Government of Canada launches new coaching service to increase supplier diversity in federal procurement
May 10, 2022 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada
A concrete step to increase inclusiveness in federal procurement
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is contributing to a more inclusive economy by helping diverse businesses get involved in federal procurement.
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced the Government of Canada has launched a new coaching service designed to help bidders from diverse socio-economic groups that have had limited success bidding on federal procurement opportunities address the bidding challenges they have previously faced.
Earlier today, Minister Tassi hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with representatives from women-owned businesses who took part in a pilot of the coaching service last year. She thanked the participants for their collaboration and feedback, which was critical in refining the coaching service before its official launch.
Delivered by PSPC’s Procurement Assistance Canada, the coaching service will give businesses from diverse socio-economic priority groups (women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized Canadians, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2+ Canadians) access to one introductory meeting and at least 3 personalized coaching sessions with a procurement specialist from Procurement Assistance Canada’s regional offices. These sessions will help the businesses explore the areas of the bidding journey where they may require assistance.
The launch of the coaching service is a concrete step towards enhancing economic and social opportunities for underrepresented groups and follows a pilot project launched last year. This is one of many procurement initiatives that PSPC is leading to increase supplier diversity.
“Smaller businesses owned or led by members of underrepresented groups have historically participated less in federal procurement and have less experience in bidding on tender opportunities. With the coaching service, we are taking an important step towards making federal procurement more inclusive for all Canadians.”
The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement
PSPC’s coaching service was designed as a permanent addition to Procurement Assistance Canada’s service offering that goes beyond its existing outreach services. The objective of the service is to help experienced bidders from diverse socio-economic groups across Canada address some of the most commonly perceived barriers in procurement.
From May to November 2021, Procurement Assistance Canada piloted the coaching service with 10 businesses that were certified members of Women Business Enterprises Canada, and implemented revisions to the program based on the feedback received during the pilot phase.
Procurement Assistance Canada will have between 10 and 12 experienced coaches available for launch and will be able to accept 10 to 30 participant businesses, depending on coach availability. Since spots available for businesses are limited, eligibility criteria will be clearly communicated to potential participants and redirect ineligible users to the service guide, so they can find other outreach services catered to them.
Procurement Assistance Canada is committed to serving persons with disabilities by offering accommodations for all of its services, including coaching. The coaching service registration form includes an optional accommodation question so that registrants can specify the accommodation requirements they might have before the coaching sessions commence.
There is no guarantee that participation in the coaching service will result in a contract after a business has completed its coaching sessions.
Procurement Assistance Canada supports smaller and diverse businesses that want to sell to the government. Through its service offering, Procurement Assistance Canada helps potential suppliers better understand how the government buys goods and services, and how to navigate the federal procurement process.
Office of the Honourable Filomena Tassi
Public Services and Procurement Canada
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