RFP Template for Scanning Services


A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document that an archive posts or distributes to elicit bids from multiple service providers for a desired solution. An RFP describes the project, technical specifications, and evaluation criteria used to assess proposals. An archive can benefit from obtaining multiple bidders and perspectives when seeking services. This template provides suggestions and guidelines when preparing an RFP for film scanning services.

An RFP is different from a Request for Information (RFI) or a Request for Quotation (RFQ). An RFI is used earlier in the cycle when an archive is initially entertaining possible solutions. An RFQ is typically sent to a single-service provider. An archive issues an RFP when it has clear-cut requirements and is interested in comparing services, proposed workflows, and pricing.

The RFP process may start with an invitation to prospective bidders to a pre-bid meeting to provide an opportunity for questions about the solicitation document; or, the archive might initiate the process with individual phone calls to prospective service providers. If an RFP is too vague, proposals will be vague. On the other hand, overly detailed and restrictive RFPs can be limiting. It is important for archives to set clear expectations in order to receive quality responses.

The following RFP template is provided for users who may be encountering this process for the first time. This template/guide was designed by Academy committee members who, collectively, have decades of experience in the realm of film scanning and its subsequent archiving and long-term preservation. Each library will of course have its unique requirements, but this template should serve as a tool for the user to ensure they are considering critical needs when looking for a scanning partner.


Disclaimer: This document is a sample template for an RFP for scanning services. The format and language are suggestions ONLY. A review by your legal department is recommended.

Project Title




Archive Name/Address

Telephone | Email | Website



For example: “For the purposes of this document, “CLIENT” will refer to [add name of your archive] and “CONTRACTOR” will refer to the prospective contractor responding to this Request for Proposal (RFP).” If there are any other terms regularly used in this document, add those terms here.


Summarize the invitation to bid on this project. For example: “Written proposals subject to the contents herein stated, will be received until [add the date and time with time zone] for furnishing the services below for the CLIENT.” Indicate how you want the proposal submitted (email and/or hard copy mailed or hand-delivered) and where to submit the proposal.

[Add contact name and delivery address receiving RFP responses.]

II         SCOPE


Add a short summary of the project including the title of the film or collection, and services requested. Create and reference an Appendix that describes the title or collection in more detail if necessary.


List services requested. For example:

  • Preparation (i.e., motion picture film inspection and repair)
  • Film cleaning (specify hand-cleaning if necessary)
  • Film Scanning
  • File format (picture and audio) of deliverables. For example: “Uncompressed DPX files for images and WAV files for audio”
    • File format (picture and audio) of deliverables. For example: “Uncompressed DPX files for images and WAV files for audio”
    • Picture resolution (2K, 4K, etc.)
    • Bit depth
    • Wet gate or dry gate scan
    • Pin registered scan (electronic or mechanical)
    • Scanner preference, for example: Scanity, Northlight, ARRI, etc.
  • Metadata
  • Quality Control
  • Indicate how files (and copies) will be delivered, for example: ASPERA, hard drive, tape stock and where to deliver the files.
  • Nitrate certification (if applicable)

[Add contact name and delivery address for project deliverables.]


List the information you require in the proposal. For example:

  • Name of contractor
  • Primary point of contact with contact information
  • Location of head office (if applicable) and location(s) where work will be performed
  • Age and size of contractor’s business
  • List of employees assigned to the project with qualifications and experience (resumés)
  • References (list three client references for which services similar in scope and size were performed)
  • Detailed plan, workflow, describe how work will be performed
  • Description of equipment that will be used (name, brand, age)
  • Detailed cost breakdown
  • Clearly print name and include signature on proposal


You may want to indicate a standard format for the response. This will make it easier to compare responses. For example:

  1. Management summary – Include a cover letter indicating the underlying philosophy of the firm providing the services.
  2. Introduction – Description of contractor.
  3. Proposal – Describe scope of services in detail including how the services will be provided. Include a description of major and minor tasks.
  4. Experience and service capacity
  5. Personnel
  6. References
  7. Acceptance of conditions
  8. Cost data
  9. Additional data
  10. Final signature page


In order to ensure that the project stays on track, you should require weekly progress updates and specify the form(s) that those updates will take. You may want to provide a Report Template as an Appendix.



List the criteria you will use for evaluating the proposal. For example:

  • Overall quality of the proposed plan for performing the required services
  • Price
  • Demonstrated understanding of the project and its objectives
  • Prospective contractor’s ability to provide the required services as evidenced by qualifications (education, experience, past performance, references).
  • Personnel, equipment, facility, and financial resources to perform requested services
  • Completeness of response
  • Receipt of proposal by deadline


For example: “Any inquires need to be submitted no later than five days prior to the deadline. Questions regarding this RFP should be directed to:”

[Add primary contact name, phone number, email address.]


For example: “The award shall be made to the PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR whose proposal is determined in writing to be the most advantageous taking into consideration the qualifications, references, proposed workflow, and price.”


List reasons the proposal may be rejected. For example: “The CLIENT reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to reject proposals that do not conform to the requirements set forth in this RFP. Proposals may be rejected for reasons that include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Proposal is conditional
  • Incompleteness
  • Late
  • Unsigned
  • The proposal does not offer to provide all services requested”



You might want to indicate that you “may at reasonable times inspect the place of business or any Subcontractor’s place of business that is related to the performance of any Contract awarded.”


For example: “The successful PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR will be required to provide proof of insurance.”


Indicate how the contractor will be compensated and set out terms of payment. For example: “Compensation for services will be in the form of a fixed price agreement.” Indicate if payment will be made in one lump sum following successful completion or in installments. If the latter, specify when the installments will be paid.


For example: “All submitted proposals become the property of the CLIENT.” You might also direct the contractor to mark any and all pages of the proposal that the contractor considers to be proprietary information and that any pages not marked accordingly may be subject to circulation.


For example: “The CLIENT may have discussions with prospective contractors who submit proposals to negotiate workflows and prices, however, all proposers are advised to propose their most favorable terms.”


For example: “The CONTRACTOR acknowledges that it was selected by the CLIENT to perform the services required hereunder based, in part, upon the CONTRACTOR’S special skills and expertise. The CONTRACTOR shall not assign, subcontract, or otherwise transfer this agreement in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the CLIENT, which may, at its sole discretion, approve or deny without reason.”


For example: “The contract shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of [add state name]. The CONTRACTOR understands that the CLIENT is an equal opportunity employer and therefore maintains a policy that prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, physical handicap, disability, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. All such discrimination is unlawful and the CONTRACTOR agrees during the term of the agreement that the CONTRACTOR will strictly adhere to this policy in its employment practices and provision of services. The CONTRACTOR shall comply with, and all activities under this agreement shall be subject to, all applicable federal, State of [add state], and local laws and regulations, as now existing and as may be amended or modified.”


Confidentiality statements are standard. Consider adding a statement regarding the confidentiality of the proposal and/or of the information provided to the contractor by the archive.

Other terms and conditions you may want to include:

  • Force Majeure
  • RFP does not constitute acceptance of offer
  • Expenses incurred in preparing offer (for example: “CLIENT accepts no responsibility for any expense incurred by the prospective contractor in the preparation or presentation of an offer. Such expenses are borne exclusively by the prospective contractor.”)
  • Failure to Deliver and/or Unsatisfactory Work
  • Indemnification and Limitation of Liability


Appendices might include:

  • Detailed description of the material scheduled for scanning (list of elements, film gauge(s), footage count, audio, age of elements, physical condition, shrinkage, mold, etc.)
  • Detailed Technical Specifications
  • Weekly Report Template