Handbook of Business Procedures
7.5.7. REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS - USED TO QUALIFY SUPPLIERS
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.
- The decision to use the Request for Qualifications process is generally made through discussions between the requesting department and the Purchasing Office. Note: Since this process does not conclude with a contract award suppliers are not asked to provide pricing or delivery information.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Request for Qualifications is posted for a minimum of two weeks.
- 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.
- When the Request for Qualifications is concluded, the university may or may not issue a solicitation.