Professional Services (PSCAs)

General Information

The Regents Policy Manual defines "professional services" as unique, technical, and/or infrequent functions performed by an independent contractor qualified by education, experience, and/or technical ability to provide services. In most cases, these services are of a specific project nature, and are not a continuing, ongoing responsibility of the institution. The services rendered are predominately intellectual in character even though the contractor may not be required to be licensed. Professional service engagements may involve partnerships, corporations, or individuals. Some examples of "professional services" typically utilized at the University include consulting, marketing analysis, banking services, medical/physician services, auditing, software development/design.  Speakers and entertainers do not require a university Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSCA), unless they represent a conflict of interest.

Design and training services normally do not fall under professional services unless they are very specialized. A requisition can be used to request these services and Procurement Services will assist in determining whether a proposal from the vendor or a contractual agreement is needed.

To respond to the Accountable Government act passed in the 2001 Legislative session requiring greater Contractor accountability, Procurement Services maintains an oversight role in services contracting.

Policy information can be obtained by reviewing the revised Professional Services Policy.

A template for these types of agreements, called the Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSCA), has been developed and is to be utilized by the departments for professional services acquisitions. All PSCAs that exceed $2,000 MUST be reviewed by Procurement Services before going to the vendor. In most cases Procurement Services will work with the vendor to get the PSCA signed and will issue a PO to the vendor and send a countersigned copy. Please contact Procurement Services with any PSCA related questions.

Overview of Procurement and Payment Process for Professional Service Acquisitions

Professional Services FAQ


» Contact Facilities Planning & Management's (FP&M's) Architectural and Engineering Services Office, who will coordinate the acquisition and handle appropriate approvals. Do not prepare a PSA.
Is the Contractor an independent contractor?
[yes] [no]
Is the Contractor, their spouse or minor child an employee of a Regent
Institution? are there any individuals, their spouse or minor child, who are
employees of ISU or another Regent Institution and also own 5% or more of the
Contractor's corporate stock or who are partners in the Contractor's firm?
[yes] [no]
» Do not proceed with Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSA), as this relationship constitutes a UPM 3.1(3) Conflict of Interest. Contact Purchasing - All procurements or commitments involving a conflict of interest vendor, regardless of the cost, are to be handled by the Purchasing Department.
Is the Contractor a non-resident alien?
[yes] [no]
» The revised (12-2001) IRS Form 8233 must be attached to the PSA. The purpose of the form is to determine whether withholding of federal taxes is necessary. Instructions for using Form 8233. Contact: Bill Cahill ()
Is the total project cost anticipated to exceed $50,000
(including fee, compensation, travel, lodging, etc.)?
[yes] [no]
» Projects in excess of $50,000 will require a competitive selection process be conducted, unless a legitimate and documented sole source exists. Contact Purchasing to discuss your requirements and forward a web requisition to initiate the competitive selection process.
Is the total annual cost greater than $2,000 (including
fee, compensation, travel, lodging, etc.)?
[yes] [no]
» Complete a Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSA) and forward to Purchasing accompanied by a signed web requisition, prior to authorizing any work to begin. The agreement should not be signed by the vendor before it gets to Purchasing. Purchasing will obtain the signature orf the vendor after reviewing and approving the PSA document. Departments should also document the selection process utilized to select the contractor and identify other Contractors who were not selected and explain the reasons for non-selection.
Is the project greater than $600?
[yes] [no]
» Complete a Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSA) to establish agreement between the University and Contractor. Upon acceptable completion of the project, send a copy of the PSA, Form 8233 (if non-resident alien), and an honorarium voucher to Accounting, 3606 ASB, for payment processing.
» Upon finalization of the project, complete the Independent Personal Service Form, attach to the honorarium voucher and send to Accounting, 3606 ASB, for payment processing.
» Do not proceed with Professional Services Contractual Agreement (PSA). The PSA may only be utilized for independent contractors. PSA's may not be used for situations involving employer/employee relationships (hanlded through Payroll) or for additional employee compensation (UPM 3.7(1) Additional Compensation).