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.