The Association of Consulting Engineers of B.C. (ACEC-BC) have launched a website to encourage the use of Qualification Based Selection (QBS). It provides information about the benefits of QBS as the preferred method for procuring design services.
In addition to guides and studies that provide detailed explanation of QBS and overviews of the collective experience, there are a number of templates and resource documents that will help owners implement QBS. The website also features a brief introductory video explaining the basic concept of the QBS process. ACEC-BC stated that it and its members share the owners objective to obtain the most cost-effective designs that result in safe and efficient projects. They believe that implementing QBS results in hiring the most qualified professional design provider at a reasonable price.
"Engineering fees are a modest, but critical, investment in the success of a project. By using QBS, there is a significant return on your investment through better quality and life-cycle savings," said ACEC Canada President and CEO John Gamble. According to ACEC, from a quantitative perspective, QBS based projects exhibit better measures than the national average in terms of both lower construction costs and lower schedule growth, which are key indicators of design impact on the constructed facility. "ACEC-BC is pleased to create a website that brings together QBS-related information in one convenient location. Even though QBS has been used in Ontario, Alberta and just recently legislated in Quebec, the Canadian experience is not well documented", said Keith Sashaw, president of ACEC-BC. "ACEC-BC wants to fill this void and ensure procurement officials and consulting engineers have the tools, materials and knowledge to pursue QBS with confidence and success."
Sashaw also explained that the website and video received support from ACEC-Canada (national organization), Consulting Engineers of Alberta, as well as from consulting engineering associations from nine other provinces and two territories and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. He said B.C. Ministry of Transportation uses a form of QBS and it is also supported by Quebec. Locally it used by jurisdictions like the City of Coquitlam and Nanaimo.
"At the end of the day, the owner that uses QBS is going to get a much better project," Sashaw said, adding that for many owners it is simply not what they have been used to in the past. ACEC-BC stated its intent is to promote and encourage the public and private sectors to use bidding processes that are fair, open and transparent.