Professional and Artistic Services

What Qualifies as a Professional and Artistic (P & A) Service?

For procurement purposes, Professional and Artistic Services are those services that are primarily intellectual or creative in nature. Services qualify as P & A if any of the following apply:

  • Qualified by education (a certain level of education is required to perform the services).

  • Qualified by experience (a significant or specified amount of experience is required to perform the services).

  • Qualified by technical ability (a high degree of skill or ability is required to perform the services).

An essential element distinguishing professional services from other services is confidence, trust, and belief in not only the ability, but the talent of the individual performing the service. If the professional or artistic contract is with a firm or other business entity, the individuals whose education, experience and technical ability provided the basis on which the firm or other business entity was selected must meet the qualifications.

Services that involve manual skills and labor are not considered P & A services. Manual skills and labor are purchased under the same requirements that apply to the purchase of goods.

Examples of P & A Services

The following services are always considered P & A:

  • Law

  • Accounting

  • Medicine

  • Artistic

  • Marketing/Media

  • Science/Research

  • Management/Administrative Services

  • Marketing/Media Services

  • Environmental/Land

  • Dentistry, and

  • Clinical Psychology

See a more detailed list of Professional and Artistic Service Categories.

Processing P & A Services

Nonrecurring Contracts when Total Fees and Allowable Expenditures are Under $5,000

Departments may complete the standard University of Illinois Contract for Professional and Artistic Services Under $5,000 Link opens MS Word file. Follow the instructions at the top of the form regarding the number of copies and signatures required. Attach the completed P&A Under $5,000 to a voucher and submit it to University Payables for payment when services are complete. Note: If changes are made to the standard form, review by Legal Counsel is required.

Departments may alternately generate a requisition through Banner and include all required information. All paperwork must be completed before services commence.

If services involve the sharing of Protected Health Information (PHI), the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) apply. For services involving the sharing of PHI, use the University of Illinois Contract for Professional and Artistic Services Under $5,000 requiring HIPAA Link opens MS Word file.

Contracts when Total Fees and Allowable Expenditures are $5,000 - $19,999

All campuses must complete a University of Illinois Contract.

  • Chicago Campus: The following process should be followed:

    1. The Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF) Link opens PDF file [updated: 1/13/15] and University of Illinois Contract Link opens MS Word file must be completed. Instructions for completing the forms are included with the forms.

    2. The department completes and submits the CARF and a minimum of two originals of the contract, signed by the contractor, to the Purchasing Division contracts section.

    3. Use of the University of Illinois Contract will expedite the approval and contracting process. If the selected contractor requires use of its own contract form, the department should submit CARF form with two originals of the contractor's document to the Purchasing Division for review and possible modification.

    4. Once all the necessary approvals and all contract signatures have been obtained, a copy of the executed contract will be distributed to the appropriate department and an original copy to the contractor.

    5. For more information, contact the Purchasing Division at 312-996-2850.

  • Springfield Campus: Contact the Purchasing Division.

    Debi Barr-Holquist
    Phone: 217-206-6606
  • Urbana Campus: Contact the Purchasing Contracts Division.

    Purchasing Division
    Phone: 217-333-3505

Contracts when Total Fees and Allowable Expenditures are $20,000 or More

  • Any purchase of P & A services over $20,000 must be handled through a State-mandated competitive selection process facilitated by the Purchasing Division. This involves use of a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process. In most cases, the University Contract is included as part of the RFP process.

  • Departments must complete and submit the Professional and Artistic Services Information Form (PASIF) Link opens MS Word file to the Purchasing Division who will use that information to prepare the Request for Proposal. For planning purposes the department should allow at least one month for completion of the RFP process.

  • Following selection of the contractor and before services commence, an executed contract must be in place. Purchasing works with the department to finalize the contract, reviews it for compliance with the requirements in Section 2.3-University Contracts and Leases, and obtains the official University signatures and contractor's signature. The CARF is used for routing the contract for official signatures: Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF).

To Request a Waiver of the RFP Process ("Sole Source")

In exceptional circumstances the State mandated requirement for the Request for Proposal process may be waived by the Purchasing Division. Requirements for public advertisement of any exceptions are still applicable. Exceptional circumstances include services available only from one economically feasible source or an emergency procurement. The Purchasing Division, Contracts Section should be contacted if the department believes an exceptional circumstance exists.

A sole source may be justified when a requirement is available only from a single supplier.

To request a waiver submit the following to the Director of Purchases for review and approval:

  • A letter from the department/unit head indicating:

    • A brief description of services required

    • A brief explanation of why services are needed

    • Other sources that were considered

    • Why other sources were rejected

    • How the qualifications of the designated contractor make it unique

    • The dollar amount of the contract

  • A draft of the contract and/or contractor's proposal

If approved, the University's intent to contract for these specific services must be advertised by the Purchasing Division in the Illinois Public Higher Education Procurement Bulletin Link opens new window for a minimum of 15 days prior to commencement of services. Sole source procurements and awards made pursuant to a competitive bid process are subject to review by the Procurement Policy Board (PPB). If approval is not granted, the RFP process must be used to select a contractor. Refer to the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures Manual, Section 17, for guidelines and approximate timeframes, or contact the Purchasing Division, on your campus.

In addition to the procedure outlined above, fees and allowable expenses of $1,000,000 or more require Board of Trustees’ (BOT) approval. At this dollar level departments should allow two to three additional months for completion of the BOT approval process. [See the Board of Trustees Schedule and Approval Thresholds for meeting dates, Board approval thresholds, and additional information.]

Once all necessary approvals and all contract signatures have been obtained, the Purchasing Division will distribute a copy of the executed contract to the appropriate department as well as send an original copy and the Purchase Order to the contractor.


For additional information:

Chicago Campus Springfield Campus Urbana Campus
Purchasing Division
Phone: 312-996-2850
Debi Barr-Holquist 
Phone: 217-206-6606
Purchasing Division
Phone: 217-333-3505

Last Updated: January 13, 2015

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