InfraGuide - Best Practice Guide to Selecting a Professional Consultant

What is the best way to procure engineering services for an infrastructure project? Leaders in the public sector, such as provincial governments, municipalities and public utilities now have the answer. The National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure (InfraGuide) has just released a Best Practice for Selecting a Professional Consultant. This Best Practice promotes the principles of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) rather than price-based selection as the best method for selecting professional engineers and other consultants.

“With the InfraGuide Best Practice, infrastructure agencies
now have the right tool to select engineers.”

For further information about the InfraGuide Best Practice, see

User Guide to Implementing Qualifications Based Selection

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Best Practices for Selecting your Design Professional

A comprehensive guide on how to successfully implement Qualifications Based Selection (QBS).  The guide provides detailed explanations of QBS, which has been recognized by the Canadian federal government, the National Research Council of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as the Best Practice for selecting a design professional.

One key feature of the guide are the many templates that can be used to implement QBS, dealing with everything from project description, to how to prepare a Request for Qualification, to evaluating RFPs and selecting the best qualified consultant.

Why ACEC-BC Opposes Reverse Auctions for Engineering Services

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A Reverse Auction is a method of procurement arranged by an Owner that involves a live online bidding competition which allows interested bidders to review the most recent accepted bid and submit a lower bid until either a desired price is obtained, or a fixed time limit expires.

Why ACEC-BC Opposes Reverse Auctions for Engineering Services explains why reverse auctions will seldom provide benefits comparable to currently recognized selection procedures for design professionals, and how Qualification Based Selection provides better life-cycle value to owners.

2018 Consulting Engineers Fee Guideline

   Acecbcfeeguide Thumb Where tasks and services are well defined, lump sum pricing may be an appropriate method of compensation. Where fees are to be charged on a time basis, the hourly rates provided in the 2018 Consulting Engineers Fee Guideline are recommended (a printer-friendly version of the Guideline can be found here).

Appointing Your Consulting Engineer Using Qualifications Based Selection

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Many clients develop long-term relationships with a consulting engineering firm. This “sole source” selection process is recognized as a preferred method of consultant selection. When sole sourcing is not appropriate, it is best to use a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) system for choosing consultants. More information on QBS is available in the CEBC brochure Appointing Your Consulting Engineer Using Qualifications Based Selection and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities National Guide to Sustainable Infrastructure Best Practice Guide on Selecting a Professional Consultant (as noted above).

* also be sure to see our latest QBS Resource,

Budget Guidelines for Consulting Engineering Services

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The Budget Guidelines for Consulting Engineering Services provide guidance for establishing fee budgets for traditional engineering projects in British Columbia. The document was developed jointly by ACEC British Columbia and APEGBC. Its purpose is to provide fee budgets which should normally be appropriate
compensation for:

  • the professional work required to meet the necessary standards of engineering care and quality;
  • the professional’s obligations under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act and By-laws; and
  • continuing professional development and skills training


The fee budgets identified in this document reflect the level of service professional engineers must provide to meet the standard of care identified in the APEGBC practice guidelines. These practice guidelines are available on the APEGBC website ( The guidelines identify the level of effort, standard of care and due diligence a member must provide to fulfill their professional obligation under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act, By-laws and Code of Ethics.

Additionally, this document is intended to guide the development of adequate budgets that enhance the creation of sustainable, value added engineering services. Sustainability and providing long-term value for stakeholders is only achieved through proper planning and engineering of the entire project lifecycle. Decisions made during the planning and design phases not only determine whether or not the project delivers the intended service to satisfy the original need, but will also directly affect the entire service life — and hence cost — of the project. Reducing investment at the design stage can result in significantly higher capital, operating and maintenance costs throughout the life of the project.

Both engineers and geoscientists may use this document, since the concepts are generally relevant to both professions providing professional services on engineering and environmental projects. Aspects of this document may also be a useful reference for professional geoscientists providing services in a wide range of other fields.