Frequently Asked Questions

What is QBS?

QBS stands for Qualifications Based Selection.  It is a process that helps you select the  best qualified engineer, architect or professional for your project.  This process focuses on helping owners identify the design professional with the optimal qualifications and experience for the project at hand.  The QBS process is:

Easy to implement
Objective and fair and
A well-documented and defensible process

Can I Hire a Firm I’ve Been Working With for 10 Years?

Yes, Indiana law allows Indiana Public Agencies to choose professionals based on qualifications while federal law requires this practice of federal agencies or state and local agencies using federal funds.  If you are satisfied with the professional you currently work with, you may continue to use them without the need to adopt a new selection process. 

Will QBS Save Time and Money?

QBS provides and objective, step-by-step process that allows you to identify and contract with the design professional who has the best qualifications for you specific project.  QBS gets the design professional on board early enough to improve project planning, minimize total project costs and enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Why Is QBS Better Than Bidding Professional Services?

Undertaking a public works project like building a new water treatment plant or bridge for your community can be a daunting process, unlike buying a piece of equipment that you can compare prices.  The professional procured with QBS, will work with you in developing the scope of services to give you the project that YOU want. 

But Isn’t Price Important?

Yes, price is important!  Once you and the design professional have agreed on the scope of services, the two of you negotiate a fair fee for services.  Remember—a good set of plans reduces the life cycle costs of your project! 

Who Uses QBS?

QBS is endorsed and promoted by the American Public Works Association.  Since 1972, with passage of the Brooks Act, the federal government requires QBS for all of it’s procurement of engineering and architectural services.  Please reference the Endorsing Organizations page for a list of agencies and organizations that support and promote QBS.