Preparing Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) and other Proposal Requirements

This tab discusses some of the steps you are likely to encounter and requirements you may need to satisfy as a prime consultant while preparing an SOQ for an Architectural or Engineering Design contract.

Review Engineering Consultants Award Rules and Guidelines

The Brooks Act is federal legislation, which sets a policy of qualifications based selection for architecture and engineering contracts. That is, all architectural and engineering services projects for ADOT are selected based on qualifications, and only after the selection is made is cost negotiated. 

Contract Types

There are several different types of common professional services contracts. The three most common are

  • Project Specific Contracts — these contracts focus on providing services for particular specified projects (e.g., design a bridge).
  • On-Call Contracts — these contracts designate certain firms as “on-call” and allow ADOT to assign qualifying work to them where it would be impractical, unfeasible, or otherwise undesirable to go through the entire bidding process. While having an on-call contract can be advantageous, there is no guarantee that any work will actually be assigned to your firm as a result of the contract.
  • Supplemental Services Contracts — these contracts allow ADOT to hire individuals or firms to provide ancillary services, either in support of a project specific contract or a general ADOT need.

Review Engineering Consultants Award Rules and Guidelines

Before submitting an SOQ, you should review ADOT’s Engineering Consultants Contract Award and Administration rules, available on the Policies, Procedures and FAQ page.

Learn About Upcoming Projects

After becoming prequalified, you must learn about upcoming design-related projects and decide which ones to pursue. You typically pursue these opportunities by responding to an ADOT solicitation referred to as a Request for Qualifications (RFQ).  An RFQ provides instructions on how to submit a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to be considered for the project.  Be sure to read and follow all of the instructions in the RFQ to ensure your Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) is considered. 

Preparing a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) can be time-consuming and costly, so you must make a business decision to determine which projects to pursue. For more on learning about bid opportunities, see the bidding opportunities page. 

It is worth noting that, during the solicitation period for a project, consultants are not permitted to communicate with any ADOT staff about the project, except to submit questions in writing to the assigned ECS Contract Specialist. Consultants may submit questions as outlined in the RFQ, prior to the proposal deadline.  Therefore, it is important to ask questions of ADOT Project Managers assigned to a project, prior to the project being advertised. 

You can also access an Active Project List for ADOT and Local Public Agencies, which includes the name and contact information of the Project Manager assigned to the project and when the date the project is projected to be advertised. 

A comprehensive list of approved engineering design and construction projects to be advertised are listed on the State Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  A copy of the STIP and its Amendments can be found at in the Transportation Programming section of the ADOT website. 

Download Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Package

Once you have identified upcoming projects you might be interested in pursuing, you should request information on those projects by registering your interest with ADOT. You can do that by filling out the ECS Contract Advertisement Registration Form for a specific project and downloading a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) package for the project from the Engineering Consultants Section (ECS) of the ADOT website. 

Information about upcoming and currently advertised projects is available in the Engineering Consultants Section (ECS) of the ADOT website. 

Begin Preparing your SOQ Proposal

After obtaining all of the necessary information about the proposed project from the RFQ, you can begin preparing your SOQ. The RFQ for a given project includes clear instructions for the required formatting and content of your SOQ submission. Your firm must follow all specific requirements contained in the RFQ or the SOQ will be rejected.  

Amendments to RFQ

ECS may occasionally issue amendments to their original RFQ.  Any consultant who completed the ECS Contract Advertisement Registration form for a specific contract will receive notification when amendments are issued.  Amendments can be accessed on ECS Current Advertisement page.  These amendments must be downloaded and included in the SOQ as specified, or the proposal will be rejected.

Contact with ADOT Staff During Solicitation Period

Once a project is publicly advertised, no further contact is allowed with any ADOT personnel concerning the project except for the Pre-submittal meeting and written questions directed to the assigned Contract Specialist before a specified date.  See the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) document issued by ADOT for more details. 

Identify and Reach Out to Possible Subconsultants

Sometimes prime consultants supplement their SOQs with subconsultants that have specialized expertise or other unique qualifications.

If ADOT has set a DBE goal for the contract, proposers must include DBEs to meet the goal or make good faith efforts to do so. When deciding whether to use a DBE subconsultant, it is critical that you verify that the DBE subconsultant is certified to perform the type of work you wish to use them for. If they are not certified for that type of work, the work they do will not count toward your DBE goal even if they are fully capable of performing the task. For more information on locating DBE subconsultant, see the Contracts with DBE Requirements.

It is often advantageous to be familiar with DBEs and other subconsultants that might be team members in advance of ADOT solicitations. Some subconsultants may also reach out to you looking for work. You may also wish to search the AZ UTRACS Directory to identify the firms that fit your needs.

It should be noted that prime consultants are typically required to complete at least 51 percent of the contract value themselves. This means you need to be sure not to subcontract out more than 49 percent of the work to other firms.

Decide on Subconsultants and Inform Them of Your Decision

You might inform potential subconsultants you have considered but chosen not to include on your team of your decision. While ADOT does not require you to provide feedback to potential subconsultants, doing so may help you when developing teams in the future.

Pre-Submittal Meeting

ECS will sometimes, but not always, hold a pre-submittal meeting prior to the proposal submission deadline. If there will be a pre-submittal meeting, it will be mentioned in the RFQ package. Pre-submittal meetings happen at least seven days before the submittal deadline. All consultants are welcome to attend a pre-submittal meeting, not just those who have previously registered their interest in submitting a proposal.

You are not required to attend pre-submittal meetings, but doing so will likely be beneficial. During a pre-submittal meeting, questions relating to the project are generally discussed and clarified, and instructions about various aspect of the submittal are generally given. 

Online SOQ Submittal

SOQ proposals can only be submitted online, and only through the eCMS website. As consultant contracts are awarded on a qualifications basis, work-hour estimates and price information cannot be included in the SOQ. No submissions will be accepted past the deadline noted in the RFQ package.

If your proposal is rejected before evaluation on the basis of incorrect formatting or a similar issue, you will have three business days to protest by detailing in writing the reasons for your appeal and submitting it to the ECS Manager who will then respond to your appeal within three days. The ECS Manager’s decision is final.

Firms without ECS contracts can access the eCMS website through the ADOT website. Firms with ECS contracts can access through eCMS Single Signon. Instructions can be found on the Engineering Consultants Section of the ADOT website. 

ECS provides an online submittal test page for firms to practice submission of their proposal before submitting a real one to help ensure no glitches occur when submitting proposals close to the due date. The link to the online submittal test page is found on the Engineering Consultants section of the ADOT website. 

SOQ Submittal Forms

Along with your SOQ, you must submit a number of forms, including the proposer’s solicitation list noting all consultants and subconsultants that were solicited or showed an interest in working on the contract. You can find a copy of the SOQ proposer’s solicitation list form on the ADOT website. 

Other required ECS forms can be found in the Engineering Consultants section of the ADOT website.


Business Coaching
Your guide to bidding jobs

Business Coach Home
Start Here
Be a DBE or SBC
Bid Jobs
Do Work
Get Forms