A Request for Qualifications is used to identify a group of suppliers who meet a set of minimum qualifications in order to submit proposals for a planned solicitation. Only qualified suppliers are then 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 services, 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 the 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 Qualification process is generally made through discussions between the requesting department and the Office of Contracts and Procurement (CNP). Note: Since this process does not conclude with a contract award, suppliers are not asked to provide pricing or delivery information.
- CNP staff 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 supplier 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 CNP staff member provides the form.
- The Request for Qualifications is posted for a minimum of two (2) 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 an subsequent solicitation.
- When the Request for Qualifications is concluded, UT System may or may not issue a solicitation.