Career progression for non‑graduate Civil Servants
Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on career progression for non-graduate Civil Servants
Parliamentary Sitting: 9 September 2014
Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Civil Service will take the lead in ensuring that there are multiple progression pathways for civil servants who have demonstrated skills, contributions, hard work and experience in their jobs even if they do not have a university degree.
Written Reply by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Minister for Home Affairs:
The Civil Service hires officers based on merit so that the most suitable candidate is selected for the job. For new job seekers at entry level jobs, educational qualifications serve as a proxy for competencies needed for these roles. Hence, recruitment for certain job or job levels have specified a university degree, while a degree is not required for other jobs or job levels.
The Civil Service has announced that it intends to merge more of what used to be separate graduate and non-graduate schemes of service into integrated schemes. In these schemes, officers might start at different entry points, but thereafter, they will progress according to their demonstrated performance and the ability to take on larger responsibilities, regardless of their starting point or education qualifications. All officers are given training to acquire the right competencies and knowledge to do their jobs well. The People’s Association, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Home Affairs already have such integrated schemes of service which are open to both graduate and non-graduate officers.
There will however, be certain professional fields where professional accreditation is required to practice e.g. medicine or engineering. In these cases, the Civil Service will also require our officers to meet those accreditation requirements.
This is in line with the Prime Minister’s National Day Rally (NDR) Speech on 17 August 2014. Following the NDR, the Public Service Division (PSD) announced the following in its press release on 26 August 2014.
First, faster career progression for Management Support Officers from October 2014. Most non-graduates join the Civil Service under the Management Support Scheme. Management Support Officers can already progress to take on similar jobs as graduates, and be paid comparable salaries. From October 2014, they may be progressed faster when they demonstrate the required performance and capabilities. Agencies will review the nature of jobs that Management Support Officers do so that they have the opportunity to demonstrate their potential to take on larger roles.
Second, PSD is studying merging of the Management Executive Scheme and the Management Support Scheme. Most graduates join the Civil Service under the Management Executive Scheme. A merged career scheme will allow non-graduates and graduates to enter at different points of the scheme, and progress in the same scheme based on their performance and readiness to take on larger roles. Naturally, officers need time to gain the relevant skills, knowledge and experience before progressing to larger roles, and the time taken varies across individual officers.
The Civil Service has a wide range of jobs, which require officers with a range of abilities. For example some jobs will require better communication abilities, while other jobs require better conceptual abilities, or physical fitness. The Civil Service assesses its officers according to the requirements of each type of job, providing multiple pathways for officers with different abilities, skills and aptitudes.
The Civil Service will provide more opportunities to support the aspirations of all our officers, graduates as well as non-graduates, and will continue to reward all officers who show good performance and readiness to take on larger roles.