RGD works with Town of Innisfil to amend RFP with unclear language

RGD's Executive Director reaches out to the Town of Innisfil to help them revise an RFP issued for website redesign services.

After being approached by one of our members, who believed that an RFP issued by the Town of Innisfil contained spec components, RGD reached out directly.

The cause of confusion came from the following statement: "Proposal design concepts, including some of the various elements such as website design, business attraction and tourism brochures, must be included to help with the evaluation of the experience / qualifications of key personnel as well as the understanding of the project and Town requirements."

Upon receiving a letter from RGD, the Town apologized for any confusion and amended the Proposal Evaluation segment of the RFP to clearly state that they only require previous work samples.


RGD's letter read as follows:


Dear Ms. Hockin:

I am writing to you from the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). RGD was created by the Ontario Legislature to govern its members and award the professional designation RGD to designers who meet our qualification criteria.

We have been made aware of Innisfil’s RFP for the re-design of its website, microsites and marketing collateral. We are impressed by the RFP’s thoroughness. Unfortunately there is an issue with your requirement that submissions include “all design aspects of the various components”.

The Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit our 3,000 members from doing free design as part of an RFP. This means that none of the qualified professional members of our Association can submit to the RFP and meet your requirements.

Design is a process involving research, creativity, strategy and client participation. Without going through this process, and without selecting a designer based on their ability and experience with this process, the designs that are developed will not adequately meet your needs. Just as you wouldn't let a lawyer develop your defence without he or she understanding the fundamentals of your case, designers must also be well acquainted with an organization if they are to develop designs that will embody it, foster recognition from among your community, and generate excitement about your activities.

We encourage you to remove this request, and instead include the following: Portfolio: provide up to five examples of your work on similar projects.

If you did make this change, we would be pleased to publish the RFP to our members at no cost and/or help you identify a qualified design firm or designer to take on the project.

If you have questions, contact me at 1 888 274 3668 x 23 or .

Hilary Ashworth
Executive Director