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Request for Proposals: Simulation Lab Assessment Facility

​updated Feb. 9, 2016
updated Jan. 11, 2016
​posted ​Jan. 8, 2016

Update: This RFP has been reposted. The closing date is February 26, 2016

On behalf of the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS), CRNBC has issued a Request for Proposal for the purpose of inviting qualified Vendors to respond with a written Proposal to provide Simulation Lab(s) and associated services. These services are required to operationalize the Simulation Lab Assessments for NCAS.

Summary of key information

RFP name: Simulation Lab Assessment Facility for NCASO

RFP issued by: CRNBC

RFP issue date: February 4, 2016

RFP closing date: February 26, 2016

RFP contact person: Lynn Cairns (email communication only)

 Frequently asked questions

What if we cannot provide the total volume of assessments requested in the RFP? Can we submit a proposal for a portion of the work (one or more of the identified roles)?

We will consider a variety of options to complete all or a portion of the volume of work required, including joint partnerships, and proposals to provide assessment services for one or more of the roles identified.

If submitting a proposal to provide assessment services for specific roles (rather than all four), the preference is for proposals to meet the annual volume of assessments listed for the role(s).

What will the cost be for participants of this testing?

​Candidate assessment fees have not yet been finalized.

Is it anticipated that a consistent volume of candidates will continue after the two years specified for this project?

​The assumption is that the volume of candidates will continue based on the numbers provided in the RFP. Volume of candidates may fluctuate based on factors of of regulator/registry control.

Item #27 indicates that the vendor must have simulation sites located throughout B.C. Are stand-alone institutions also eligible?

​Yes, vendors with only a single stand-alone institution may respond.

Are these fees retained by the testing site or remitted to the NCAS manager?

​The assessment site must have the capacity to collect user fees. NCAS will set the user fee model.

Is it possible for the SLA facility to use the services of another company for some of the IT services (for instance, PayPal for payment of fees)?

​Yes, vendors may use other IT service providers to support their bid. Please include those partnerships in the proposal. Clear indication of effect on your proposed fees should be included. Vendors must be able to meet provincial privacy laws for personal data, consents in place, etc.

In the pilot, the candidates were supervised to ensure that there was no communication related to the scenarios and experiences. Would there be a requirement for the SLA facility to ensure that candidates do not interact?

​Yes, supervision will be required to ensure candidates do not interact during the SLA assessment.

The RFP requests a training plan for SMEs to carry out content creation/configuration of the assessment tool, but section 3.2 of the requirements identify NCAS as responsible for development/management of the item bank. Can you clarify?

​Correction: The training of the SMEs to carry out content creation will be the responsibility of NCAS.  However the training of SLA assessors, SLA Standardized Patient Trainers, SLA Technicians, and SLA site supervision and support staff are the responsibility of the SLA facility vendor.

Section 6.1.4 is related to the assessment tool with item #61 asking about a secure site for item development. This contradicts section 3.2 which identifies that management of the item bank is outside the scope for the SLA facility. Please clarify.

​Item development is the responsibility of NCAS, however, there is a requirement for the SLA vendor to provide a secure site to house the item bank, reports and other artifacts such as orientation and training packages.

Item #7: Why are we estimating costs for a psychometrician?

​No psychometrician is required for the SLA facility RFP. Therefore no costs should be included in the cost estimates.

Item #15: Train assessors on using the tablets. Do we need to provide the tablets to assessors?

​The SLA facility will be responsible for providing tablets for the assessments.

Item #16: "Vendor must conduct system testing of platform and functional testing of case scenarios." Do we need to choose the platform used for the pilot?

​NCAS will provide the SLA Assessment platform.

Item #19. We may need assistance reporting both raw results and interpreted results – is this support available?

Correction: The assumption is that NCAS will use its own platform. Therefore, we do not need the vendor to generate a report.

Section 6.1.2, item #33. Each simulation lab facility must be able to assess a minimum of eight IEPs per day. Does this include evenings?

​Assessments can be conducted any time of day/evening and on weekends.

Item #35: 164 days per year to conduct SLA assessments-If we are able run RN and LPN assessments only, then then would less days (may be 100 days) be required per year?

​NCAS will consider vendors who respond to conduct Simulation Lab Assessments for one or more of the four nursing professions.  Proponents must indicate what nursing profession they are submitting for; RN, RPN, LPN, or HCA.  If you are able to run RN and LPN assessments only, then NCAS requires assessments to be offered a minimum of 75 days per year.  Please refer to Table 2 of Section 3.1.2 of the SLA RFP.

Item #37: 8-10 days per year to conduct SLA field testing. Is that a total of days is 174 days per year?

​Correct, if the vendor is responding to all four nursing roles, NCAS requires Simulation Lab facilities to be operational for a minimum 164 days per year to conduct SLA assessments and 8-10 days per year to conduct SLA field testing, resulting in a total of days is 174 days per year. As mentioned in question one, vendors can respond to conduct Simulation Lab Assessments for one or more nursing roles.

Item #45. Provide 4 rooms adjacent to sim lab to allow assessors to conduct oral assessment after each station. Do we need to provide 4 rooms separately for oral assessment? Or do you mean these 4 rooms are the same as assessment rooms?

​The simulation and oral assessment can take place in the same room.

Item #51: Can we run four RN and four LPN simulation stations and add capacity to run four HCA and four RPN simulation stations later?

​NCAS will consider vendors who respond to conduct Simulation Lab Assessments for one or more of the four nursing professions. Proponents must indicate what nursing profession they are submitting for; RN, RPN, LPN, or HCA.  (See Answer #1).

Section 6.1.3, item #53: Does NCAS provide us with the training materials for assessors?

​Yes, NCAS will provide the training materials for assessors.

Section 6.1.4, item #61. Is there a secure site for item development that can be shared/stored? What kind of item development do you intend here?

​NCAS requires the SLA vendor to provide a secure site to house the item bank, reports and other artifacts such as orientation and training packages.

Item #63: Explain configuration, development and testing tools and procedures. Can you please describe these in more detail?

​Correction: this question is not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer.

Item #66: "System must be item writer focused." Do we need to create the system for the assessment forms?

​Correction: This question is not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer.

Will ability to develop/evolve required resources over time be considered? For example, if a facility requires additional time to become fully operational but otherwise is able to deliver the required elements, will this be taken into account?

​Yes. A response from a vendor who has a site under development for completion and will be ready for operations by Sept. 1, 2016 will be considered.

What are the SLA assessor eligibility and selection criteria?

​Preference will be given to those who:

  • Work in clinical practice and who directly supervise HCAs, LPNs, RNs or RPNs.
  • Have current experience assessing clinical practice of an HCA, LPN, RN or RPN.

Assessor qualifications:

  1. Familiarity with entry level competencies of HCAs or LPNs, or RNs or RPNs in British Columbia.
  2. Is a "registrant in good standing" of one or more provincial regulatory colleges or registry.
  3. Fully licensed/registered in a Canadian jurisdiction for at least five years.
  4. Must not have been the subject of a complaint through a professional body that was not dismissed.
  5. Must not have been the subject of a fitness to practice concern.
  6. Currently practices in direct client care providing or supervising nursing care on a regular basis, either full or part-time.
  7. Current or recent experience in teaching, education and assessment of performance.
  8. Applicants applying to be HCA assessors can be RNs or LPNs who were previoulsy HCAs or who supervise HCAs and are knowledgeable about HCA entry -level practice.
  9. Applicants applying to be LPN assessors can be RNs who were previoulsy LPNs or who supervise LPNs and are knowledgeable about LPN entry-level practice.
  10. Is willing to sign and comply with the assessor confidentiality, security, conflict of interest and code of conduct agreements.
  11. Agrees to NOT become involved in any way in any assessment preparatory activities related to Internationally Educated Professionals for the purpose of registration, including practice questions, practice assessments, assessment educational sessions or coaching, from the time of participation as an assessor in the NCAS Simulation Lab Assessment until three years after completion of service.
  12. Has no limitations that would impair the ability to accurately observe, hear, record and assess candidates' performances over a 10 hour period.
In Do we as the vendor keep the fees, or are they remitted to CRNBC? Do we need to create a budget that doesn't take the fees into account since they aren't set, or do we create a budget that identifies a fee structure based on cost recovery?

​The vendor will be operating on a cost recovery model. The vendor should have the capacity to collect a fee from the candidate.

What is the vendor's pricing model?

​Vendors are to describe and provide all one-time and on-going costs associated with the set-up and delivery of the SLA Labs for each role including:

  • Costs of staffing and external resources
  • Training costs of staff and external resources
  • Costs of supplies
  • Cost of equipment including pro-rated costs for mannequins and equipment maintenance
  • Cost of tablets
  • Any hardware and technical costs
  • Any additional components (3rd party)
  • Any other expenses/costs
Do you want us to create questions for mock scenarios? Not sure we can do much with this unless we have the scenario. Or is it enough to say that we have the ability to create this to put in the orientation package?

​NCAS will provide an orientation package with mock scenarios as the initial draft and guidelines for the successful vendor.

Should we ignore items #64 and #65 for the SLA proposals?

​Correction: Item #64 and #65 are not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer.

Item #67: Is this related to registration issues for testing?

​Correct - when the vendor is conducting NCAS services, what kind of customer support is offered during these busines hours, and what are the standard business hours?

Item #11: "Access to registration tool." What does this mean?

​NCAS only wants access to track and report on the status of the IEP caondidates as they proceed through the assessment.

Item #17: Do you require any special software in order to send/receive the data files referred to in this section?

​The vendor must have the ability or mechanism to send candidate date (results and status tracking) to NCAS securely. This can be accomplished either through a secure FTP sit or through secured web service calls.

Item #19: Do you have a template or do you want the vendor to create their own sample reports?

​No candidate assessment reports are required for SLA vendors.

Please clarify whether we need to answer the following: "When was the vendor's company founded? How long has the vendor's company offered a SLA solution?"

​Please respond to this question. Vender can be either a company or an institution.

Please clarify whether we need to respond to the following: "What is the vendor's company structure? Provide an organizaational chart for illustration as well as the number of employees in management, development, professional services and support."

​Please respond to question in section 5.1.1. The vendor is assumed to be either a company or an institution.

Can you clarify the technical section in its entirety?
  • ​All questions related to supporting and housing the tablets and storing data, reports and artifacts in a secure site should be answered as they are relevant for SLA vendors.
  • All questions related to supporting the assessment tool can be ignored as they are not relevant for SLA vendors.
Item # 5. What is the total number of installations? Please include the size (number of users), length of implementation, number of years the solution has been used, type of industry, and location(s). Does this refer to CBA testing?

This question applies to SLA responses. Vendor to provide their experience in offering SLA facilities, including the number of sites, the number of users, how long it took to setup and implement the SLA site, etc.

Note: RFP language in the question has been edited for length. please review the RFP for specific wording.

Item #11: "Vendor must allow NCAS staff access to Registration Tool, and work together to review and provide feedback on process to ensure NCAS requirements are met." Can you clarify what this means?

​The vendor must be able to:

  1. Offer an online registration and scheduling tool to candidates for self-serve registration.
  2. Send/receive electronic reports of the candidates' status.
  3. Send candidate results electronically to NCAS and candidates
  4. Have the ability for NCAS to sign into the registration and scheduling tool to access the candidate information (status in NCAS process and results).
Item #22: My understanding is that CRNBC has already developed the evaluation tool and that it merely needs to be made available and collected by the SLA vendor. Is this assumption correct?

​Vendor must have the capability to offer an online IEP candidate survey after assessment. NCAS will provide the IEP candidate survey used during the pilot as a potential initial draft and guidelines for operations.

Item # 23. All of the elements requested are included elsewhere in the RFP. Are you requesting a document that incorporates the answers in an implementation plan format, or is just answering the questions in the template provided sufficient?

The vendor should provide an implementation plan that outlines the key tasks and timelines based on their listed elements.

What are the criteria for standardized patients (SPs) and SP trainers?

​NCAS will provide selection criteria and training guidelines for the hiring and training of the SPs and SP trainers. The vendor will be respondible for hiring the SP trainers and SPs based on the selection criteria and training the SP trainers based on the training guidelines. SP trainers will train the SPs on the case scenarios.

Item #23: "Blue print design." It is our understanding that the vendor is not involved in blueprint design but merely set up, training and testing of the assessment tool or the indicators for competency in each scenario

​Correct. The SLA vendor is not involved in the blueprint design process. Please ignore.

Item #19: "Vendor must be able to develop and provide two types of IEP assessment reports (see appendix C: Statement of Reporting Requirements)." Can you please provide sample reports?

​This was corrected in the new RFP issues Jan. 16, 2016 and closing Jan. 29, 2016. Item #19 should state: "This question is not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer." Appendix C has been removed.

What brand of tablet would be used in the SLA?

​For the pilot, we use​​d an Asus Transformer Book T200TA-DB14T-CA.

Can you please clarify item #63?

Item #63 has two parts:

63A: "Explain the configuration, development and testing tools and prcedures. Please describe these in more detail." This question is not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer.

63B: "Provide the testing procedures that would be used to ensure the statues are ready for high stakes SLA assessments." All SLA vendors, please provide response.

Please clarify when the vendor presentations will be held?

​The vendor presentations will be held on March 1 and 2, 2016. NCAS anticipates that all vendors will be invited. The duration of the presentations will be approximately 2.0 hrs and will be held at the offices of CRNBC.

I thought item #63 only had one part; now it looks like it has two parts. Please clarify.

​Item #63 was written as one question, however, to proivde clarify to vendors we are identifying two parts to the question:

63A: "Explain the configuration, development and testing tools and procedures. Please describe these in more detail." This question is not relevant for SLA vendors. Please do not answer.

63B. "Provide the testing procedures that would be used to ensure the stations are ready for high stakes simulation lab assessments." All SLA vendors, please provide a response.

Please explain the access required by NCAS to the online registration system.

​The vendors should be able to

  1. offer an online registration and scheduling tool to candidates for self-serve registration.
  2. Send/receive electronic reports of the candidates' status.
  3. Send candidate results electronically to NCAS and candidates.
  4. NCAS to send candidates information electronically to vendor to upload into their registration and scheduling tool.
  5. NCAS to receive reports electronically of candidate activity (total number registered, total number scheduled and for which dates, total number completed, etc.
  6. Offer the ability for NCAS or candidates to electronically see what their status is in the NCAS process.
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