Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can a proof of suitability, which has been checked online, be proven to the auditing office or other public contracting authorities? 
    All proofs are available at the PQ Offices in paper form, are always traceable by means of the Reg.-Nr. and can be requested there.


  2. Can clients trust that the proofs deposited in the PQ list are valid and what results from this is the validity?
    In good time before the expiry of individual proofs, the PQ Offices ensure continuous updating. The current validity thus results from the daily updated PQ list.


  3. How does the PQ ensure that an update will take place after the expiry of the temporary validity of proofs of suitability?
    In the event that proofs that have become invalid are not replaced on time, the companies will be removed from the PQ list.


  4. Can clients confirm the contractual execution in references without hesitation, even if the warranty period has not yet expired and there are liability risks for the correctness of the information documented by the company?
    By signing the references, the Reference Provider confirms that the work has been carried out in accordance with the order and confirms its consent to publication for the purpose of prequalification of the Company, but is not liable for the accuracy of the data entered by the Company. The signature does not affect any warranty or legal claims. This information can be found on our website under PQ List/Referor Information.


  5. Does the proof of suitability by PQ have to be generally recognised by public contracting authorities?
    To the extent that evidence is included with the prequalification, public contracting authorities must in principle accept the evidence of suitability of the prequalification. Additional evidence, such as extracts from the state corruption registers, may be required.


  6. Can the proofs deposited with the PQ also be checked by public contracting authorities?
    Public contractors can in any case inspect the deposited proofs and thus also subject them to their own checks.


  7. Can the contracting authority request additional references if the service areas indicated in the PQ list with the deposited references do not sufficiently cover the tendered construction services?
    Yes, if the references in the PQ list do not sufficiently correspond to the tendered construction services, public contracting authorities may request further references from the company as proof of suitability, see also question 13.


  8. Can the public contracting authority require supplementary evidence if it is doubtful from its point of view whether the references deposited sufficiently cover the pre-qualified range of services?
    When assessing whether a reference covers a specific performance area, the PQ Offices have a certain degree of discretion. If it is doubtful for the public client in individual cases whether the suitability of the contractor for the execution of a special construction contract in this pre-qualified service area is sufficiently proven by the references deposited for this purpose, he can request additional information from the contractor.


  9. Do non-public clients also have the option of using the PQ list?
    Yes, at least as far as the public part of the PQ list is concerned. Access authorisation is required for the proofs of suitability stored in the protected part of the PQ list. Prequalified companies are free to pass on their access authorisation for their own proofs to clients or general contractors.

    Furtermore the PQ-Verein has implemented a new interface for this purpose, which enables a quick query of the public part of the official list of approved contractors bypassing the search on the PQ-Verein website. By entering the PQ number, the status of the company can be queried via a single line of code. With the appropriate software, the stored contents of an Excel list can also be retrieved automatically. For example, 30 or more companies can be queried for the validity of their PQ in a fraction of a second. You can find more information here.


  10. Does PQ VOB also pay off for companies that only occasionally take part in public tenders??
    According to searches by several experts, the annual costs of the pre-qualification correspond to approximately three times the cost of an individual proof procedure. Against the background of the costs, the PQ therefore pays off if a company takes part in at least 3 public tenders per year (possibly also as a Subcontractor!).


  11. What costs do companies have to pay for PQ VOB and how do they arise? 
    The free-market, independent PQ Offices all have their own tariffs. The price for the PQ depends on many factors, especially the number of service areas. The costs are directly related to the effort of the PQ Offices for the qualified examination of the proofs of suitability and the inclusion in the Internet list. Maintenance costs can be reduced in subsequent years. The respective costs can be found on the homepages of the PQ Offices. Regardless of the costs, it should be borne in mind that public contracting authorities are increasingly giving preference to companies from the PQ list for freehand awards or restricted invitations to tender. Similarly, as a result of the new exculpation regulation in the Social Code (General contractor liability), general contractors can also prefer those from the PQ list as subcontractors.


  12. The inclusion of all subcontractors with regard to the criteria to be ensured in PQ VOB represents acceptance problems for PQ VOB for individual companies. Does PQ VOB attach greater importance to this requirement in comparison to the usual individual verification procedure according to VOB/A and, if so, on what is it based?
    The inclusion of all subcontractors with regard to the proof of suitability to be ensured follows the principle of VOB/A that all construction work may only be carried out by suitable companies. Particularly due to the requirements of EU public procurement law, companies are also obliged under VOB/A to submit the proofs of suitability of subcontractors.


  13. It has been said that in addition to the proofs of suitability ensured by PQ VOB, project-specific proofs of suitability may be required. What are these proofs?
    The objective of the PQ VOB is the basic activity at the construction site. Special construction services such as prestressed masonry or historical quarry stone masonry are not always covered by LB 111-04 masonry work. If prequalified companies have not provided any references, these can be requested additionally as project-specific proofs. Further references can also be requested for service areas covered by references if necessary, e.g. if special designs, special scope or special circumstances exist. 


  14. What is the basis for the allocation of single services in accordance with Annex 2 of the Guideline?
    In general, the General Technical Terms of Contract (ATV) in VOB/C provide guidance for the assignment. In some special cases, the assignment is made at the discretion of the PQ Offices. In order to provide the PQ Offices with guidance on the scope for discretion, the PQ Offices regularly exchange experience. The results of previous clarifications of classifications are given under the menu item "PQ list" under the heading "Service areas and their classifications of construction services".


  15. In Annex 2 to the Guideline, special construction works such as the sandblasting of steel surfaces or the laying of reinforcing steel are occasionally measured. Which individual services according to Annex 2 are assigned corresponding construction works in the references?
    According to the General Technical Contract Terms (ATV) in VOB/C, such special partial services, e.g. concrete and reinforced concrete work (111-01) or painting and varnishing work (112-10) are to be assigned to the building construction group. If the single services were provided in another group (e.g. civil engineering or hydraulic engineering), there are also other LBs for this. With regard to the allocation of service areas, see also No. 14.


  16. The term "association for the prequalification of construction companies" raises the question of which companies can be prequalified at the PQ association - only construction companies?
    The PQ-Verein prequalifies generally all companies from the main and ancillary construction trades for all types of construction services according to VOB/C. In general, building construction (e.g. housing construction, commercial construction, public building construction) and civil engineering (e.g. road construction, commercial road construction, public road construction) belong to the main construction trade. Everything that does not fall under building construction and civil engineering is classified as ancillary construction work. This usually (i.e. apart from exceptions) also includes the finishing trade (e.g. building services, painters, upholsterers, building fitters, carpenters).


  17. How is the validity of the pre-qualification regulated?
    The validity of the prequalification results from no. 8 of the guideline of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community for the implementation of a prequalification procedure from the current Internet excerpt. The prequalification is thus valid as long as all the proofs of suitability deposited for the prequalification are valid. The topicality of the certificates deposited in the PQ list is also specified in no. 8 of the BMI Guideline. After that a pre-qualification will be deleted e.g. after the expiration of the period of validity of the required proofs according to Annex 1 of the guideline. In order to prevent this from happening, the prequalification offices, in consultation with the prequalified companies, generally ensure that all the required evidence is updated in good time. The respective verifications can be found in Annex 1 of the Guideline. They correspond to the requirements from § 6a or §6a EU in VOB/A.


  18. Can the proof of suitability in accordance with § 6a VOB/A be provided by a self-declaration and thus replace the pre-qualification?
    No! The client is obliged to check and thus to determine the suitability. The possibility of submitting a self-declaration extended by VOB 2009 is suitable for determining the suitability of bidders on a provisional basis. The final determination of suitability only results in a positive examination of the corresponding certificates of the competent authorities, which the company whose bid has been short-listed must submit to confirm the self-declaration (§ 6a para. 1 VOB/A). On the basis of Section 16 (1) No. 4 VOB/A, the company must submit all certificates within a period determined by the calendar upon request. If these are not submitted at all, incompletely or late, the offer is excluded. If the documents differ with regard to the self-declaration submitted, the Offer shall also be excluded.


  19. Can an public contracting authority rely on the self declaration of insolvency, even if it is updated only every 12 months to maintain prequalification?
    Yes, because this self-declaration is linked to a further self-declaration with regard to the obligation to notify material changes pursuant to no. 5.3 of the Guideline. Violation of this notification obligation is subject to sanctions (deletion and 24-month ban) in accordance with no. 8.2 section 2 of the Guideline. In addition, other proofs are often updated by the BG or SOKA at much shorter intervals, which also provides information for self-declaration with regard to insolvency by means of plausibility checks. In the sum of all criteria, a valid prequalification thus also provides the highest degree of trust in this question.


  20. Does the reference of an applicant to his suitability as demonstrated by PQ require the consent of the client?
    According to VOB/A, the proof of suitability is admissible by entry in the official list of approved contractors and all öAGs who are obliged to apply VOB/A must accept the entry in the official register of the Association for the Prequalification of Construction Companies (PQ register) as binding proof of suitability. Therefore, the applicant's reference to his suitability proven by PQ in no way requires the consent of the client, but the client violates the VOB/A if PQ is not recognized and must bear the consequences of this erroneous behavior.
  21. How can main contractors check whether their subcontractors are prequalified?
    There are two methods available for this:
    a) Query the PQ number via the PQ list search function - if the company is found in the search, it is currently prequalified.
    b) Query via online access to the official directory. The PQ-Verein has implemented a new interface for this purpose, which enables a quick query of the public part of the official list of approved contractors bypassing the search on the PQ-Verein website. By entering the PQ number, the status of the company can be queried via a single line of code. With the appropriate software, the stored contents of an Excel list can also be retrieved automatically. For example, 30 or more companies can be queried for the validity of their PQ in a fraction of a second. You can find more information here.

  22. There is a "gap" in the numbering of the references.
    The references in this collective download are numbered with:
    Reference1, reference2 to reference8, reference18, reference 19, etc.
    Our question is now why does this gap exist? Why is the numbering not continued?

    The numbering of the references is correct. The deposited references of the company are complete. The gap you suspect does not exist, but results only for technical reasons. In the present case, the references 9-17 were removed from the data set by the PQ office. This becomes necessary if, for example, the validity period has expired or if the company wishes to do so. The index is then continued with the highest number when new references are added and the old indices are not replaced in the process.
    An exception to this is if the record is cancelled (withdrawal of the PQ) and later re-set NEW - when re-setting, the indices for the references are rebuilt and would then be displayed without a 'gap'.

  23. Why is a document from SOKA-Bau with an outdated date stored in the verification of Guideline Annex 1, No. 8?
    The PQ Association and its PQ offices are striving for a digital query with SOKA. With the digital query, SOKA no longer sends documents, but confirms to the PQ offices that the companies' reporting and payment obligations have been fulfilled. For this reason, the deposited document contains the information that the validity of the SOKA clearance certificate can only be determined by the validity information in the detailed view of the official register. The upper liability limit can also be found in the official register.