Qualification Based Selection (QBS)
When initiating a project, all owners, whether municipalities, private companies or institutions, and the design professionals (architects, engineers, landscape architects, land surveyors and other professionals) with whom they contract, seek the same results -- a completed project which meets the owners needs, is completed on schedule and within budget. Following an organized process for selecting and procuring professional services can help both the public owner and the design professional achieve these results.
During the preliminary stages of a project, the question often arises of how to best go about procuring the services of a design professional. While many selection processes exist and can be used by both the public owner and the design professional, one that has gained widespread support is Qualification Based Selection (QBS).
Qualification Based Selection (QBS) is an equitable process that enables the owner to obtain the services of a highly qualified design professional at a fair and reasonable cost, an investment in quality which will result in substantial savings over the life-cycle of the project.
ACEC/MN is a strong supporter of the use of qualification based selection (QBS) for the selection of design professionals. The organization is very active in the effort to educate it's clients on the benefits of this type of selection process and is a member of the Minnesota Coalition for Qualification Based Selection. The coalition is supported by ACEC/MN, the American Institute of Architects Minnesota, Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers and several other organizations. The Minnesota Coalition for QBS has developed a handbook for the selection of design professionals that is available in printed form from ACEC/MN or can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document.
The purpose of the handbook is to provide guidance in selecting qualified design professionals and establishing the framework for a successful project. This manual presents suggested procedures for conducting a qualification based selection process, defining a scope of services which adequately addresses the needs of a specific project, and negotiating a fair compensation commensurate with services. Using these procedures can help to clarify and smooth the selection and negotiating processes involved in procuring a design professional.
Owners who follow these procedures gain confidence that they are working with the best qualified design professional for their project and will represent the greatest value to their communities or organizations.