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The OSD Training team continually searches for ways to improve the curriculum of free training opportunities. To enhance customer service, the team makes a strong effort to listen to and incorporate feedback from the COMMBUYS community. Most recently, the Training team revised the course catalog to create a more comprehensive and effective program for vendors.

In the past, Trainers regularly received comments about overlap in the vendor training courses, particularly between the Essentials of Navigation, Searching, and UNSPSC and the How to Locate and Respond to Bid courses. To improve the experience for vendors, the team revised the Essentials course to remove redundant material and added instruction for a more holistic overview of the COMMBUYS Seller role. In addition to the course overlap, Trainers felt that within courses some content and exercises were unnecessarily repetitive.

“We are hoping to give vendors experiences that really stick with them,” states Trainer Erin Powers.

After reviewing and modifying the curriculum to resolve these issues, the team followed a standard review process of Teach Backs – test runs of the courses to subject matter experts. The result of the Training team’s hard work is three new courses, which incorporate more exploratory and collaborative exercises:

  • COMMBUYS Essentials for Sellers includes everything that a COMMBUYS Seller needs to know: how to locate and respond to bids, the essentials of navigation, advanced searching for bids and contracts, creating and submitting quote responses, and finding UNSPSC codes.
  • COMMBUYS: Organizational Design and Maintenance for the Seller Administrator is for vendors who need support – who, perhaps, are just finding their way in either the contracting or COMMBUYS worlds. Attendees will discover how to update a vendor account to reflect the organization, business practices, and goods and service offerings of a company.
  • Demystifying the RFR: Responding to the Commonwealth’s Procurement Opportunities gives guidance on the Request for Response (RFR) process. Attendees will learn how to respond to state goods and services procurement opportunities, including a walk-through of OSD’s RFR format. Participants will practice responding to specifications and review proposals from different procurement types.

In addition to the new courses, the Training team also improved the registration process. Course registration now is hosted by PACE, the Commonwealth’s Performance and Career Enhancement learning management system. When registering in PACE, vendors are able to provide short descriptions of their businesses. This information is vital, as it allows the Trainers to customize class examples based on vendor industry and experience.

“Gaining more information about vendors before the courses allows the Trainers to tailor our course examples, allowing us to create a much more valuable experience for class participants,” says Scott Jones, Director of Training.

Beyond this, Trainers now have the ability to pull reports to assess course popularity, attendance by individuals, departments, vendors, etc. This function is valuable for vendors as well, serving as a historical record of accomplishment. For vendors, PACE registration is required during the first login only. To find registration instructions, check out the PACE job aid here.

To explore the new and improved vendor curriculum, click here for the full Training calendar. The Training team is available for onsite instructor-led vendor training and webinars. Contact to make a request.

Decision tree walking a vendor through which training classes are best suited for them.


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