DISTRICT FAQS

Overview

Are school districts required to pre-qualify bidders?

Beginning January 1, 2014 Section 20111.6 of the Public Contract Code (added by Assembly Bill 1565) requires a school district with 2,500 or more students to pre-qualify bidders for construction contracts greater than $1,000,000 when the project is funded, in whole or in part, with State bond funds. The contractor, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) subcontractors must be pre-qualified before bids can be accepted.

In addition, school districts may choose to pre-qualify bidders for other projects per Section 20111.5 of the Public Contract Code.

How was the Quality Bidders standardized questionnaire developed?

The questions were initially developed by a team assembled from several San Diego County school districts. Questions are based on DIR guidelines and field experience managing pre-qualification programs in school districts. Future revisions will be made based on input from participating districts and leading contractor groups.

What is the cost to the District to participate in Quality Bidders?

District access to Quality Bidders is charged on an annual basis. The fee is based on the number of students served by each district. The fee is a fraction of the savings provided by automating the process to collect, score and process applications.

What is CUPCCA?

CUPCCA is an acronym for California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting. CUPCCA is a program created in 1983 by the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act, which is enacted in Public Contracts Code Sections 22000 through 22045. School districts that choose to adopt CUPCCA procedures may perform public project work up to $45,000 with their own work force, and informally bid construction projects up to $175,000 to contractors.

How does Quality Bidders support both Bidder Pre-Qualification and CUPCCA?

Quality Bidders builds and maintains two lists. Districts that have adopted CUPCCA are required to maintain a list of qualified and interested bidders for projects up to $175,000, Quality Bidders builds and maintains this list — the CUPCCA application is a simple 2-step questionnaire. The Quality Bidders standardized questionnaire used to build and maintain the Pre-Qualified Bidder list for larger projects is comprised of 5-steps and satisfies DIR and AB 1565 requirements.

Processing Applications

What happens when a Bidder submits one application to several Districts?

The system automatically makes copies of the application and submits a copy to each District selected.

Does the District have to check online to see if an application is received?

No. Once a Bidder submits a complete application, Quality Bidders notifies the District via email.

When viewing the listing of submitted applications, can the list be sorted by license type?

Yes. From the Reports tab, you can query the listing by the following fields: Company, Address, License Classification, Status, Expiration Date.

Can Bidder listings be exported for District's to use as email/mailing lists?

Yes. From the Reports tab you can export to PDF or Excel. The Dashboards tab sends email addresses directly to your email application for quick notifications to selected qualified contractors.

Staying Safe

Is the Bidder's information confidential?

A Per Section 20111.6, the questionnaires and financial statements shall not be public records and shall not be open to public inspection; however, records of the names of Bidders applying for pre-qualification status shall be public records subject to disclosure under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

Is the submitted application security protected?

All data is stored on a set of secured servers in a protected environment that has passed industry security standards. All documents that are uploaded are encrypted and are only accessible by authorized personnel. All data passing through the Internet is encrypted during transit to prevent exposure to unapproved parties.

Getting Help

How can a Bidder contact the District?

The Bidder can access the Contact Tab and select a District to send an email.

What kind of technical support is offered?

Access the Tab called Contact Us to send an email to Technical Support.

CONTRACTOR FAQS

Submitting an Application

Do I need to pre-qualify to bid on district projects?

California school districts may require contractors to submit a standardized questionnaire and financial statements to determine if they're qualified to bid. Contractors must declare, under penalty of perjury, that submitted information is true. Submitted questionnaires and financial statements are not public records and shall not be open to the public.

Public Contract Code 20111.5 enables districts to require contractors to be pre-qualified prior to accepting bids.

Public Contract Code 20111.6 requires districts to pre-qualify contractor, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) subcontractors before bids can be accepted when projects are funded in part by State bonds. Pre-Qualification applies to the following licenses:
  • General Contractors (A and B)
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing subcontractors (C-4, C-7, C-10, C-16, C-20, C-34, C-36, C-38, C-42, C-43, C-51, and C-46)

How do I apply to pre-qualify to bid on districts projects?

The pre-qualification process will begin with online registration. Once registered, you will be directed to an online Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. After completing the Questionnaire, you can submit it to one or more participating districts.

Does it cost to pre-qualify to bid for projects in participating districts?

No, this service is provided to you at no cost.

How do I attach documents?

There will be an attachment control on questions requiring attachments. You will be able to browse your computer's files and select the appropriate file to upload.

What will happen after I submit my questionnaire?

Each district you submitted to will receive a copy of your pre-qualification questionnaire and attachments. Each district will review and will use this information as the basis for rating you with respect to the size and scope of contracts that you are pre-qualified to bid for.

How will I know if I'm pre-qualified to bid?

You will be sent an email notifying you of your status and your bid limit. Your company name will be added to the district's publically available pre-qualified bidders list if the district determines that you are pre-qualified.

How do districts determine if I'm qualified?

The Quality Bidders standardized questionnaire is based on guidelines for rating bidders developed by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Each district has adopted and applied a uniform system of rating bidders on the basis of the completed questionnaire and financial statements.

What can I do if a District says I'm not qualified?

Contractor who has submitted a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, and who receives a rating of "not qualified" from a District may appeal that determination. There is no appeal from a finding that a Contractor is not pre-qualified because of a late applications or a failure to submit required information, but re-application during one of the designated time periods is permitted. A Contractor may appeal a District's decision with respect to its request for pre-qualification, and request a hearing, by giving notice to the District no later than ten business days after receipt of notice of its qualification status. Notice(s) shall be sent to the appropriate District's address. The districts' addresses will be displayed on the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. Unless a Contractor files a timely appeal, the Contractor waives any and all rights to challenge the qualification decision of the District, whether by administrative process, judicial process or any other legal process or proceeding.

If the Contractor gives the required notice of appeal and requests a hearing, the hearing shall be conducted no later than ten business days after the District's receipt of its Notice of Appeal. The hearing so provided shall be an informal process conducted by a panel to which the District has delegated responsibility to hear such appeals (the "Appeals Panel"). At or prior to the hearing, the Contractor will be advised of the basis for the District's pre-qualification determination. The Contractor will be given the opportunity to present information and present reasons in opposition to the pre-qualification determination. At the conclusion of the hearing or no later than one day after completion of the hearing, the Appeals Panel will render its decision. The date for submission and opening of bids for a specific project will not be delayed or postponed to allow for completion of an appeal process.

How is my pre-qualified dollar bid limit determined?

This determination varies with each district, but typically is based upon an evaluation of your Aggregate Bonding Capacity, financial stability, value of previous public education projects, and questionnaire score.

What if I can't complete the questionnaire in one session?

You can save your work at any time and return to your Questionnaire at a later to complete the process.

How do I renew my application?

You will receive an email notification prior to expiration of your term. To renew, just login, copy your previous application, update the questionnaire with new/revised info, and resubmit for another one-year term.

Getting Started

How do I access the online questionnaire?

First you will log on to the Quality Bidders site and select sign up. You will be directed to fill out basic information, such as company name, your name, email address etc. You create a password that you want to use. Agree to the Terms and Conditions and select Sign Up. You will then be sent an email instructing you to confirm your Sign up request. Once you select confirm, you will be directed back to the Quality Bidders site, where you select the Application tab and began to fill out the Questionnaire.

What if I don't get a confirmation email?

Go back to the main Quality Bidders site and select Sign Up. There will be a link on that screen that says "Didn't receive confirmation instructions". You will be directed to enter in your email address, and then press Resend Confirmation Instructions. You will be sent an email with instructions how to confirm your Sign up request.

What if I forget my password?

Go back to the main QualityBidders site and select Sign Up. There will be a link on that screen that says "Forgot your password". You will be directed be directed to enter in your email address, and then press Send Reset Password Instructions. You will be sent an email with instructions how to re-set your password.

Getting Help

What if I need to contact a district?

Access the tab labeled 'Contact' where you can get help by sending a message directly to the district you are interested in contacting.

What if I have technical trouble with the questionnaire?

Access the tab labeled 'Contact' where you can get help by sending a message directly to the technical support team.

Staying Safe

Is my information confidential?

Yes. The questionnaires and financial statements shall not be public records and shall not be open to public inspection. However, the names of contractors applying for pre-qualification status is subject to disclosure under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

How is the information I submit with my application protected?

All data is stored on a set of secured servers in a protected environment that has passed industry standard security standards. All documents that are uploaded are encrypted and are only accessible by authorized personnel. All data passing through the Internet is encrypted during transit to prevent exposure to unapproved parties.