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Prequalification for construction prime contractor

The City uses prequalification as a method to develop and maintain a list of Prime Contractors who meet the minimum standards to be considered for City construction work in various work categories.

Most of The City’s solicitations are made through the prequalification list. However, business needs that are outside the categories of construction prequalification are advertised on MERX Calgary and Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC).

Prequalification submissions are reviewed in four categories:

  1. Commercial (e.g., licensing, bonding, etc.)
  2. Safety (e.g., policies, procedures and tools meet OHS legislation)
  3. Environmental (e.g., policies, procedures and tools meet environmental legislations)
  4. Technical (e.g., past experience within the applicable scope of work)

The prequalification process was thoroughly reviewed and updated in 2015-2016. For information on the major changes implemented in 2017 refer to the letter to vendors from March 23, 2017.

How to become prequalified

Contractors must respond to The City's Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) for Prime Contractor for Construction Projects by downloading and completing the following RFPQ form(s):

RFPQ 17-020 Prequalification for Prime Contractor 
RFPQ 17-020 Schedule P - Project Experience Template
RFPQ 17-020 Schedule Q - Annual Contract Dollar Value
RFPQ 17-020 Schedule R  - Submission Form

When the forms are complete, the full package should be sent to: prequalification@calgary.ca.

For more information, please email: prequalification@calgary.ca.

The City’s goal is to review and respond to 90 per cent of submissions within 120 calendar days. Completeness, accuracy and quality of the submission itself will affect that timeline. Clarifications and questions back to the contractor, if required, will extend the time for review. Deadlines for responses to questions from The City are listed in the document.

After the submissions are evaluated, The City will notify those contractors who meet the minimum standards of the status of their prequalification request. Approved contractors will be put on the prequalification list in the categories for which they have met the minimum standards, typically for three years.

Who should be prequalified

Only contractors interested in working for The City as Prime Contractor for major construction projects must be prequalified in order to bid on future opportunities.

Prequalification is not required for contractors working as sub-trades to a Prime Contractor on major projects – only contractors taking on the role and responsibilities of safety for the Prime Contractor are required to be prequalified.

Categories of construction that require prequalification can be found here.

Current prequalified contractor list

Prequalified contractors

Validity period for prequalification

The validity period for contractor approval based on the current RFPQ is three years from the date of notice of prequalification. However, The City may, at any time during the prequalification period, re-evaluate or require further information from a prime contractor to maintain their prequalified status.

When The City updated the prequalification process in 2015-2016, many contractors had far surpassed their original validity period. They are now required to re-qualify in a phased re-qualification schedule. Contractors will be notified about their requalification deadline to the contact information on file. If the deadline is missed, contractors will be removed from the list until a new submission is received and approved.

Further information for construction prime contractor prequalification

Frequently asked questions

Quick Guide for using the PFPQ 17-020 forms

What is a Prime Contractor for Safety and when is a Prime Contractor for Safety required?

The City uses the term "Prime Contractor for Safety" in all contract documents. This term is defined in The City’s Standard General Conditions (SGC)  as "…the role of "prime contractor" as that term is referenced in the OH&S Legislation."

On most City projects the Contractor undertaking the work will be required to take on Prime Contractor for Safety responsibilities, as defined in the SGC. According to Provincial Occupational Health and Safety legislation, a Prime Contractor is required where two or more employers are engaged in work at the same site, whether or not they are working at the same time, as long as their activities may impact each other or are interrelated. The contractor counts as an employer, as does each self-employed worker, and as can the owner. The prime contractor is responsible for:

  • Monitoring activities to ensure that a worksite’s health and safety system is functioning properly
  • Coordinating internal health and safety systems of multiple employers
  • Coordinating effective communication in relation to health and safety at a worksite
  • Ensuring that the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation is complied with on the worksite, including but not limited to:
    • required first aid services, equipment and supplies are available at the work site;
    • equipment erected or installed by or on behalf of the prime contractor complies with requirements of the OHS Code as if the prime contractor was the employer;
    • any employer on a work site is made aware of any existing or potential work site hazards that may affect that employer’s workers;
    • investigating serious injury incidents; and
    • managing controlled products.

Reference: Alberta Occupational Health & Safety Act, Regulation and Code and Alberta Occupational Health & Safety Bulletin for The Prime Contractor.