Qualifications Based Selection Committee



David Young, PE

Vice President

CDM Smith
75 State St., Suite 701
Boston, MA 02109
Phone: (617) 452-6544
Mary Hall, PE
GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc.
133 Federal St., 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Board Liason

Scott A. Miller, PE, President

Haley and Ward, Inc

63 Great Road, Suite 200

Maynard, MA  01754-2097

W: 978-648-6025

smiller @ haleyward.com


ACEC/MA's QBS Committee works to educate owners about the importance of using Qualifications Based Selection for the procurement of engineering, land surveying and related professional services.


The MA legislature passed an FY2010 Supplemental budget, which included our QBS language.  Please see sections 4, 6 and 22 in the bill for reference.  Other resource materials on QBS are also below:


Link to FY2010 Supplemental Budget with QBS Clarification Language  


Link to 2010 PDF of Powerpoint on QBS: Qualifications Based Selection for Acquiring Architectural and Engineering (Professional) Services 




ACEC/MA 1 Page Chart on the QBS Process


About QBS: 

When procuring design services, government agencies and private companies should award contracts based on the qualifications of the firms. This is known as Qualifications Based Selection. Selection of design professionals using qualifications accomplishes the goals of delivering quality projects at competitive costs while safeguarding the public.


Key Points:

Public agencies that use QBS to procure engineering services can better control construction costs and achieve a consistently high degree of project satisfaction than those using other procurement methods, according to a new two-year study led by Paul S. Chinowsky, PhD, University of Colorado, and Gordon A. Kingsley, PhD, Georgia Tech. QBS should continue to be the procurement method of choice for public contracting officers seeking to acquire A/E services to meet increasingly challenging infrastructure needs.

  • QBS is used by federal agencies, 44 states, and many localities throughout the country. QBS works because:
  • QBS protects the taxpayer. Most individuals would not select medical or legal services based solely on cost – these highly skilled services are too important to leave to the lowest bid. Likewise, engineering is a highly skilled service that should not be selected on the lowest bid. The skill level of the engineer directly affects the health, safety and welfare of the public.
  • QBS also protects the taxpayer’s pocketbook. Over the life of a project, engineering services account for less than one-half of 1 percent of total project costs. Yet these services play a huge role in determining the overall project costs, as well as the quality of the completed project. QBS lowers the overall cost of projects through designs that reduce change orders during construction and minimize long-term maintenance and repair costs.
  • QBS benefits small firms. QBS helps small firms compete by providing a forum to demonstrate their unique capabilities that often include a greater degree of niche market expertise, knowledge of local regulations and business practices, and greater involvement of senior level management in the execution of a project.
  • QBS promotes technical innovation. Using QBS, owners have the opportunity to fully define the Project scope during the selection process. This process fosters innovative, cost-saving and timesaving approaches to problems, the final project to meet or exceed the owner’s goals.