HCaTS 8(a) proposals are due by January 28, 2020

With the deadline fast approaching, many contractors want to know the threshold for the Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS) winning score. To answer this question, let’s first understand what factors influence the score:

There are 7 factors per contract and an 8th for the company that can impact your score:

  1. If the contract is federal

  2. How many KSAs does it cover

  3. The Annual Value of the contract

  4. The Period of Performance

  5. Past Performance Ratings

  6. Whether subs were involved

  7. Whether it was a Cost-Reimbursable contract

  8. Your company qualifications (ISO, EVMS, FPRA,…)

But there are 2 factors that by far outweigh everything else: Past Performance and Key Service Areas (KSAs). An exceptional past performance will get you 2500 points, and if you have all 3 KSAs in a contract, you get an additional 1200 points. Together they will give you 3700 points which multiplied by 6 (for 6 contracts) would give you a total score of 22,200 (the max score for the entire HCaTS is 28,000). Now compare 2500 points for an exceptional past performance with 225 points which is the score that you get if your contract is larger than $1M in annual amount, ow with 300 points if it is a federal contract. So in selecting contracts, the driving factors for a winning score are past performance and then KSAs.

What is the Threshold Score?

Our research shows that there are 24 companies that have 4 or more federal contracts with the proper NAICS codes (Pool 1 and Pool 2) performed during the past 5 years or ongoing with at least 1 year of performance.

Assuming that they can get an exceptional past performance and on average, get the points for 2 out of 3 KSAs for each contract, we have arrived at a minimum threshold of 22,000. This should give you some indication as to where you stand.

Don’t think that if you are above this number you are safe. The above calculation does not take into account commercial contracts. We do know that commercial contracts are usually smaller in dollar amount than federal ones, but still, you can get all exceptional past performance as well as 3 KSAs covered which means that there are many more companies than a mere 24 federal contractors whom we have researched.

All in all, my bet is that if you want to sleep well at night, you need to have a score above 25,000. Anything between 22,000 and 25,000 is considered on the margin.

Reviews – A Critical Step:

Finally, I am sure you understand that everything is not just scoring. Compliance is the biggest hurdle. In the last bidding process, nearly 75% of small businesses were disqualified because their proposals were not compliant. If you are not familiar with self-scoring systems and have not done it before and done if well (won), I suggest that you seek outside review help. My company provides review support. Other companies do so as well. You still have time to ensure that your proposal is reviewed by an independent set of eyes. This is a critical step in preparing self-scoring proposals.

GDIC has years of experience helping prepare over 3,000 proposals for our customers. We helped get 4 HCaTS awards in the previous SB submission. Please contact Maron Freedy at [email protected] for more information.

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