Bridging the Gap: Inside the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee

Since 1990, the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee has been a vital bridge between the consulting engineering community and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). This dedicated group fosters open communication, collaboration, and understanding, ultimately leading to better infrastructure projects for the Granite State.

Open Doors for Collaboration

The CQI Committee welcomes six representatives from ACEC-NH member firms, each serving with term limits to ensure broad participation. NHDOT’s six representatives traditionally include the administrators from the various NHDOT Bureaus. This diverse team brings a wealth of experience and perspectives to the table, enriching discussions and solutions.

Subcommittees Driving Progress

To tackle specific areas of concern, the CQI Committee has established several active subcommittees:

  • NHDOT/ACEC-NH Technical Transfer Conference: This subcommittee organizes the annual conference, a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and professional development for both NHDOT personnel and consultants.
  • Contracts Subcommittee: This group reviews and provides input on NHDOT contract documents and procedures, aiming for clarity, fairness, and efficiency.
  • Bridge and Highway Review Subcommittee: Dedicated to ensuring the quality and safety of New Hampshire’s bridges and highways, this subcommittee reviews project plans and offers constructive feedback.

Benefits for All

Participating in the CQI Committee offers numerous benefits for both consultants and NHDOT:

  • Improved Communication: Regular dialogue fosters mutual understanding and reduces friction, leading to smoother project execution.
  • Enhanced Project Quality: Shared expertise and insights contribute to better project planning, design, and construction.
  • Streamlined Processes: By collaboratively reviewing contracts and procedures, the committee helps streamline processes and eliminate inefficiencies.
  • Professional Development: Active participation provides valuable learning opportunities for committee members, keeping them abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices.

Get Involved, Make a Difference

If you’re an ACEC-NH member firm interested in contributing to the success of New Hampshire’s infrastructure projects, consider joining the CQI Committee. By sharing your expertise and collaborating with colleagues and NHDOT personnel, you can help shape the future of transportation in the state.

For more information on the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee and its guidelines for participation, please refer to the attached PDF.

Additionally, we encourage you to visit the ACEC-NH website to learn more about the organization and its many other initiatives. Together, we can build a better future for New Hampshire’s infrastructure!

Celebrating the EPA’s SepticSmart Week!

Are you ready to join us in celebrating the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SepticSmart Week? This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the essential aspects of using and caring for your septic system. Below we have shared the SepticSmart Quick Tip Video filled with valuable insights to help you understand how your septic system functions, what to avoid disposing of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Whether you’re looking to educate clients or enhance your own knowledge, these tips will be a valuable addition to your septic system toolkit.

EPA’s SepticSmart Week is an excellent opportunity to enhance your understanding of septic systems and their proper care. The SepticSmart Quick Tip Video provides essential information on how your septic system works, what not to dispose of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Share these valuable insights with your clients or add them to your knowledge bank to ensure your septic system remains in optimal condition. Together, we can promote better septic system management for a healthier environment and safer drinking water.

What is QBS?

In the world of procurement, an approach known as Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is gaining traction for its emphasis on experience and technical expertise over the traditional race for the lowest cost bid. QBS is revolutionizing the way firms compete for projects, with the aim of delivering high-quality results and fostering fairness in pricing negotiations.

Under the QBS framework, firms vie for contracts based on their qualifications rather than bidding the lowest price. Here’s how the process unfolds:

  1. Qualification Evaluation: The procurement process begins with an evaluation of firms’ qualifications. This evaluation considers factors such as their experience, technical expertise, past performance, and relevant credentials. Firms are shortlisted based on these qualifications.
  2. Selection of the Top-Ranked Firm: After the qualification evaluation, the top-ranked firm is selected for further negotiations. This firm is chosen for its demonstrated ability to meet the project’s technical requirements effectively.
  3. Price Negotiations: With the top-ranked firm selected, price negotiations commence. The goal is to arrive at a fair and reasonable price that aligns with the project’s detailed scope. This negotiation is informed by the firm’s qualifications and expertise, ensuring that value and quality are at the forefront of the discussion.
  4. Client’s Budget Alignment: In most cases, the price negotiated with the top-ranked firm aligns with the client’s budget, thanks to the detailed scope and the focus on qualifications. This results in a win-win situation where the client receives top-notch services within their financial constraints.

However, if negotiations with the top-ranked firm fail to reach a mutually agreeable price, the process moves to the second most qualified firm. This ensures that the client can still access a highly qualified team while working within budgetary limits.

QBS brings several advantages to the procurement process:

  • Quality Assurance: By prioritizing qualifications, QBS helps ensure that projects are executed by firms with a proven track record of success, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and delays.
  • Fairness: QBS promotes fairness by awarding contracts based on merit rather than solely on cost. This encourages healthy competition and supports firms that invest in expertise and excellence.
  • Optimal Budget Utilization: Clients benefit from QBS as it often leads to agreements that fit their budgets while maintaining the highest level of quality.
  • Minimized Risks: The focus on qualifications helps mitigate the risks associated with subpar performance and project failures, ultimately saving time and resources.

Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) represents a transformative shift in procurement, emphasizing expertise, quality, and fairness. By prioritizing qualifications over cost in the selection process, QBS aims to deliver projects that meet or exceed expectations while staying within budgetary constraints. This innovative approach ensures that the best-qualified firms are entrusted with critical projects, ultimately benefiting both clients and the broader community.

You can learn more through ACEC’s QBS Resources Portal.

Jesse Kropelnicki to Succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO at Verdantas

Verdantas is entering the next phase of their plan.

Effective September 1, 2023, Jesse Kropelnicki will succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO. “This move follows the succession plan established at our platform formation in 2020 and aligns with my intent since inception to withdraw from day-to-day management when an appropriate successor was identified. Jesse has been an asset to our organization as Verdantas’ COO, consistently demonstrating exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of our industry and our organization.” said Gerry Salontai, CEO of Verdantas.

Read more about this exciting plan!

Universal Professional Licensure In NH

On June 28, Governor Sununu signed HB 594-FN, relative to the licensure of out-of-state applicants to boards or commissions organized under the office of professional licensure and certification.

This bill (which was recommended by a legislative study committee) requires the Office of Professional Licensure (OPLC) to expand the portability of state licensure for all professions.

The new law includes professional engineers, geologists, land surveyors, foresters, landscape architects and soil and wetland scientists.

In the near future, when someone applies for a license in NH and is already licensed and the license is substantially similar to NH’s, then they will have an expedited process. The OPLC in consultation with the individual licensing boards will decide whether the other state’s requirements are substantially similar to NH.

Qualified individuals seeking licensure in New Hampshire through endorsement— also known as reciprocity—will no longer need to submit transcripts, examination results, evidence of experience, letters of reference, and other documentation typically required to obtain a license.

Please note:

  • A person does not need to reside in NH to take advantage of this new process.
  • This will not impact individuals currently licensed in NH.
  • This new law does not mean that other states will automatically recognize a NH license because that will depend on the state and its laws.

HB 594 will become effective on August 27, 2023, and requires the OPLC to adopt administrative rules to implement the bill. The Office intends to file interim rules in late August and will prioritize these professions (none are A/E related).

The Office selected the above professions after considering the current licensure requirements for endorsement applicants, the availability of other means for reciprocity (such as licensure compacts), and the volume of applications received by the Office.

ACEC-NH will continue to provide further updates as they become available.


Nobis Group Announces New President and CEO

Nobis Group is pleased to announce a significant recent leadership transition: after 34 years of exceptional service, Ken Koornneef, PE has decided to retire from his position as President and CEO. Together with Koornneef, the company’s executive leadership team and Board of Directors have been preparing for this transition through thoughtful succession planning. Nobis Group expresses deep gratitude for Koornneef’s numerous contributions and unwavering dedication to the organization.

Nobis Group is thrilled to introduce Chris Adams, PE as the firm’s newly appointed President and CEO. Adams is a professional civil engineer with over 24 years of service at Nobis Group, holding multiple positions including, most recently, Vice President of Operations and member of the Board of Directors. Adams has a proven history of success in the consulting and engineering industry and brings this wealth of knowledge and strategic vision to lead Nobis Group into the future. His expertise and leadership acumen will be instrumental in driving Nobis Group, as a 100% employee-owned company, towards growth and continued exceptional client service, maintaining Nobis Group’s commitment to excellence and partnering with our communities into the future.

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