Contractor Prequalification


The CSU is required to prequalify prospective bidders for any Board of Trustees-managed major capital outlay project, regardless of funding. The CSU may elect to require bidders to prequalify for minor capital outlay projects. CPDC's Construction Services division performs the prequalification of bidders to best comply with Public Contract Code Section 10761, which requires the Trustees to adopt and apply a uniform system of rating bidders.

Standard Systemwide Prequalification

Applicants are required to complete a standard questionnaire online in PlanetBids in which they provide specific information such as license, Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Public Works Registration Number, safety data, project experience (from which reference checks are secured), and a current audited financial statement. Per California Public Contract Code Section 10763, the on-line questionnaires, questionnaire reference responses, and financial statements are not public records and are not open to public inspection.

Once the application has been reviewed and reference checks returned, CPDC's Prequalifi​cation Administrator approves the application and assigns a rating for the applicant. The database then electronically issues the applicant an approval letter.

Contractors submitting a request for prequalification should review both the Prequalification Procedures and Prequalification Instructions prior to submitting the on-line application.​

Joint Venture

If two or more prospective bidders wish to bid a project as a joint venture (JV):

  • All firms involved in the JV must separately submit prequalification application online not later than 10 business days prior to bid opening and register with the DIR to bid on public works projects.
  • The firms must all sign and submit one Affidavit of Joint Venture form five days prior to bid opening, and each member of the JV must be prequalified one day prior to bid opening. (Please submit the Affidavit of Joint Venture form with all members' signatures to the office that distributes the project bid documents.)
  • Only one JV member's prequalification rating, or the combination of all JV members' prequalification ratings, shall meet the project's advertised cost.
  • The JV must have the required license in the name of the JV at the time of award. If attendance at the project's prebid job walk is mandatory, only one of the firms in the JV needs to attend.

Project-Specific Supplemental or Technical Prequalification

The campus may impose or require a project-specific prequalification or technical prequalification to complement the standard requirements to ensure potential bidders have the special experience necessary for a specific project.

When special or technical prequalification requirements are used, the campus shall so state in the Notice to Contractors and expand upon in the Di​vision One. The campus should use caution in implementing these special, technical prequalification documents, because this requirement will eliminate some competition and may result in too few bidders. Statutes promote competition. CPDC's Prequalification Administrator will perform this service for the campus; contact the Prequalification Administrator for more information.

Subcontractor Prequalification

The Trustees' systemwide financial prequalification is not applicable to subcontractors. For CM at Risk, Collaborative Design-Build and Design-Build projects it is mandatory for the Construction Manager (CM) or Design-Builder (DB) to prequalify its major trades (mechanical, electrical, plumbing or other trade whose subcontract value is equal to or greater than five percent (5%) of the overall construction cost). The CM and DB administer the prequalification and keep the Trustees involved by transmitting to them lists of qualified trade contractors.

CPDC has implemented a technical subcontractor prequalification for large, technical projects. Generally, mechanical, electrical or plumbing trades are the only trades to be prequalified, but campuses may elect to prequalify other trades, such as food services or swimming pools.

The CPDC Prequalification Administrator will perform this service for the campuses. When a campus requires a subcontractor prequalification, the campus shall so state this requirement in the Notice to Contractors and expand upon this requirement in Division One. Once the subcontractors are prequalified, the campus shall issue an addendum that identifies the prequalified contractors by trade. Bidders may only use subcontractors from this listing.