Architectural and engineering design and consulting contracts are not commodities. They are expert services based on years of education and experience provided by skilled professionals who apply technical expertise, innovation, and technology to solve challenges. One architect or engineer is not the same as another. You must choose carefully. You must evaluate quality, experience, and the trust you have in the provider. Otherwise, you can waste significant time and money, and receive only frustration and failure in return. Qualifications–Based Selection (QBS), on the other hand, maximizes quality, value, cost– effectiveness, and usefulness. It is the key to a successful project.

What is QBS?
Qualifications–Based Selection was established by Congress in 1972 as a part of the Brooks Act (P.L. 92–582), developed as a process for federal agencies to use for the selection of architectural and engineering services for public projects. It is a competitive contract procurement process whereby consulting firms submit qualifications to a procuring entity (Owner) who evaluates and selects the most qualified firm, and then negotiates the project scope of work, schedule, budget, and consultant fee.

The Federal Agencies using QBS have been so successful that the QBS process has been adopted by 44 states, and thousands of state, county, and municipal government agencies. The QBS process is also endorsed by the American Bar Association, the American Public Works Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Institute of Architects, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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