Consultant Agreement Policy

A consultant agreement is a mechanism for establishing a contract under which a person or firm is hired by Columbia University (CU) for the primary purpose of obtaining the benefit of its professional knowledge, skills or expertise. It is the policy of CU to contract for consultant services when factors such as timing, cost, qualifications, or the nature of the service to be rendered make it more beneficial for such services to be acquired outside of CU, rather than to be performed by employees of CU.

 Consultant agreements define the scope of services the consultant will provide, and the terms under which the services will be provided, including price, duration of services, insurance, and indemnification provisions, etc. The CU Office of the General Counsel has approved standard contract formats as well as terms and conditions in order to ensure that the University's interests are protected with a minimum of legal review and negotiation for individual transactions. Any modification of these standard terms and conditions requires the approval of the Office of the General Counsel.
As in the case of all purchasing transactions, University Purchasing Guidelines mandate that consultant contracts be awarded through a competitive or negotiated selection process that ensures price reasonableness, and clearly establishes the qualifications of the consultant to perform the required tasks. For questions or assistance with this policy, please contact the LDEOPO.  Further information and on-line forms are also available on the CU Purchasing Department’s Website at: Hiring a Service Provider.