Information for Vendors

All Requests for Qualification (RFQ) for province-wide software licenses are posted for a two week period on the government electronic bidding system at:

Guidelines to Educational Software Producers
Interested in Provincial Licenses for Software

The Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC) is made up of regional representatives of the school boards of Ontario. These representatives are elected biannually by the Regional Computer Advisory Committees. The Ontario Ministry of Education (EDU) also appoints a few school board members when required to ensure an equitable mix of representatives (gender, language etc.). The monies for the OSAPAC program are budgeted year to year.

Vendors should clearly understand the respective roles of OSAPAC and EDU in the priority setting, ranking, negotiating and contractual process. OSAPAC surveys the teachers and computer consultants to establish OSAPAC priorities for software licenses. EDU reviews these priorities to determine that they meet EDU curriculum criteria for the given year. OSAPAC members conduct all software reviews and rankings. EDU is not involved in this part of the process except to facilitate the delivery of software and to ensure that the ranking is carried out using a fair, effective and orderly process.

Once priorities are established in any given year, Requests for Qualification (RFQs) or Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are posted on Qualified respondents to individual RFQs are then invited to submit pricing for the deliverables through a Request for Tender (RFT). If only one respondent qualifies in a RFQ or only one product is submitted, then EDU can negotiate directly for terms, conditions and price. RFPs contain qualifying criteria, rate bid forms and a Form of the Agreement. The highest scoring qualified product wins if it is within budget.

Criteria for Negotiating Provincial Licenses
Throughout the year, OSAPAC conducts a province-wide survey to determine priorities for software licenses for the current year. A web survey is used to collect this information on the OSAPAC web site The¬†identified priorities are confirmed with the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch of EDU and RFQs are posted on the government’s bidding web site

Some general features that are looked for are:

  • Commercially released
  • No more than three years old
  • Networkable
  • Available in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win7, Win8, Win8.1 and/or Macintosh OS X
  • Available in English and French
  • Canadian made, or at least, provided by an exclusive Canadian distributor.
  • From a company that is capable of providing regional training and support.

A motion passed on March 23rd, 21012 states:OSAPAC recommends that the Ministry recognize the need to expand the number of platforms and devices, including privately owned student and teacher devices,upon which existing licensed products and future digital learning resources can be operated. Future license agreements should ideally support the diverse platforms expected to be in place in Ontario schools. Responding to this need will require significant investment of time and capital in the upcoming years.

When the Ontario Software Acquisition Program is funded for 2014/2015, and priorities have been announced, RFQs will be posted on The site should be monitored for new RFQs.

Providing Authentication Options for Your Software

Historically, getting software into the hands of users has proven problematic due to the number of distribution levels involved. As our purchases have moved to the cloud, we have worked with vendors to streamline the user access process. We prefer titles which authenticate using the following methods:

  • Google Apps or Office 365 OAuth authentication
  • LTI based authentication for use with our provincial LMS. (see IMS Global for details on the protocol)
  • Email domain based user validation. We publish an updated list of email domains via a JSON rest API.