Skill Builders courses enable you to work at your own pace from the office, on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone

Convenient 100% Online Procurement Training

NECI Skill Builders LogoWe have carefully selected the most relevant, innovative and frequently litigated issues in procurement and contracting for the ‘just-in-time’ learner. These short courses, comprised of key modules, allow you to work at your own pace right from your desk. You will be able to immediately apply the concepts and skills you learn to ensure that your next procurement process gets better results.

Each module — there are 7 modules in total — takes approximately 60 minutes to complete, can be done alongside your regular work, and is ideal for those facing travel restrictions or simply too busy to attend full-day training sessions. At NECI we are constantly expanding these offerings in response to client demand, emerging procurement challenges, and new legal developments.


I found that the Procurement Drafting Skill Builders Bundle has something to offer even for the most experienced of procurement specialists.  Whether you are just starting out in procurement or have many years’ experience, there are some very good reminders and new concepts to take away.  I really enjoyed the experience and found the interactive web sessions extremely easy to follow.

– Vicky Taylor, Procurement Officer, Procurement and Government Services, Nunavut

Professional Designation Maintenance Credit

Most professional designations include a maintenance program to ensure members are staying up to date in their field.  Log credits with NECI’s programs while participating in relevant and meaningful training that supports professional performance.

All 7 modules only $379.

Procurement Drafting Skill Builders Bundle

The Procurement Drafting Skill Builders Bundle includes the following interactive, self-directed ‘hot topic’ modules:

Interrogating Contract Indemnities

Indemnity clauses are used in contracts to allocate risk.  Although normally such clauses are drafted by legal counsel and included in your templates, as procurement professionals you need to understand the implications of the variations on this type of provision.  You must be able to recognize the need to adjust indemnity provisions in select circumstances, during procurement planning and/or negotiations, and be able to discuss the topic intelligently with your own legal counsel.

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Generally speaking, organizations tend to use one-sided indemnities to impose all conceivable risks on the contractor, including risks that may be beyond the contractor’s control. Over allocating risk to a contractor can be a risky move in itself, causing downstream contract management and relationship management issues. Perhaps worse, over allocating risk can cause the best vendors to shy away from your projects or encourage them to build extraordinary ‘risk premiums’ into their pricing to account for the heavy risk burden they must carry.

On the other hand, you need to ensure that you protect your organization by including indemnities in your contracts that protect against the most likely and serious risks that might be encountered, particularly where those risks are under primarily the contractor’s control. This module will look at how to strike an appropriate risk balance using specific examples and corresponding indemnity clauses.  By the end of this course, you should be well-equipped to have a meaningful discussion with your own legal counsel about this tricky balancing act.

Learning Objectives
  • Analyze sample indemnity clauses and their implications on the contract.
  • Realize how to effectively use indemnities to protect your organization while striking a workable balance of risk allocation with the contractor.
  • Explore and discuss recent relevant case examples involving indemnities.
  • Recognize areas for discussion with your legal counsel surrounding indemnities.

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Managing Mandatory Requirements

Red ballpoint pen with ticks in checkboxes. Good paper texture, close-up view.
Under Contract A, mandatory requirements can become a minefield of your own making.  Every mandatory requirement presents a fresh opportunity for the ‘right’ bidder to get it wrong, potentially obliging you to disqualify the bid for non-compliance.  Learn to become a mandatory minimalist, by making more effective use of rated requirements, proposal promises and contractual clauses.  Also learn how to avoid the common pitfall of mixing your Contract A and Contract B requirements.

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 Learning Objectives
  • Considering common mandatory requirements and how they can be best drafted.
  • Identifying requirements best evaluated as desirable rather than mandatory.
  • Reviewing 3 ways to frame a mandatory requirement when drafting your RFx.
  • Exploring relevant court cases surrounding mandatories to realize the related legal risk.

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Managing the Price Matrix


Procuring simple services can sometimes pose surprising challenges, especially when comparing competing price quotations.  Find out how to use a pricing matrix to drive vendors toward providing price quotes on a common basis. Comparing competing bids to one another, and to your budget limit, can be made much simpler if hidden complexities are confronted. Understanding options for evaluating price can add tremendous value to your organization while reducing the likelihood of claims and challenges.

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 Learning Objectives

  • Review the business and legal risks of evaluating average hourly service rates.
  • Practice incorporating sample matrices for bidders to populate with pricing information.
  • Identify tactics to help you handle pricing uncertainties and complexities.


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Nailing Down Negotiations

Is your procurement process best served by a solicitation process that ends with negotiations, or with ‘snapping up’ the winning proposal as presented?  Does your solicitation document say you have the right to do either, or both?  As a procurement professional, it is important to recognize what options are appropriate and how to structure those options to avoid subsequent challenges to the fairness of your process, while still ensuring that you receive maximum value.  If you intend to enter into significant negotiations with proponents, ensure you consider this in the planning stage and build those explicit rights into your RFx.

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 Learning Objectives
  • Review the three most common approaches to RFx-related negotiations.
  • Explore BAFO, consecutive and concurrent negotiations.
  • Analyze sample right-to-negotiate clauses in solicitation documents.
  • Discuss recent, relevant cases that will help you understand alternative negotiating strategies and steps.

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Navigating Non-Compliance

In a number of recent court cases, suppliers have sued buyers for accepting non-compliant bids, sometimes successfully.  In this course, we examine a number of key cases surrounding the issues with non-compliance.  We review tips to help you minimize the risk of compliance issues and navigate non-compliance when it does occur.

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 Learning Objectives
  • Explore the key legal tests for strict and substantial compliance.
  • Assess the Supreme Court of Canada’s main messages in the Tercon case and other relevant cases involving non-compliance.
  • Analyze the impact of sample clauses regarding privileges, contract intent, and limited liability.
  • Review legal and practical ways to cope with non-compliance.

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Rethinking Contract Renewals

This module will get you thinking about the long-term implications of setting up goods and services contracts. It may be appropriate to set a contract term of two years or five years, but what about the ongoing needs of your organization? All contracts will come to an end one day – will you need to go back out to market for the same or similar requirements? Do you want the right to renew the existing contract? If so, under what conditions? What will trigger that renewal option, and how will it be priced? When planning the initial contract, it is crucial to turn your mind to these questions and factor them into the design of your solicitation document.

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 Learning Objectives
  • Identify key risks and benefits of incorporating renewal options into your contracts.
  • Examine how to ensure best value when asking vendors to price renewal options into the future.
  • Explore ways to maintain leverage when renewal options are not priced at the initial contract stage.
  • Consider various approaches to evaluating potential renewal options.
  • Discuss transitioning to a new procurement if renewal options are not exercised or are exhausted.

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Selecting Your Procurement Process

In this module, we will start at the beginning by examining one of the most critical decisions in procurement – the choice to use a binding or non-binding process.  Increasingly, organizations across the country are using the “NRFP or Negotiated RFP”.   As negotiations always have been (and can continue to be) conducted within a binding Contract A process, we prefer the term “non-binding RFP” to “negotiated RFP” to distinguish between the two approaches.

Since the pivotal decision in Ron Engineering, there have been many court cases considering this issue of Contract A, and in particular, whether parties have breached legal obligations under Contract A that entitle the complaining party to damages.  Partly because of these major lawsuits, organizations in Canada have begun to question the wisdom of conducting procurements within the Contract A legal paradigm.  The courts have sent a clear signal that owner organizations can in effect ‘opt out’ of Contract A, by including very express language in the RFx document, and ensuring that their conduct is in line with the declared RFx process.

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This module explores the option of bypassing Contract A when setting up and conducting competitive procurement processes. At first blush it may seem like a simple and effective strategy to avoid legal liability, however as we will see, the decision requires some critical analysis as additional risks can also be created by this approach.

Learning Objectives
  • Differentiate between binding and non-binding procurement.
  • Analyze factors that drive the decision to step outside Contract A and choose a non-binding process.
  • Examine non-binding RFx examples.

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Learners Comments


This course added to my understanding of the procurement process. I liked the fact that I could proceed at my own pace and the modules were well laid out.

Not Sure if Skill Builders Procurement Training is Right for You? Get More Information…

If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 1-888-990-7267 to speak with someone immediately. Alternatively, you can send us an e-mail and we’ll get back you as soon as we can.

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