|Professional Service Requirements||UA Agreement Template Quick Links
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Professional Services Guidelines
The purpose of these guidelines is to set forth the requirements which must be followed when a University department seeks to obtain professional services from an outside party. While most services necessary for the University’s day-to-day operation are either performed by University employees or acquired through approved standing contracts, there are occasions when outside professional services are needed.
Professional Services, exempt from the State of Alabama Competitive Bid Law, are customized services consisting of specialized intellectual or creative expertise based on personal skills or ideas provided for a fee. Examples of such services include, but are not limited to:
- Guest speakers/lecturers
- Licensed medical professionals
- Other individuals possessing a high degree of professional skill where the personality of the individual plays a decisive part
Professional Services Requirements
In obtaining professional services, University departments must follow the steps outlined below.
Step 1. Independent Contractor (IC) Status Determination and Approval
If the service provider is an individual (or sole proprietor), the University’s Independent Contractor Policy will apply.
An Independent Contractor (IC) Form must be completed by the requesting department, submitted to and approved by the Tax Office prior to making an agreement to pay someone as an independent contractor. Refer to the Tax Office website for additional information on independent contractor status determination.
If applicable, the completed IC form should be included with the associated agreement, along with other documentation as defined below.
Step 2. Agreement Type Determination and Associated Documentation
- If the service fee is $5,000 or less, a formal agreement is not required. All invoices for payments should be detailed, including date of services and statement of work performed.
- The department must either use the appropriate UA agreement template with no alterations, additions or omissions, or use a contract provided by the vendor. The table below will assist with determining the appropriate agreement type and typical supporting documentation. Please note that Step 3 below details the submittal process for review and signature.
- The Vendor Disclosure Statement is required on all professional service agreements regardless of the dollar amount or revenue generated.
- Insurance may be required depending on the type of service to be performed. The types and amounts of required insurance will be determined by Risk Management. Contract Management will assist with this determination during their review which is detailed in Step 3 below.
The following is a list of typical agreement types by professional service types, including additional documentation, if applicable:
|Service Type||Agreement Type|
|Artists||Portraits: Commission Agreement|
|Athletic Officials – assigned by NCAA||Use NCAA Form as documentation. IC Form is not required.|
|Consultants||Scope of Work, Professional Service Agreement, or Vendor Contract
|Engineering Services||Scope of Work, Professional Service Agreement, or Vendor Contract|
|Licensed Medical Professional||Scope of Work, Professional Service Agreement, or Vendor Contract|
|Photography||Professional Service Agreement|
|Speaker & Lecturers||Guest Speaker Agreement|
|Works of Arts||Professional Service Agreement, Bill of Sale|
|Other Professional Services not listed above||Professional Service Agreement
Step 3. Agreement Submittal Process
In general, all agreements must be submitted to Contract Management using the Procurement Contract Portal detailed below to ensure proper review, execution and archiving.
When using any UA agreement template (e.g. Professional Service or Guest Speaker), initiate agreement using the appropriate link below. The landing page for agreement type will further detail the automated routing process for review and execution.
When using any agreement provided by a vendor in lieu of UA agreement templates, submit agreement to Contract Management using the appropriate method detailed on the Contract Submittal page. See Vendor Contract Processing Guidelines for additional information related to the vendor contract submittal and review process.
All consulting and/or professional services contracts involving an expenditure of $250,000 or more, for the term of the agreement/contract, and regardless of whether the contracts result from a competitive process, require Board of Trustee approval. If you are not familiar with the Board submittal process or are not sure if your contract requires such approval, contact Contract Management for guidance.
Step 4. Contract Management Review and Signature
What happens to my contract after submittal?
- The contract will be reviewed by Contract Management who will also facilitate review(s) by other campus stakeholders as necessary (e.g. Office of Counsel, OIT, CERA, etc).
- Be prepared to answer any questions that may arise regarding the contract while it is under review.
- For vendor contracts, see Vendor Contract Processing Guidelines for additional information regarding Contract Management review.
- Once all required approvals and documentation have been received, Contract Management will route the contract to the appropriate signatories for all parties through DocuSign for execution.
Step 5. Vendor Registration
If the service provider is not already registered in the University’s system, the provider will need to complete the online Vendor Registration process. Registration must occur before payment can be issued.
Step 6. Payment Processing
Requests to pay professional service fees should be submitted to Accounts Payable using the Concur Invoice. The following documentation should be included with the request:
- Detailed invoice if $5,000 or less
- Agreement/Contract if more than $5,000
- Approved IC form, if applicable
- Expense documentation/receipts (if expenses are reimbursed in addition to the fee) which will be paid in compliance with UA’s applicable Travel Policy
Additional Payment Considerations:
- When funds from a state of Alabama grant or contract or federal agency passed to the University through a state agency are used to pay for professional services, an invoice from the professional is required as documentation, in addition to the other requirements of this section.
- Payment of professional service fees cannot be made in advance.