Canadian Consulting Engineer

Feds seeking consulting industry input on QBS procurement

February 9, 2018

The Government wants to hear from consulting engineering firms about the best practices for purchasing engineering services—considering QBS pilot.


Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has committed to conducting a pilot of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) procurement for engineering and architecture services and is seeking input from the industry.

The central purchasing arm of the federal government is conducting a formal Request for Information eliciting feedback in the form of a 26-question survey.

Consulting engineers from across Canada are being encouraged to participate.


A strong supportive message from the ACEC membership and industry partners is critical to a successful QBS pilot and subsequent adoption by PSPC,” says John Gamble, P.Eng., President & CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies | Canada (ACEC), in a note to members.

ACEC applauds the PSPC leadership for its openness to QBS and its willingness to work with the engineering and architecture sectors.

“ACEC along with the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) and other stakeholders have been working with PSPC for the last few months to familiarize key leaders within the federal government on the many benefits of QBS. As a result, PSPC has committed to conducting a pilot of QBS procurement for engineering and architecture services to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving better outcomes, more innovation and life-cycle savings. However, success will depend on the ACEC membership and other industry players demonstrating its strong support for QBS.”

QBS is a competitive process for the procurement of professional consulting services based on professional qualifications, not on lowest price.

In this scheme, qualifications are submitted to an owner, who evaluates and selects the best-qualified firm or individual(s) for the proposed design, based on technical qualifications. The selected firm and the owner then jointly refine the final scope of work for the procurement, and then the consultant’s fee is negotiated based on the agreed-upon scope of work and the consultant’s submitted rate schedule.

Responses to Request for Information are required by March 13, 2018.


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