Procuring Professional Services

Two different forms, the Personal/Professional Services Contract (PSC) and the Personal Services Invoice (PSI), are used to procure personal/professional services from contractors.  These forms should be used for infrequent, technical and unique services performed by contractors with specialized expertise of a technical, scientific or artistic nature.  The selection criteria for these services may include but is not limited to the contractor’s skill, knowledge, reputation, and/or creativity.  The cost of the service may be a secondary factor in the selection of the specific contractor.  Neither form can be used for trade services.   Trade services are those services that involve the application of manual or mechanical labor such as work performed by plumbers, electricians or locksmiths.

The PSI MAY be used for:
  • Services costing less than $5,000.
  • Services already performed or to be performed within 3 weeks.
  • Services for which a single payment is made.
  • Where the total payments to the contractor in the calendar year do not exceed $5,000.
    The PSI cannot be used for Non-Resident Aliens.
The PSC MUST be used:
  • For services costing more than $5,000.
  • If total payments paid to the contractor by your department in the calendar year exceed $5,000.
  • When multiple payments will be made.
  • When a contract end date extends more than three weeks into the future. 
  • For Non-Resident Aliens.

Independent Contractor vs. Employee.

A person performing services under a PSC or PSI must be an Independent Contractor, not a PSU Employee. A checklist for determining if a person is an independent contractor or an employee can be found at:

An Independent Contractor is an individual/firm that is not subject to PSU direction and control.  Independent Contractors hire or dismiss their own associates, provide their own tools and equipment, advertise their services to other clients, are free to choose work methods, and carry their own insurance.  An Independent Contractor’s services are terminated upon expiration or termination of the PSC.

An Employee is an individual who is subject to PSU direction and control.  An Employee can be dismissed or terminated “at will.”  An Employee is provided a workplace and tools by PSU, and is covered by PSU Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance.  PSU has the right to control and direct an Employee’s performance of the work, not only as to the result to be accomplished but also as to the details and means by which that result is accomplished.

Former PSU Employees:   Generally, a former PSU employee cannot perform services for PSU under a PSC or PSI during the same calendar (tax) year that they were paid on payroll as an Employee. A prior employee should NEVER perform services under a PSC or PSI that are the same, or significantly similar to the work they performed while an Employee