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Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: 
Last revised: 
Issued by: 

March 5, 2012
March 5, 2012


Part 7. Purchasing - Table of Contents


A. Guidelines

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 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.

RFQ adds time to the overall solicitation process, but can be valuable in situations where:

  • many vendors 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 vendor has a unique or proprietary offering that could be justified as a sole source procurement.

B. Procedure

  1. The decision to use the RFQ process is generally made through discussions between the requesting department and the Purchasing Office. Note: Since the RFQ process does not conclude with a contract award, the department does not have to submit a requisition document, and vendors 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 vendors 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 buyer will provide the form.
  4. The RFQ is posted for a minimum of two weeks.
  5. The evaluation team scores the responses and identifies those vendors who meet the minimum qualification requirements. Only qualified vendors are asked to participate in any subsequent solicitation.
  6. When the RFQ is concluded, the university may or may not issue a solicitation.



Part 7. Purchasing - Table of Contents