Many firms want to work for federal government agencies. However, you’ll need to understand how to respond to a federal government RFP and be able to prepare the “Standard Form 330” (replacement for Standard Form 255 and Standard Form 254, also known as SF330) clearly and accurately, or you risk losing the project. No potential client wants to hire you based solely on your firm name or reputation, which is why the SF330 exists— to provide the who and the what.
The SF330 focuses on the individuals you are proposing for a project and their previous work. It helps assess firms before granting a contract for architect-engineer services. This provides certainty that whoever the client is working with has the experience and knowledge to do so. In this blog, we’ll help you further understand what an SF330 is, why it’s important, and how you can use a DAM, like OpenAsset, to create SF330 templates.
Understanding the SF330
The SF 330 is a form used to help firms provide information about their qualifications for performing architectural and engineering (A/E) services for federal projects. In other words, federal agencies use this form to gather details on the professional qualifications of architect-engineer (A-E) firms. This form is an essential component of the federal government’s process for selecting A/E firms for specific projects.
Federal agencies are mandated to use the SF330 when seeking architectural and engineering services. Numerous state agencies have also embraced this form.
The SF330 was created because:
- Clients wanted to be certain they were selecting individuals with the appropriate expertise.
- The A/E industry wanted a form that’s easier to fill out and with more flexibility.
Although “easy” and “flexible” are not the first terms that come to mind when thinking about filling out the SF330 form, if used correctly, the form can be easy and flexible.
Before completing the form, it’s essential to identify who you’re recommending and their respective projects. This is important because, in Section G, you’ll need to establish the link between the proposed key staff and the relevant experience.
Remember, unless the RFP explicitly requires it, your SF330 doesn’t have to include every team member — only the primary or “key staff.”
Now, let’s go over the different sections included in an SF330 form.
What’s Included in the SF330?
Many firms pursue contractual work for federal government agencies. However, preparation is key. If you are going to respond to a federal government RFP, you must understand the process and be able to prepare the SF330 form clearly and appropriately, or you risk the proposal being deemed nonresponsive.
The SF330 is divided into two parts: Part I and Part II. The first part is divided into sections: Section A- Section H, while the second part is more general.
SF 330 Part I and II
Here’s what information Part I and Part II of the SF330 form covers:
Part I – Contract-Specific Qualifications
Use the SF 330, Part I, to get details from an architect-engineer firm about its skills for a specific contract. Use it when the contract price is expected to be more than a basic set limit. But, if the price is expected to be at or below this limit, you can still use Part I if the person in charge (contracting officer) thinks it’s suitable.
This part collects data related to the specific project for which the firm is submitting qualifications. Some of the details included are:
- Project name and location.
- Name of the firm and any proposed subcontractors.
- Proposed team members and their roles.
- Experience on similar projects.
- The firm’s approach to the project.
- Information about the firm’s location and workload.
- Any other relevant data.
SF 330 Part I, Sections A-H
Here’s what you can expect from sections A-H of Part I:
If you’re unfamiliar with the SF330 process, it’s recommended to start with Section G.
In this section, you list the staff you’re suggesting and the ten projects you’ll feature in your proposal. Place an X on each project that a staff member contributed to.
Sections A, B, and C
These sections are pretty self-explanatory, making them easy to fill out. However, ensure there are no incomplete items before moving on.
This is where you include the organizational chart. You can also create the org chart in a separate document and then attach it after the first page (A, B, C).
Be sure to keep the organizational chart straightforward. Clients are primarily interested in:
- Confirming if there’s a sufficient team for the task.
- Identifying their main contact person.
- Whether there are any specialists on the team
- Understanding if a well-defined management structure exists.
This section contains resumes of your key team members, including key staff from your sub-consultants. Usually, these resumes should be limited to one page. While some clients might allow longer resumes, we suggest sticking to a one-page resume format. Each resume should feature five projects — no more, no less.
In this section, you’ll outline 10 relevant projects. Some clients might narrow this down to projects from the last three to five years. If not specified, focus on projects from the past decade. There will be times when clients request fewer projects. Therefore, always cater to the client’s specific requirements.
This section will populate with the information from sections E and F.
Often, clients will clearly state their preferences for this section. If they don’t, it’s wise to inquire about what they’d like included.
Part II – General Qualifications
Use the SF 330, Part II-General Qualifications, to obtain information from an architect-engineer firm about its general professional qualifications.
This section collects more general information about the firm, outside of a specific project, including:
- The firm’s background and contact information.
- Key personnel, their experience, and roles.
- Information about the firm’s past projects and clients.
- Any other general qualifications or data.
Once completed, firms submit the SF 330 to the federal agency overseeing the project. The agency then uses the information provided in the form to evaluate and select a firm for the project based on its qualifications, experience, and other factors.
Part II replaces the Standard Form 254. The SF254 offered general details about your company. Always incorporate SF330 Part II in your submission, unless the client advises otherwise. Ideally, each office (or location) involved in the project should fill out one of these forms. While there might be exceptions, this is the typical practice.
Why Is an SF330 Important?
The SF330 structure simplifies the procurement process, enhances the clarity and transparency of vendor firms’ qualifications for selection panels, and more effectively facilitates electronic communication. The SF330’s standardized and unified format also allows federal agencies to compare and evaluate the qualifications of different firms more effectively and fairly.
For A/E services, federal agencies are typically required to select a contractor based on qualifications, rather than price. The SF330 is the primary format for firms to convey their qualifications to federal agencies. Without submitting a properly completed SF330, a firm may not even be considered for a federal A/E contract.
Firms familiar with federal contracts will quickly see that the selection criteria focus on how individuals in the team relate to each other, how firms in the project team work together, and their connection to previous projects.
Government procurement officers have learned from experience that teams that have worked well together in the past tend to give better outcomes. The SF330 form should showcase the firm’s alignment and experience when trying to win federal contracts.
Moreover, the form captures a wide range of data, from general firm information to specific details about key staff and past projects. This comprehensive overview helps agencies gauge a firm’s capabilities, experience, and appropriateness for a particular project.
Essentially, the SF330 is not just a form – it’s a critical tool in the federal A/E procurement process, enabling firms to showcase their abilities and helping federal agencies select the most qualified firm for their projects.
How OpenAsset Can Help With The SF330
Want to make the process easier? With a DAM, like OpenAsset, you can create a template and edit parts of the SF330 form. While we don’t have a set template (as it requires individual lines of an Excel sheet to be brought into our system), through OpenAsset we’re able to create templates for individual components of the SF330 form. We also offer integrations with partners like Deltek that can make the document creation process extremely straightforward. You can then combine these components and launch them out of OpenAsset into Microsoft Word or InDesign.
If you’re an OpenAsset client and you’d like help with this feature, contact our Support Team via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can walk you through what you need within the various components of the SF330.
Find even more features and benefits of the #1 DAM for AEC and real estate professionals when you schedule a demo today.