Updated February 2017!

Architectural and Engineering Suggested
Fee and Scope of Services Reference

Click here to download Version 3.0.

The CAA / CEA Reference is More and More Important

The Consulting Architects of Alberta and the Consulting Engineers of Alberta have both championed the importance of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) to our clients and real progress is being made in this regard.  A QBS selection process promotes the selection of consultants through a process which seeks out the most appropriate team, not necessarily the most experience or largest team. In fact, factors such as: experience or availability of key lead personnel, or ability to meet a schedule; or special knowledge; or any combination of factors – all help in the selection of the most appropriate team. Upon agreement as to the most appropriate team, the Owner and consulting team then negotiate a fee based on the scope. A QBS selection process assumes that a scope and fee reference guide is available for clients and the industry  and generally describes the relationship between scope and fees and provides clarity and acts as a guideline to industry for  standard compensation for building design services. The CAA / CEA Suggested Fee and Scope of Services Reference provides a time tested reference to the industry.  And we have now posted our Version 3, 2017 update.






What’s new (and not new) in this version?

Parts 1, 2 and 3 are consolidated as three parts of a single document

Part 1 

  • Includes a description of the responsibilities of project coordination, the professional of record and construction review with reference to the Alberta Safety Codes Act and the Alberta Building Code.
  • Explains the concept of basic services and distinguishes between basic recommended services, additional available services and specialty consultant services.  It includes tables helping to illustrate examples of each type of service.
  • Aligns some definitions and references to industry standard documentation.

Part 2

  • Maintains the allocation of fees by Phase for BIM and traditional (non-BIM) projects without change
  • Maintains the Building Categories and Schedule of Recommended Fees for Basic Services without change
  • Includes helpful percentage fee calculation examples illustrating the application of the Guidelines
  • Includes an explanation of the link between project schedule and compensation and describes when extension of the schedule should result in additional fees

Part 3

  • Clarifies the scope and compensation for Interior Design
  • Clarifies the scope and compensation for Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering, helping the reader understand options for fee calculation relative to the Cost of Construction of the work of these disciplines. 
  • Includes a detailed description of 14 common issues requiring additional services and compensation such as the client’s obligations, schedule changes and the construction contractor’s performance
  • Describes the Additional Services required for LEED projects and administration
  • Describes the use of BIM and helps define additional services required and available on BIM projects 
  • Includes a section describing the impact of the performance of the Construction Contractor on the extent of services provided and illustrates examples of situations requiring additional fees based on the non-performance of the Contractor


Collaborative document:
The Consulting Architects of Alberta and the Consulting Engineers of Alberta are pleased to present Version 3.0 of the Architectural and Engineering Suggested Fee and Scope of Services Reference.
CAA and CEA Scope and Fees Joint Task Force, 2017:
Linus Murphy, Chair
Derek Ciezki

Patrick Fleming

Doug McConnell

Enzo Vicenzino

Richard Walters


CAA and CEA mutually support the notion of fair compensation commensurate with the level of professional services provided.

This reference document outlines a framework and voluntary reference document suggesting how one might determine professional fees.  It is not mandatory. Each project is unique and members are free to negotiate appropriate fees in each instance.


There will not be any sanctions or penalties for any CAA or CEA members who choose not to follow this guide. It is offered for information purposes only.


A living document

It is important to note:

This is the THIRD EDITION of this document (first edition was 2010, second edition was 2013). It is the intention of CAA and CEA to update this document regularly, consistent with emergent trends and input from private and public sector clients and members.


ONGOING task force work will explore and address a variety of issues identified as important but not fully dealt with in this first edition.

SEND YOUR COMMENTS to the Chair of the Task Force.

All input will be gratefully accepted as part of the ongoing process of refinement and adaptation.