Procurement of Engineering Services (QBS)

NSPE Position Statement No. 08-131
Latest Revision: 
January 2023
Sunset Date: 
September 2024
NSPE Contact: 
Committee on Policy and Advocacy
Professional Policy Supported: 
Printable Version: 

It is the policy of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) that all engineering services should be performed by qualified engineers on the basis of design ability, experience, integrity and judgment. Engineering is a learned profession, requiring of its members sound technical experience, personal ability, education, honesty, and integrity.

To implement this principle, NSPE supports a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) procedure for all engineering services procurement. With QBS, the interests of all professional services users are best served by a selection procedure for all engineering services on the basis of qualifications, including technical competence and staff consistent with the requirement of the project. The selection procedure should address specialized knowledge and skill, experience in the type of project involved, assignment of qualified personnel, ability of the engineers to perform on a timely basis, recognition of the importance of total cost of the project within budgetary limitations, and such other areas of expertise as may be identified by the owner for prime consultant services, or the prime consultant for the subconsultant services.

NSPE recommends a QBS procedure for procurement of consultant and subconsultant engineering services that recognizes the desirability of the opportunity for engineers and firms to be considered on their merits in the selection process, and further recognize that a means be provided whereby professionally qualified engineers or firms be ranked on the basis of ability to provide the service, followed by negotiations with the best qualified engineer or firm to determine a mutually satisfactory agreement for the scope of services agreed upon.

Reference: Board of Directors Action 96-046, 7/96,