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.
2x Tilting blood mixer 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU032-2018/19
2x RPR Rotator 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU033-2018/19
2x Vortex Mixer 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU034-2018/19
1x Heating Block 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU035-2018/19
Supply and Delivery of a Minus 70 Freezer for the NICD SVPL Lab 2018-10-22 11:00 1487066/18-19
1x Gurney 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU036-2018/19
1x Bone marrow Filing Cabinet/drawers 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU037-2018/19
2x Thermobrite/Hybridization 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU038-2018/19
2x Anaerobic Gas System 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU039-2018/19
1x Ducted Fume hood 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU040-2018/19
1x PH Meter 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU041-2018/19
2x Dictaphone 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU042-2018/19
Supply and deliver balance 1xBalance10g-30Kg 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU044-2018/19
Surgical instrments 2018-10-22 11:00 RFQ: GAU045-2018/19
Supply of Differential Digital Cell Counter x 4 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ -KZN CELL COUNT 04
Supply of Roller Mixers x 7 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ - KZN MIXER /07
Supply and Install Semi Automated Slide Stainer at NHLS Ngwelezane Laboratory 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ REF 1599226
Supply and Install Slide Warmer x 4 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ -KZN5/16/67/128
Supply and Install Analytical Balance x 1 Nhls Port Shepstone Lab 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ -KZN 10
Supply and Install Light Microscopes x 2 Nhls Emmaus Lab Nhls Estcourt Lab 2018-10-26 11:00 RFQ - KZN 19 / 84


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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