Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Difference Between a RFI, RFQ and RFP

We are regularly asked what the difference is between a Request for Information (RFI), a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ).

"RFX" is a term used, to refer to all 'Request For…' documents used to solicit responses, of various types, from suppliers. The three common documents are:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)

According to the Government's eTenders portal ( the differences between RFQ's, RFI's and RFP's are as follows:

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined. The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award.
The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • Clearly describe the problem;
  • Solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • Study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFQ is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what's needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures. Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers. In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service needed, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common thread between all three types of "RFX" documents is that the Customer/Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid.

Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value of between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

To learn all you need to know to respond to tenders correctly, and hopefully successfully attend our How-to-Tender workshops. Visit our website to find out more and to register. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Sexually transmitted infections training. 2018-11-20 09:00 SM11900193
Assurance of Engineering Integrity of the Critical Structural Beams and Critical Bearer Columns of the Icon Batch Plant Located at Clanwilliam Dam 2018-11-15 11:00 WQ7603 WTE
Request for a PCR Plate Heat Sealer for the Nicd Sandringham 2018-11-16 11:00 1407835/18-19
Intra-uterine device training. 2018-11-20 09:00 SM11900191
Provision of wound care training. 2018-11-20 09:00 SM11900192
Alteration to Renovations Jane Furse Nhls Laboratory in Limpopo 2018-11-22 11:00 RFQ NO: 1663453
Supply, Delivery and Installation of Minus 20 Laboratory Freezer for the NICD CVI Lab 2018-11-15 11:00 1698306/18-19
Manufacture Airvent - Oakdale 2018-11-23 14:00 SG11900018
Renovations to Cleaners and Gardeners Building at Sandringham 2018-11-23 11:00 RFQ 1505927
Supply & install panel with wireless Ethernet radio at Blackheath Lower Reservoir. 2018-11-26 12:00 SK11900166
Tiling to STI Department at NICD Sandringham 2018-11-23 11:00 1460556/18-19
Request For Laptops 2018-11-15 11:00 1493110/18-19
Hiring of audio-visual equipment for communication session on 16 November 2018 at Goodwood Civic Centre. 2018-11-15 09:00 SS1190148A
1 x -80°C Upright Freezer as per specs 2018-11-16 11:00 1219282
Catering: 17 Nov 18 - Community Leaders Conversation 2018-11-15 09:00 SS11900158
All In One PC 2018-11-16 11:00 RFQ 632218
Digital Thermocouple and Calibrator 2018-11-16 11:00 RFQ 653510
Consultancy services to construct and update the Pan African Investment Promotion Network website 2018-12-07 15:00 AUC/DREA/C/380
Dry Ice Maker 2018-11-16 11:00 RFQ 653516
Provide Office plants services for 3 years. 2018-12-10 14:00 ATNS/FAPE/RFP002/FY18.19/OfficePlant.09.11.18


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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