Buying Professional Services: Replacing the Price-Based Request for Proposal With Qualifications Based Selection (Second Edition)

"The best publication I have found dealing with QBS."

- Michael Asner, RFP Mentor

This recently updated handbook by Cal Harrison is designed to help institutional buyers of professional services to find and hire the most qualified expert firms at a fair market price.

It explains the details of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) offering new ways to handle pricing during the selection process as well as new methods for evaluating the qualifications - also referred to as the expertise - of a professional services firm.

Research has proven Qualifications Based Selection brings your organization less risk, lower costs and greater value:

  • Objective, defensible, and credible identification of the most qualified vendors
  • Collaborative instead of adversarial vendor relationships
  • More accurate project pricing meaning fewer cost over-runs
  • Lower procurement costs and reduced procurement time
  • Innovative, value-added project results with higher end-user satisfaction
  • Reduced operating and life-cycle costs of projects

This 51 page e-book is the perfect solution for organizations struggling to find better ways than the expensive, inaccurate and often unethical price-based RFP when selecting professional services including:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Interior Design
  • Advertising
  • Management Consulting
  • IT
  • Market Research
  • Graphic Design
  • Virtually every other custom and complex professional service

Click here to read sample pages

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview 1
Chapter One
You Must Disclose Your Budget 7
Chapter Two
Price Compliance is Mandatory, But Not Evaluated 9
Chapter Three
Defining the Evaluated Decision Criteria (Expertise) vs. Mandatory (Non-Evaluated) Decision Criteria (Everything Else) 11
Chapter Four
Weighting the Evidence of Expertise 15
Chapter Five
Defining the Scoring Rubric for Each Decision Criteria 16
Chapter Six
Confidentiality and Ethics 31
Chapter Seven
Never Request Free Consulting In A Proposal (“Spec Work”) 33
Chapter Eight
Disclosure of Distribution 35
Chapter Nine
Proposal Format – Limiting Proposal Pages 36
Chapter Ten
Interviews 37
Chapter Eleven
Post Award Feed-Back for Vendors 39
Moving Forward 40
Appendix A
The Structure of Your Selection Document (RFQ) 41
Appendix B
QBS Scoring Template 42
Appendix C
The Structure of Your Selection Team 47
About the Author 48

For more information about Cal Harrison visit