Get Ready

Before submitting an offer to be a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractor under MAS solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 there are a few steps you must take to get ready.

This section has three parts: training to help you better understand the MAS Schedule contract vehicle, completing required registrations, and identifying Special Item Numbers that best fit 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 Schedule 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 the Schedule Program.

Pathways To Success In Training

This course explains:

  • How GSA Schedule contracts work;
  • How to succeed as an industry partner;
  • What you need to do to be awarded and then administer a Schedule contract;
  • More details about the offer process; and
  • 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 Large Category, Subcategory and SINs. It also helps you identify the right Special Item Numbers (SINs), that apply to your offerings.

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

These skills are 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 a company officer (C-suite, President, Vice President, etc.). 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.), 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 by using the fillable PDF option. If you choose to use the fillable PDF, it is found 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 the course. 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 transcript document, because you will need to upload it 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.

Past Performance

For new offerors (i.e., those without a Schedule contract currently), there are three methods to demonstrate your past performance is satisfactory to obtain a Schedule contract award. Please reference SCP-FSS-001 in the solicitation for specifics, but a general outline is below.

Method one is to verify in eOffer that you have three or more Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”) reports that: (1) were completed within the last three years, (2) represent at least three distinct orders/contracts, and (3) outline work similar to the scope of products/services included in the solicitation and for which you are proposing to offer. You have the opportunity, and are expected to address, any negative feedback in any of these reports that is not already addressed in the report itself (i.e., CPARS gave you the right to address negative past performance when CPARS initially generated the report).

Method two applies if you don’t have the necessary reports to satisfy method one but you do have at least six customer references. For method two, you’ll need to order an Open Ratings, Inc. “Past Performance Evaluation” and submit your order form and the evaluation report with your offer.

Method three applies to Offerors that cannot meet the requirements of method one or method two. For method three you’ll need to upload a “Past Performance Narrative”, which includes a list of relevant customer references. The narrative needs to explain why you cannot use method one or method two, and include up to five (5) references from customers for whom you have performed work within the past three (3) years that is similar in scope to products/services outlined in the solicitation.


website or sytem to use If you require a Dun and Bradstreet Open Ratings Report, visit Open Ratings to request your report.
help resources Dun & Bradstreet provides FAQs.
estimated time to complete Completing this step depends on how if you require an Open Ratings report. In addition, the report timing will depend 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 If needed, the Open Ratings Report cost is $190.
hold item for future reference Certify in eOffer that Dun & Bradstreet will send you the report. Hold onto it and upload it with your Technical Proposal section in eOffer.

Understanding the Solicitation

To pursue a GSA Schedule contract, you must first understand the basic requirements of the Schedule by reviewing in full MAS solicitation number 47QSMD20R0001. To fully understand the Schedule requirements, you must identify which large categories, subcategories and SINs your products or services fall under. Some product or service groups require additional attachments or information used for evaluation of offers.

The solicitation is made up of several documents that include terms and conditions (provisions and clauses) that will become your GSA Schedule contract. Please read and understand the solicitation, including all large category attachments and requirements before you submit an offer.

The solicitation, including the large category attachments that are part of the solicitation, are our formal request for contractors to submit offers to obtain a Schedule contract. It provides detailed information and instructions, including:

  • Required elements of an offer;
  • Evaluation criteria used to evaluate your offer and 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 and in the event of a conflict, the solicitation controls.

Information Technology offerors: If your company has fewer than two years of corporate experience, your company may be eligible to submit an offer through the Startup Springboard Initiative. Email s70springboard@gsa.gov for more information.

In addition, Information Technology offerors may be eligible for the FASt Lane Program. With FASt Lane, offerors get shorter processing times from offer submission to contract award. Please view the FASt Lane website for eligibility and program information. Email fastlane@gsa.gov for more information.


website or sytem to use
Get the Schedule solicitation and all of the associated attachments on GSA's eOffer System or beta.sam.gov. For category specific templates and attachments, visit GSA’s Available Offering Page. These documents cover important elements of your offer and some may need to be completed, saved, and submitted with your offer.

FedBizOpps Vendors example image
website or sytem to use
For convenience, GSA provides an Offer Document Submission Checklist [PDF - 96 KB] which will walk you through the solicitation instructions provision (SCP-FSS-001), which applies to all offerors. The offer document checklist outlines what required information is completed in eOffer versus what must be uploaded to eOffer.
website or sytem to use
If you have questions as you review the solicitation, contact the MAS HelpDesk.
Last Reviewed: 2019-11-15