standards including the IFRS for SMEs Standard;
  • the ability to convert the Foundation’s content into engaging, interactive and educational modules working closely with members of staff from the Foundation; and
  • instructional design and project management skills to support the provision of these CPD modules.

Requirements for working with the Foundation

  • an understanding and appreciation of the Foundation’s due process requirements before any courses are made available;
  • the skills to work collaboratively with the Foundation’s staff on the development of these modules;
  • a commitment to a development plan which constructs courses for delivery along an agreed developmental pathway;
  • the support of the Foundation in maintaining the integrity of its product suite without diluting the value of its IP;
  • not offering the same service directly to the market independent of the Foundation; and
  • an appreciation of and flexible approach to working with the Foundation.

Commercial approach


A variety of different commercial approaches may be submitted which may or may not involve an initial payment for any service provided to the Foundation. You may propose different commercial arrangements which could include:

  • a shared risk and shared reward model which involves both parties contributing to the development and maintenance of the services and offers a share of the commercial revenue from the successful sales of the service when marketed effectively by both parties;
  • the Foundation licenses the technology platform and the content authoring skills and capability; and
  • a model where the Foundation acquires the platform and staff to run the service.

It is important to note that the Foundation requires a flexible approach to these commercial arrangements. There may be circumstances where the provision of a specific service for a specific purpose is dependent upon a different commercial arrangement.

Period of provision


The relationship will be in the first instance for the provision of an agreed pilot module.

Thereafter, and subject to the success of the pilot, an agreement with the chosen provider will be for an initial term of three (3) years. The subsequent renewal of the term of this contract will be subject to agreement by both parties.

Upon termination, the Foundation must be able to transfer its content to another platform provider subject to agreement.

Tender process


Each firm wishing to tender for this work is asked to submit a written proposal setting out how they will meet the Foundation’s requirements. This proposal should be submitted by 31 May 2017. Between now and 31 May 2017, the Foundation will make provision for any firm wishing to clarify the details of the tender through a call with the appropriate Foundation staff. Please email Gloria Lindfield if you would like to arrange a call.

After all the proposals have been received, each firm, which meets the Foundation’s selection criteria, will be invited to demonstrate their service and offering to the Foundation’s key staff. It is anticipated that these meetings will take place during the week commencing 12 June 2017. Precise timings will be confirmed in due course.

If you wish to make a proposal to the Foundation, please check the proposal requirements and criteria for assessment below.

Proposal requirements and criteria for assessment


1) Details of firm and experience

  • information regarding relevant service delivery experience to the accounting and audit markets;
  • examples of previous relevant courses, preferably in more than one language;
  • experience of working with not-for-profit clients;
  • summary of potential benefits to the Foundation of selecting your firm;
  • information with regard to the international presence of your firm to be able to assist the Foundation around the world; and
  • details of internal processes used for quality assurance.

2) Understanding the business

  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the nature of the Foundation’s business and the structure of the organisation;
  • demonstrate a clear understanding of, and empathy with, the complex environment in which the Foundation operates: while serving its public interest mission it nevertheless wants to utilise its most valuable asset, namely its IP; and
  • demonstrate an empathy with, and understanding of, the key challenges and risks the Foundation is facing and could face in the future.

3) Resourcing

  • names and roles of your core service team, location and relevant experience;
  • information on how involved the whole team will be in the work;
  • the estimated time key team members will commit to an appointment;
  • staff continuity; and
  • references for the firm.

4) Approach

  • explanation of the approach your firm will take if the Foundation requests new service modules and/or assistance on a particular topic and how this would be aligned to the Foundation’s specific requirements.

5) Governance and independence

  • confirm whether your firm has any potential conflicts of interest with the Foundation; and
  • confirmation from your firm that it will not offer any similar or competitive product to market.

6) Commercial approach

  • provide details of your approach to working with the Foundation; and
  • the Foundation wishes to retain a flexible approach to the different business models and approaches which are offered. The Foundation wishes to be able to attract funding which may mean a pure partnership model may not be possible. Please consider this in your response.

7) Other

  • please provide details of up to three key clients that we can contact for references.
  • Please supply details of the last three years of audited accounts for your business.

Please send your proposal document to Gloria Lindfield by email or post. The postal address is Gloria Lindfield,  IFRS Foundation, 30 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XH. The deadline for receipt of the proposal is 5pm 31May 2017. No tender will be opened prior to this deadline so please make all correspondence clearly identifiable.

We would be grateful if you could confirm your willingness to participate in the selection process, and your ability to meet the stated submission date, by 17 May 2017 by email to Gloria Lindfield.

Confidentiality


By accepting this invitation to take part in the tender process, you agree to keep in confidence all information provided to you, whether written or oral, in relation to the tender process and/or in relation to the Foundation’s business generally that is not already in the public domain, to use it only for the purposes of this tender and for no other reason and not to disclose any of the said information to any third party.

You will bear any costs and expenses incurred by you in relation to this tender and the said information shall be kept confidential unless it lawfully becomes public knowledge.

About the IFRS Foundation


The IFRS Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation incorporated in the State of Delaware, USA, with its primary operations based in London as an overseas company. Its principal objectives are:

  1. to develop, in the public interest, a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted financial reporting Standards based on clearly articulated principles. These IFRS Standards should require high quality, transparent and comparable financial statements and other financial reporting to help investors, other participants in the world’s capital markets and other users of financial information to make informed economic decisions;
  2. to promote the use and rigorous application of the IFRS Standards;
  3. to fulfil the objectives associated with points (a) and (b), to take account of, as appropriate, the needs of a range of sizes and types of entities in diverse economic settings; and
  4. to promote and facilitate adoption of IFRS Standards, which are the Standards and interpretations issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board), through the convergence of national accounting standards and IFRS Standards.

The Foundation’s main office is located at Cannon Street in London. The Foundation also has a liaison office in Tokyo. Find out more about the Foundation’s structure.

Note this project is a strategic initiative of the Foundation and therefore is of interest to the Trustees who are responsible for governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board. Copies of recent financial statements and reports can also be found in our annual report.