Request for Proposals

Corporate Strategic Plan Development
Center for Public Safety Excellence
Date of Release: April 14, 2023
RESPONSE DATE: May 12, 2023 by 5 pm EST

This Request for Proposals (RFP), issued by the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), seeks proposals to develop a corporate strategic plan.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation. We are an international technical organization that works with the most progressive fire and emergency service agencies and most active fire professionals. Our mission is to lead the fire and emergency service to excellence through the continuous quality improvement process of accreditation, credentialing, and education.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Interested parties must prepare and submit all required documents no later than 5:00 p.m. (EST) on May 12, 2023. Respondents should email a cover sheet and attachment(s) addressing the response requirements before the deadline to

Late proposals will not be reviewed. Questions about proposal submission should be sent at least three days in advance of deadline to

Expected Deliverables

The selected organization is required to complete the following steps, at a minimum, in development of the corporate strategic plan.

  • Survey instruments to gather input from the CPSE community, partners, and stakeholders
  • Up to five virtual listening sessions with select groups from within the CPSE community
  • Two two-hour in-person strategic planning sessions with the Commission on Fire Accreditation and the Commission on Professional Credentialing (August 28, 2023 in Rosemont, IL)
  • A one-hour in-person listening session with CPSE community members (August 28, 2023 in Rosemont, IL)
  • A two-hour pre-work session with the CPSE Board, senior staff, and commission leadership to identify applicable sections from the American Society of Association Executives’ Drivers of Change (August 29, 2023 in Rosemont, IL)
  • A one-day in-person strategic plan development meeting with the CPSE Board, senior staff, and commission leadership (December 7, 2023 in the DC Metro)
  • Facilitate and provoke discussion among the attendees at the development meeting on topics such as foresight, ESG, and business models as well as topics emerging from prior planning and feedback activities
  • Develop strategic goals and objectives during the development meeting
  • Formulate success measures to ensure strategic goals and objectives are achieved
  • Engagement with CPSE graphic designer to develop a professional print-ready strategic plan


Expected Timelines

The selected organization is required to operate within our desired timelines. They are:

  1. Organization selection: Late June 2023
  2. Kick off meeting: Early July 2023
  3. In-person planning and listening sessions: August 2023
  4. Virtual and survey-based feedback activities: September and October 2023
  5. Complete and compile all community input: Mid-November 2023
  6. Develop strategic plan: December 2023
  7. Strategic Plan graphic design: January 2024

Response Requirements

The RFP will, at a minimum, identify the following:

  1. Introduction of your organization
  2. Identify your abilities and plan of action for the deliverables noted in the RFP
  3. Identify your abilities to meet the timelines noted in the RFP
  4. Identify key team members that will be assigned to this project and their knowledge, skills, and abilities
  5. A detailed project proposal including milestones and facilitation and travel costs
  6. Minimum of three examples of prior projects that are similar in scope and size to our project as well as references for these prior projects that we may contact

Selection Criteria

As the successful candidate you will demonstrate:

  • Significant experience in strategic planning
  • An understanding of nonprofit organizations and association management
  • Experience with public safety and/or local government
  • Experience synthesizing stakeholder input for action
  • Experience facilitating group discussions
  • A proven track record of project management by meeting committed deadlines and costs

Previous Strategic Plans

In March 2016, we unveiled our stakeholder-driven CPSE Strategic Plan. This plan provided the road map for CPSE’s continuous improvement.  CPSE’s Technical Advisor Program guided the development of the plan with a major focus on gaining stakeholder feedback and identifying our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

In February 2020, we issued a RFP and received responses to develop a new 5-year strategic plan. In June 2020, we decided to change the scope of our strategic planning efforts due to the global pandemic. Information about the development, execution, and implementation of our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan can be found online.

About CPSE

CPSE is governed by a nine-member board of directors. The board elects a president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, and hires a Chief Executive Officer to manage the corporation’s day-to-day operations. CPSE accomplishes its mission with a staff of seven full time employees, over 600 committed volunteers, and 40 contractors. To further our mission to lead the fire and emergency service to excellence, CPSE offers a number of programs that can help fire and emergency service agencies and officers.

Each year, we publish an annual report highlighting our activities and accomplishments. We have developed annual reports for 202220212020201920182017 or 2016.


Agency Accreditation, overseen by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, is an all-hazard, quality improvement model based on risk analysis and self-assessment that promotes the establishment of community-adopted performance targets for fire and emergency service agencies.


Professional Credentialing, overseen by the Commission on Professional Credentialing, is a career enhancement and development model that recognizes professional accomplishments and technical competence of fire and emergency service officers. CPC offers six designations:

  • Chief Fire Officer
  • Chief EMS Officer
  • Chief Training Officer
  • Fire Marshal
  • Fire Officer
  • Public Information Officer


CPSE offers a variety of educational offerings through our CPSE University for departments and personnel to achieve peak performance. Offered in both on-site and web-based formats, these workshops are designed to provide the tools for continuous improvement as well as practical information on accreditation and credentialing. Our premier event is the CPSE Excellence Conference where the finest minds in the fire and emergency service come together for four days to advance agency accreditation, promote professional credentialing, and encourage leadership.


Technical Advisor Program provides agencies with the tools to internalize continuous improvement and achieve excellence. TAP provides agencies expert guidance and coaching in preparing for CFAI accreditation