Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is QBS?

A: QBS stands for Qualifications-Based Selection. It is the objective and fair process that owners use to select architects, engineers, land surveyors and other design professionals based on the design professionals’ qualifications in relation to the scope of the project.


Q: How can you save time and money selecting design professionals for public projects?

A: By Using the QBS Facilitator Program-Design Selection in the Public Interest


Q: How can QBS help?

A: Selecting a design professional is one of the key components of a successful project. The design team’s performance can influence the entire course of the project: financial, feasibility, public response, design, functional efficiency, construction costs, and maintenance costs during the life of the project.
That’s why it is essential that you get the right design professionals for this critical job. The Connecticut QBS Council can help you establish an impartial,  step-by-step process to select design professionals based on their qualifications related to your project.


Q: What are the basic steps in the QBS process?

A: The QBS process can be summarized in four steps:

(1) The agency invites interested firms to submit information about their qualifications.

(2) The agency then reviews the qualifications and selects a “short list” of three to five firms.

(3) The agency interviews each firm to discuss its qualifications, experience, and approach .

(4) The agency ranks the firms and invites the top firm to negotiate a formal agreement. After a detailed scope of services is agreed upon, the firm’s fee is negotiated. If an agreement cannot be reached, which is unusual, the agency negotiates with the next highest rated firm.


Q: How can I learn more about QBS?

A: The Connecticut QBS Council has an experienced, knowledgeable, independent professionals who act as facilitators to assist elected officials, building committees, municipal staff and private owners in establishing a selection process tailored to their particular needs.


Q: How does the facilitator work with agencies?

A: A QBS facilitator works “one-on-one” with agencies to assist the owner in developing a process for selecting a competent and qualified design team. His or her job is to provide information, draft materials, offer guidance, supply directories of design professionals, and provide other resources. the faciitator will not try to influence the selection of any particular design professionals or firms. Facilitators will not participate in the selection process itself or act as an intermediary in negotiating a contract.


Q: How much does the QBS Facilitator cost?

A: The facilitator program is free to owners, both public and private.


Q: Who sponsors this program?

A: The Connecticut QBS Council is a non-profit organization sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors.


Q: Why do they sponsor this service?

A: Many public owners don’t require professional design services often enough to know how to select design professionals in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

  • The QBS process:
    Saves the owner time and money through an organized approach that involves the design team early enough to improve project planning, reduce total project costs and prevent costly mistakes
  • Produces a better quality project to meet the agency’s needs and goals.
  • Encourages a team effort between the public officials and the design professionals, therefore providing increased satisfaction.
  • Allows design firms to better prepare and plan for interviews based on a fair and uniform set of criteria and information shared equally with all firms.


Q: What agencies now use the QBS process?

A: QBS is required by law for the selection of design professionals for all federal projects. In Connecticut, the Departments of Transportation and Public Works and numerous cities and towns follow QBS procedures.


Q: Where can you get more information about QBS?

A: That’s easy. Write, call or email the Connecticut QBS Council at (860) 635-5522, and you will receive a prompt reply.