Understanding the Federal Source Selection Process

Best Practices – Applying FAR Rules
Checklists – Lessons-learned – Traps to Avoid
40 Hours – 40 CLPs

This course is taught using the GTI developed Active*Learn ™ training model. Consists of fast-paced learning, break-out sessions, team assignments, learn by doing. We have used this approach for over a year with superb student evaluations. The students learn by doing and enjoy the experience.

This course is available for On-Site Training only. We will bring this course to your agency or company.
Contact Don Dickson, On-Site Training Manager at (301) 455-5633 or Don.Dickson@GovernmentTrainingInc.com


This course meets all COR training requirements for Level II COR Certification/Re-Certification based on the COR Training Requirements identified in the 6 Sep 2011, OMB FAC-COR Memorandum effective 1 January 2012.

40 CLPs are awarded to each attendee

About this course

The goal of this training is to provide an understanding of the rules (FAR), protest case history (lessons-learned) and best practices of the source selection process for competitively negotiated acquisitions where selection is based on best value to the Government. However, many of the procedures discussed in this training would also be useful in other source selections. Best Value (http://www.arnet.gov/far/) is the expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement.

In negotiated acquisitions, best value can be obtained by using any one or a combination of source selection approaches. In different types of acquisitions, the relative importance of cost or price may vary. For example, in acquisitions where the requirement is clearly definable and the risk of unsuccessful contract performance is minimal, cost or price may play a dominant role in source selection. The less definitive the requirement, the more development work required, or the greater the performance risk, the more technical or past performance considerations may play a dominant role in source selection.

The course is directed at contracting, acquisition, program management and executive personnel.

There is no pre-requisite training – this course is open to experienced contracting professionals seeking an update and newly assigned personnel who will (or are) involved with source selections.

The role of checklists:

Each student will leave this training with extensive checklists for use throughout the source selection process. These checklists will include guidance on traps to avoid, lessons-learned and “must-do” tasks. The students will find these checklists to serve as valuable resources when they return to normal work assignments.

What you will learn

  • Discuss the steps in the source selection process
  • Plan a source selection – writing the source selection plan
  • Develop evaluation factors and scoring plans that will select the best value proposal
  • Discuss the process for preparing and issuing a solicitation
  • Explain the process for evaluating proposals
  • Establish the competitive range and conduct discussions
  • Describe the source selection decision and contract award process
  • Apply the lessons-learned to actual source selections
  • Complete the checklists
  • Avoid many of the potential pitfalls in the process (Traps to avoid)


Overview of Source Selection terminology.
  • Basics of source selection.
  • Documentation.
  • Key events and steps
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Standards of conduct. Ethics
  • Introduction to the checklists
Source Selection Strategy
  • Planning the source selection strategy.
  • Selecting the source selection methodology.
  • Organizing and staffing.
  • Drafting the source selection strategy.
  • Small business considerations
  • Using oral presentations.
Developing Evaluation Factors
  • General guidelines.
  • Developing non-cost/price evaluation factors.
  • Determining the relative importance of evaluation factors.
  • Selecting scoring plans and systems.
  • Critique evaluation factors.
Preparing and Issuing the Solicitation
  • Format.
  • Incorporating source selection strategy.
  • Proposal instructions.
  • Exchanges.
  • Publicizing.
  • Pre-solicitation exchanges.
  • Amendments.
  • Briefing the source selection team.
  • Receiving and screening proposals.
  • Evaluating technical/management proposals.
  • Evaluating past performance.
  • Evaluating cost/price.
  • Determining responsibility.
  • Documenting the evaluation.
  • Risk assessments
  • Analyzing and critiquing evaluation documentation.
Competitive Range and Discussions
  • Exchanging information after receipt of proposals.
  • Establishing the competitive range.
  • Notifying offerors outside the competitive range.
  • Pre-award debriefings.
  • Conducting discussions.
Selection and Award
  • Evaluating final proposal revisions.
  • Presenting proposal evaluations to the SSA.
  • Making and documenting the source selection decision.
  • Notifying offerors.
  • Post-award debriefings.
  • Protests
Wrapping it up
  • Group presentations