It’s quality that brings success

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Courtesy of XCG Consultants Ltd.

Consider the following: When you seek legal advice, do you choose a lawyer that simply offers the lowest price? What
about a dentist? Or a financial advisor?  The answer is no – you make your choice based on demonstrated expertise
and experience, in other words, qualifications.

The same should apply to engineering consultants, but for most government-funded projects in Ontario it does not – yet. But that may be about to change. On June 29, 2006, the National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure (known as InfraGuide) released a brand new best practice guide, Selecting a Professional Consultant. This guide reflects the principles of Qualifications- Based Selection (QBS), a method of contracting for engineering services that has been long established in the United States, but has only recently gained a profile in Ontario.

QBS, also known as negotiated procurement, is a process that involves receiving and evaluating consultant submissions in response to a public notice of an intended project, selecting the best consultant for the intended project, and negotiating a mutually acceptable contract.

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