What is QBS?
Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is a procurement process through which firms compete for work based on experience and technical expertise rather than competing for the lowest cost bid. Under QBS, after firms are evaluated and shortlisted based on their qualifications, the top-ranked firm is selected for price negotiations, and, ideally, a fair and reasonable price is reached based on a detailed scope of the project. If an agreement on price cannot be reached with the most qualified firm, negotiations commence with the second most qualified firm. In most cases, the top-ranked firm is selected at a price that fits the client's budget.
Report: An Analysis of QBS in the Procurement of Engineering Services
Research Shows QBS Remains the Primary Procurement Tool for Competitive Bidding, Particularly Among State Governments
The new updated Analysis of QBS in the Procurement of Engineering Services finds that QBS provides direct benefits in both the design and construction phases of a wide variety of public and private sector projects. From a direct cost and schedule benefits to indirect benefits of reduced management issues and increased innovation, QBS demonstrates a clear benefit when applied across a host of project types, sizes, and geographic regions.
Here are the key findings:
- QBS saves money. Projects that used QBS to procure engineering services had less cost growth (3%) versus the national average (6%).
- QBS saves time. QBS projects have better project delivery time with less schedule growth versus the national average (7% with QBS versus 10% without).
- QBS projects have high client satisfaction. With QBS projects, 89% receive “high” or “very high” satisfaction ratings from project owners.
- QBS promotes innovation. Projects incorporating QBS have a greater likelihood of producing innovative solutions.
The data shows QBS provides a clear benefit when applied across a host of project types, sizes, and geographic regions, an important finding as implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) ramps up and America’s critical infrastructure undergoes a long-overdue upgrade.