Global Best Practice - Qualifications-Based Selection for Architectural and Engineering Services

A qualifications-based selection (QBS) process is a procurement process for competitively selecting architectural and engineering services in which the most appropriate firm is selected based on its qualifications. These qualifications can include skill, experience, knowledge, and other factors specific to the project. During this type of selection process, procurement negotiates fair and reasonable fees with a top-ranked firm in exchange for an agreed-upon scope of services. The QBS process is generally a formal and competitive process in which key individuals who are assigned to the project seek information on a firm's qualifications and capabilities. The goal with QBS is to find the most qualified firm for a project and then negotiate a contract that is fair and reasonable for both parties. There are several things to consider when discovering what the most qualified firm. They go beyond how long the firm has been in business or how large the firm is. This practice defines the steps procurement professionals should take when developing a qualified acquisition team and selecting a qualified firm for a project. It also discusses negotiation practices, as they can be different for a QBS project than for other procurement projects.