HBP Part 7.5.7. Request for Qualifications - Used to Qualify Suppliers

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: March 5, 2012
Last revised: August 31, 2015
Issued by: Purchasing


A. Guidelines

A Request for Qualifications is used to identify a group of vendors who meet a set of minimum qualifications in order to submit proposals for a planned solicitation. Only qualified vendors are permitted to submit proposals to the solicitation.

Requests for Qualifications add time to the overall solicitation process, but can be valuable in situations where:

  • many suppliers provide the goods or service, but the overall quality, reputation, and capabilities are widely variable.
  • aspects of the solicitation are confidential and there is a need to restrict access to information that would otherwise be publically posted.
  • it is unclear whether one supplier has a unique or proprietary offering that could be justified as an exclusive acquisition procurement.

B. Procedure

  1. The decision to use the Request for Qualifications process is generally made through discussions between the requesting department and the Purchasing OfficeNote: Since this process does not conclude with a contract award suppliers are not asked to provide pricing or delivery information.
  2. The Purchasing Office and the department develop a general scope of work (SOW) along with a set of questions that will be asked of the suppliers to determine their qualifications for the project.
  3. The department identifies a team of end users/subject matter experts to review vendor submissions and score the responses. The team develops a scoring methodology that will be used in the scoring process. Team members each sign a Non-Disclosure/Conflict of Interest statement. The designated Purchasing Office buyer will provide the form.
  4. The Request for Qualifications is posted for a minimum of two weeks.
  5. The evaluation team scores the responses and identifies those suppliers who meet the minimum qualification requirements. Only qualified suppliers are asked to participate in any subsequent solicitation.
  6. When the Request for Qualifications is concluded, the university may or may not issue a solicitation.



Part 7. Purchasing - Table of Contents