If You Bid Professional Services Consider…
The low bidder is often the one who proposes to provide the least service, not the firm with the best approach or qualifications.
You may need assistance defining your need for services.
A failure to clearly define your needs may result in a disparity between your expectations and the contracted services.
QBS has been required by law for all Federal Projects since 1972. In New Hampshire, state law requires that all State Agencies use QBS. Numerous other organizations and municipalities use QBS because it works. In addition, the QBS process is included in the American Bar Association’s Model Procurement Code for State and Local Governments.
What is QBS?
Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS)… a quality investment which will result in substantial savings over the life of a project.
It’s a process which provides a fair and rational procedure enabling you to obtain the services of qualified architects, engineers and land surveyors based on professional qualifications, at a fair and reasonable cost.
Why use QBS?
QBS has been required by law for all Federal projects since 1972. In New Hampshire, State law mandates that all State Agencies use QBS. Numerous other organizations and municipalities use QBS because it works. In addition, the QBS process is included in the American Bar Association’s Model Procurement Code for State and Local Government.
- American Institute of Architects New Hampshire Chapter (AIANH).
- New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NHSPE).
- American Council of Engineering Companies – New Hampshire (ACEC-NH).
- American Society of Civil Engineers New Hampshire Section (ASCE-NH).
- Structural Engineers of New Hampshire (SENH).
- New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association (NHLSA).
The Qualifications-Based Selection Process
The QBS process usually involves the following steps:
Owner prepares the preliminary scope of services, describing the project to be built or problem to be solved and formulates a schedule of activities. (See Model Forms 1, 2)
Owner places legal notices of invitation in newspapers and/or invites qualified firms to submit letters of qualifications in a format provided by Owner. (See Model Forms 3, 4)
Owner reviews letters of qualifications, checks references, ranks firms and selects 3 to 5 firms for interviews. All other firms are notified in writing of the selections. Pre-interview site visits are arranged with the firms to be interviewed to provide the opportunity for a better understanding of the project requirements. (See Model Forms 5a, 5b, 6, 7a, 7b)
Interviews are conducted. During this process, it is important that the same questions be asked of each firm. In fact, it is suggested that qualification criteria and interview format material be made available to each firm prior to being interviewed.
(See Model Form 8)
Following the interviews, the Owner ranks each firm in accordance with a predetermined ranking system. All interviewed firms are notified of the results.
(See Model Forms 9, 10)
The highest-ranking firm is asked to participate in the preparation of a detailed scope of services and to negotiate conditions of the contract, including a fair and equitable fee.
If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, negotiations with that firm are suspended and negotiations are commenced with the second-highest ranking firm. The process continues until an agreement is reached and a formal contract is executed.
Model forms are offered here to assist in the selection process. They may be customized to fit your particular needs, based upon the size and scope of the project.
- Preliminary Scope of Services
- Schedule of Activities
- Request for Letters of Qualifications
- Requirements for Letters of Qualifications
- Letters of Qualifications Evaluation Process
- Letters of Qualifications Evaluation Process – Tally Sheet
- Reference Check Form
- Memo to Firms Not Selected for an Interview
- Memo to Firms Selected for an Interview
- Interview Process: Issues & Score Sheet
- Group Interview Evaluation Form
- Memo to Firms After Interview
- Download All Forms
For assistance call:
AIANH at (603) 357-2863
NHSPE at (603) 524-8243
NHLSA at (603) 895-482
News and Information
Check out this ACEC of British Columbia Video on QBS below