Links and Frequently Asked Questions


Infraguide: Decision Making and Investment Planning

Current funding levels are insufficient to meet infrastructure needs. The net effect is that infrastructure is deteriorating rapidly. Elected officials and senior municipal administrators need a framework for articulating the value of infrastructure planning and maintenance, while balancing social, environmental and economic factors.


In this guide you will find examples of protocols for determining costs and benefits associated with desired levels of service; and strategic benchmarks, indicators or reference points for investment policy and planning decisions. Read more…


Engineering in BC Supplement Features QBS

QBS Supplement 2015After the successful launch of the “ACEC Engineering in BC” supplement in October 2014, ACEC-BC is proud to partner once again with Business in Vancouver.

The theme for the 2015 edition is “Best Practices for Procurement.” The success of any project often depends upon obtaining the most capable, experienced and reputable engineering expertise available. Selecting a consulting engineering is, therefore, one of the most important decisions an owner makes.

ACEC-BC wants to inform our audience how a transparent, fair and open selection process is the optimum approach for everyone involved in a project. Our goal is to lead the way for a positive change in the industry. Download the publication.

An Analysis of Issues Pertaining to Qualifications-Based Selection

An Analysis of Issues Pertaining to QBS
Public agencies that use Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) to procure architectural and engineering (A/E) services are better able to control con – struction costs and achieve a consistently high degree of project satisfaction than those using other procurement meth – ods, according to a two-year study…read more



Templates, Guides & Courses

User Guide to Implementing Qualifications Based Selection
Best Practices for Selecting your Design Professional

acecbcUG-QBS-thumbA comprehensive guide on how to successfully implement Qualifications Based Selection (QBS). The guide provides detailed explanations of QBS, which has been recognized by the Canadian federal government, the National Research Council of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as the Best Practice for selecting a design professional.

One key feature of the guide are the many templates that can be used to implement QBS, dealing with everything from project description, to how to prepare a Request for Qualification, to evaluating RFPs and selecting the best qualified consultant.  Download the user guide.

Guidelines for Municipalities: Selecting Your Professional Services Team

Guidelines for Municipalities - Selecting your professional services team
Published by the Consulting Engineers of Alberta, a comprehensive guide on the QBS process and benefits. The appendix lists a variety of templates to help you prepare for your next QBS project. Download the guide.





Quality Based Consultant Selection Guide

Published by  FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers)

Quality Based Consultant Selection Guide
This guide explains best practice for the selection of Consultancy Services providers. It explains the rationale of Quality Based Selection (QBS) whereby the most appropriate Consultancy Firm for a project is chosen on the basis of its skill, experience and other essential attributes, leading to the negotiation of a mutually agreed remuneration for an agreed scope of services. It also briefly discusses the disadvantages of selection methods that include the incorporation of price as an attribute and points to the dangers that are inherent in their use. The guide also outlines methods of negotiating fees that are reasonable and fair to both parties. Read more…

OAA Quality Based Selection Kit

OAA Logo
The Ontario Association of Architects has developed a QBS tool kit to provide guidance for clients/owners who are seeking to select and engage a professional consultant. To compliment the tool kit are QBS Templates and QBS pre-filled templates with samples of responses.

Online QBS Course for Project Managers

Learn the core principals in selecting professional consultants. Course outline.

PowerPoint Presentation on QBS by ACEC Canada

The material was presented in Whitehorse by John Gamble, President & CEO of ACEC Canada in February 2016. This presentation guides clients/owners who are seeking to select and engage a professional consultant. Download the Presentation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does "scope of work" mean?

The scope of work is a definition of the project and the services to be provided to secure its execution, including specific tasks necessary for completion. The negotiation period of the scope is an excellent opportunity to also discuss alternative solutions or approaches to the project.

Does QBS inhibit competition?

No, what it does is focus the competition for professional services away from price, and towards more meaningful factors that should be considered during the solicitation process: qualifications, previous performance, competence, and availability.

There is a lack of agreement during negotiations – what can I do?

If you and the firm cannot reach agreement on the scope of work and compensation, negotiations with the top-ranked firm are formally terminated, and you may enter into negotiations with the second ranked firm. The process may be repeated until agreement is reached.

During a short list or interview type of arrangement, as the client, may I ask the consultant to give a price?

Until the consultant is selected for the provision of service and negotiations are entered into to establish fee, price should not be given.