Your role as a tester

Before you commit to testing an innovation, we need you to understand what will be required of you and your organization as a testing partner.

After meeting with the innovator, and the kick-off meeting with your Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program advisor, you will need to participate in the following steps.

Understanding the Statement of Work (SOW)

  1. Once you have been informed your test will proceed, your program advisor will distribute a test plan in the form of a Statement of Work (SOW) template. This template will be explained in detail during a kick-off meeting.
  2. To complete the SOW, you will need to:
    • Advise the innovator of your realistic expectations in testing objectives and procedures for your organization
    • Consider your role in this test and what responsibilities you are willing to undertake
    • Identify acceptable test site(s)
    • Determine whether the innovator will require any level of security clearance
    • Work with the innovator to develop a realistic testing schedule
  3. Once you and the innovator have agreed on a draft SOW, your next step is submitting the document to your ISC program advisor.
  4. Once received, the program advisor will:
    • Review the document for completeness
    • Liaise with our in-house technical writer for review
    • Coordinate with the innovator on any adjustments to the SOW. Several revisions are sometimes needed before the SOW is finalized
    • Once satisfied with the final version, seek approval from all parties

Your innovator may need security clearance

Over the course of SOW development, it should become clear if a security clearance is required. Your choice of test site and test procedures will offer clues to your Unit Security Officer (USO) on how to proceed. For help with determining if there is a security requirement, we recommend completing the Security Requirements Check List (SRCL). If the response to any of those questions is yes, a Security Requirement exists.

Please take care to identify the security requirements of a test as early as possible. Failure to do so may result in significant, unavoidable delays.

The program will engage in Security discussions with you during the initial stages of SOW development.

Understanding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Before we begin the contract negotiation phase with the innovator, we require a signed commitment to test the innovation (in the form of an MOU).

This document must be signed by your Director General (DG) (or equivalent, unless specified otherwise).

The MOU is not a contract, and does not place any legal obligations on your organization; however, we do expect our testing partner to honour their testing commitments once the agreement is signed.

Please note that the MOU has already been vetted, and does not require further legal review.

Understanding the contract negotiation process

The contract negotiation process requires several activities before the contract is awarded. Testing cannot begin until the contract is approved and active.

First, the innovator must negotiate and determine project costs with the Contracting Officer (CO). During this time, the CO will reach out to confirm project details. Typically, the costing process applies only to the innovator.

Your ISC program advisor will invite you to the contract negotiation kick-off meeting to engage all parties.

To avoid unnecessary delays, we ask for your quick response to all requests from the CO. Towards the end of the negotiation, you will be asked to review the draft contract and approve its contents.

Any changes made past this approval require formal contract amendments. Ensure the draft contract is reviewed to identify any issues prior to contract award.

Note: Neither ISC nor its CO can guarantee contracts until they are awarded. The supplier must agree to the Terms and Conditions before any work can begin.

Understanding the contract period

All those hours of planning have finally led to a successful contract award. Understating how the contract flows from concept to delivery isn't always clear. Rest assured, your ISC program advisor is there to support you throughout the test. Shortly after contract award, you will be invited to a kickoff meeting with the innovator and the Contracting Officer to review roles and responsibilities.

Items for discussion include:

  1. Incorporating feedback
    • Collect feedback and testing results throughout the contracting period
    • After the contract concludes, identify summary information which could be helpful to the innovator
  2. Claims process
    • All approved claims will be forwarded to you for confirmation
    • You'll validate and approve the innovator's delivered goods and/or services, as per the agreed contract
  3. Potential amendments
    • Should an amendment be required, provide details onto stakeholder issues to the ISC program advisor, to begin the associated process to amend the contract
  4. Survey completion
    • Complete feedback surveys received at the end of the contract

Your ISC program advisor will maintain regular contact to assess your progress and will ensure you confirm claims submitted by the innovator in a timely fashion. Please feel free to reach out to your program advisor whenever you need.

Understanding additional sales

Why stop at just one test? If you want to test the innovation in a different operational setting, you can!

Once the innovator's first contract is awarded, you can acquire more units of the innovation via additional sales contracts. These contracts must align with the same Terms and Conditions as the initial contract.

The significant distinction between additional sales and the original contract is that your organization is responsible for providing all funding (although, our team will coordinate and expedite the procurement process for you).

Additional Sales at a glance:

  • New Testing Stream innovations are eligible for up to four additional sales contracts, up to three years after the date of the first contract award.
  • Earlier innovations qualified through CFP 6 and 7 are eligible for up to three additional sales contracts over two years.
  • Additional sales contracts are not considered commercial sales
  • Both your organization and new testing partners are able to participate — joint tests are permitted
  • Innovations tested under additional sales must be the same (or slightly improved) technology
  • Same ceiling price as the first contract ($550K for Standard and $1.15M for Military)

Please visit this page for more information on additional sales.