Unlike an IFB, ITB, or a RFP, price is not a factor under the solicitation Request for Qualifications (RFQ). A RFQ is generally a written request for proposers or bidders to compete for a project based on their experience and ability to perform the project. Like an IFB or RFP, RFQ specifications may contain a statement or scope of the work sought, evaluation criteria, and minimum standards.
Sometimes an RFQ is used narrow the field of proposers in preparation for an RFP or ITB. For example, if there is a project to build a unique structure, such as a LEED-certified public building, an RFQ may be used to determine what firms that are interested in the project have LEED experience. Once those firms are selected, an RFP process can be used for those qualified firms to submit proposals for the project. An RFQ can also be used to select qualified people or firms which can be assigned duties as the need arises over a period of time. For instance, an RFQ process may be used to select an electrician who may enter into contacts with the agency in the future.
RFQs are typically used in the selection of persons to perform professional services under Florida’s Consultant’s Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA), because the professionals’ qualifications are usually among the most important criteria of the evaluation.
RFQs are similar to Requests for Letters of Interest (“RLI”), which request firms to set forth the qualifications of its members, and provide any other information required. RFQs are different, however, from Requests for Quotes or Quotations, which are usually requests to an agency’s current vendors to seek additional competition or to determine whether a price, term, or condition more favorable to the agency is available. Usually the vendor that offers the best value is selected.