Get Ready

Before submitting an offer to be a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractor there are a few steps you must take to get ready.

This section has three parts: training to help you better understand Schedules, completing required registrations, and identifying the Schedule that best fits what you offer.

Train

You need to complete the Pathways to Success training and the Readiness Assessment Training, which are both free web-based courses that help you understand the GSA Schedules Program.

The people in your company who will be responsible for making decisions and signing contract actions related to your Schedule contract should take this training.

These courses will help you identify the Schedule contract that best fits your company’s product and service offerings. You’ll also learn what it takes to succeed in this program.

Pathways To Success In Training

This course explains:

  • How GSA Schedule contracts work,
  • How to succeed as a contractor,
  • What you need to do to get and administer a Schedule contract, and
  • More details about the offer process.

It will also describe some other contracting opportunities for you. You will move through chapters, completing quizzes along the way.


website or sytem to use Visit our Vendor Education Center. GSA requires that a company officer (e.g. Pres., VP, CEO, etc.) take the Pathways to Success training.
help resources If you have any problem with the course, email pathwaytosuccess@gsa.gov .
associated cost This training course is free.
hold item for future reference Once you complete the course, download your transcript from the Transcript tab in the Vendor Education Center website.

Readiness Assessment Training

The Readiness Assessment Training helps ensure you’re ready to submit an offer under the right GSA Schedule. It also helps you identify the right Special Item Numbers (SINs), which are categories that organize specific product and service groups.

To complete the assessment, you will use online GSA data sources, identified in the assessment, to find other companies that provide similar products and services, to see if you can compete with them.

These skills will be important to develop prior to having a Schedule contract, so that you can market and promote your Schedule contract.

This training must be completed by an individual from your company who is authorized to sign for the firm. This training must be complete before you submit an offer.


website or sytem to use Visit the GSA Vendor Education Center. After you log in, choose the Vendor Toolbox from the main menu. Complete the Readiness Assessment at the end of the training course. A company officer (e.g. Pres., VP, CEO, etc.), authorized to sign for your firm, must take the Readiness Assessment.
help resources If you have any problem with the course, email vendortoolbox@gsa.gov. The Vendor Education Center website also has an FAQ section. For more information on minimum sales, please see clause I-FSS-639.
associated cost This training course is free.
hold item for future reference The course may be completed in the Vendor Toolbox module or using the fillable PDF option. If you choose to use the fillable PDF, it’s under the "Course Materials" tab. If you choose to complete the assessment in the Vendor Toolbox module, you will need to complete it in under two hours from the time you sign in to course completion. Please download your transcript when prompted or download it later from the "transcript tab." If you use the fillable PDF, you do not need to worry about the two-hour firewall limitation. Save this document, since you will need to upload this transcript in eOffer later.

Register

You need to register your company in several places before you submit your offer. Complete the registrations outlined below early because it will take time to get the results. You can continue working on other parts while waiting for responses.

D-U-N-S Number

We use the Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) Number, administered by Dun & Bradstreet, as the unique code to identify your business. Register for a D-U-N-S Number to participate in the GSA Schedules Program.


help resources Contact Dun & Bradstreet or visit their Frequently Asked Questions. When completing D-U-N-S register, use your legal business name.
estimated time to completeYou should be assigned a D-U-N-S number within one business day.
associated cost There is no cost.
hold item for future reference Save your D-U-N-S Number, you will need it later.

System For Award Management (SAM)

You must have an active registration in SAM to do business with the federal government.

First, you need a D-U-N-S number to register in System for Award Management (SAM). The name attached to the D-U-N-S number must match the name entered into ​SAM because SAM​ is the official registration system used to do business with the federal government. You’ll use the information you provide in SAM for many purposes, including:

  • Confirm your company meets eligibility requirements to do business with federal, state, local government as well as tribal and educational institutions;
  • Your company is categorized appropriately; and
  • Your company has a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

help resources The Federal Service Desk provides FAQs, an online chat option, and help by phone at 1-866-606-8220 on weekdays for SAM questions.
estimated time to complete If you already have a TIN, it can take 3 to 10 days to register in SAM. If not, you need to obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service before starting your SAM registration.
associated cost SAM Registration is free. Getting help from the Federal Service Desk is free.

Digital Certificate

The entire Schedule offer process is electronic. A digital signature is required to sign and submit your offer.

We use your digital certificate to verify your identity electronically when you sign and submit your offer in eOffer. You must upload a copy of a digital certificate for each individual with signing rights for the Schedule. This certificate ensures the information you provide is secure and cannot be accessed by others.

You may use the following private companies to get a digital certificate:


website or sytem to use Visit either IdenTrust or Operational Research Consultant (ORC). You may choose to have more than one person obtain a digital certificate to work on your offer. At least one must be an employee of your company.
estimated time to complete
It will take between 7 and 14 days for a digital certificate to be issued after you have submitted your notarized paperwork to the company.
  • You must update digital certificates every two years.
  • Contractors must keep their digital certificate current. An expired digital certificate will delay your ability to submit an electronic offer or modification.
associated cost The cost is $119 for a single certificate that is valid for two years.
hold item for future reference Save your digital certificate, you will upload it into eOffer.

Open Ratings Report

The Past Performance Evaluation for Open Ratings Inc., administered by Dun & Bradstreet, is a compilation of surveys completed by your customers that we will use to evaluate your company’s past performance. We require at least six customers to complete an online survey and rate your business on its’ reliability, costs, order accuracy, delivery/timeliness, quality, business relations, professionalism of personnel, and customer support and responsiveness. Contact up to 15 customers to ensure you receive six completed surveys. Based on the responses they provide, Dun & Bradstreet calculates an overall performance rating on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is the highest level of customer satisfaction. Dun & Bradstreet also provides a breakdown of the survey feedback, categorized as “positive,” “neutral,” or “negative.” The open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation Report is valid for one year from the date of issuance.


website or sytem to use Visit Open Ratings to request your report.
help resources Dun & Bradstreet provides FAQs.
estimated time to complete Completing this step depends on how quickly your customers complete the survey, but it could take 35-45 days. The Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation Report is valid for one year from the date of issuance.
associated cost The Open Ratings Report cost is $190.
hold item for future reference Dun & Bradstreet will send you the report. Hold onto it and upload it with your Technical Proposal section in eOffer.

Identify and Read Your Solicitation

To pursue a GSA Schedule contract, you must first find the correct solicitation for your commercial products and services. Review the information at the GSA Schedule Program Locator page to find the correct Schedule number and subcategories, also known as Special Item Numbers (SINs). It provides a brief description of the GSA portfolios or acquisition centers that manage the Schedules, as well as the specific GSA Schedules, including links to GSA eLibrary and FedBizOpps where you can find the solicitation.

GSA eLibrary is the online source for Schedule contract award information, including descriptions of each Schedule SIN. At FedBizOpps, you can search all active federal opportunities and download the solicitation files and instructions related to a particular contract.

The terms and conditions (provisions and clauses) listed in this solicitation will become your GSA Schedule contract. Please read and understand the solicitation before you submit an offer.

The solicitation is our formal request for contractors to submit offers to obtain a Schedule contract. It provides detailed information and instructions:

  • Required elements of an offer;
  • Evaluation criteria to determine whether or not to award a Schedule contract to your company, and
  • Specific terms and conditions you will need to comply with as part of your contract.

Instructions and outlined steps on this page do not replace the solicitation.

IT Schedule 70 offerors: If your company has fewer than two years of corporate experience, your company can submit an offer to IT Schedule 70 through the Startup Springboard Initiative. Email s70springboard@gsa.gov for more information.

If you are submitting an offer under the Schedule 70 Health IT SIN, Cybersecurity SIN, or Cloud SIN, OR a federal agency buyer submits in writing that their agency has a current need for your company’s offerings, you are eligible to submit your offer through Schedule 70’s expedited offer process, FASt Lane. With FASt Lane, offerors get shorter processing times from offer submission to contract award. Email fastlane@gsa.gov for more information.


website or sytem to use
View the GSA Schedule solicitations and all associated attachments on FedBizOpps. You can get directly to the solicitation you need by visiting GSA eLibrary, then select the box titled “Vendors” at the top left of the Schedule page (see image below).

FedBizOpps Vendors example image
website or sytem to use
Get the Schedule solicitation and all of the associated attachments on GSA's eOffer System or FedBizOpps. These documents cover important elements of your offer and some may need to be completed, saved, and submitted with your offer.
website or sytem to use
If you have questions as you review the solicitation, contact the MAS HelpDesk.
print Share Icon Last Reviewed: 2019-03-07