Sunday, May 9, 2010

Study Supports Use of Qualifications-Based Selection for Design Professionals

According to a study developed at the request of the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) of design professionals (architects and engineers) on public projects has a number of benefits.  

QBS is a system that requires the selection of the most qualified design firms, without using cost as a selection criterion.  The cost of the design is negotiated with the most qualified firm before a contract is executed.

Key findings from the June 2008 report include the following strengths of the using QBS:
  • Ensures Cost-Effectiveness
  • Results in Better Projects and Highly Satisfied Owners
  • Lowers Risk for Complex Projects
  • Encourages Innovation, Protects Intellectual Property
  • Takes Account of Emerging Societal Issues
  • Supports Owner Capacity Building
Federal projects require the use of QBS under the Brooks Act, and most states have adopted similar QBS requirements for non-federally funded public design projects.

In Washington State, chapter 39.80 RCW is a QBS requirement.
To read to entire 52 page report from APWA and ACEC, click here.

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