More Home Team agencies to unify career track for grad, non-grad officers

Under the new scheme, diploma- holders who perform well can rise up the ranks more quickly. The scheme will benefit officers from four more Home Team agencies, including those from Singapore Civil Defence Force (left), from July.
Under the new scheme, diploma- holders who perform well can rise up the ranks more quickly. The scheme will benefit officers from four more Home Team agencies, including those from Singapore Civil Defence Force (left), from July.TNP FILE PHOTO

A scheme that aims to provide all officers with career advancement opportunities - whatever their education level - will be rolled out to four more Home Team agencies from July.

Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee said yesterday that officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Prison Service, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore, and the Central Narcotics Bureau will get to benefit from the unified rank structure and scheme, first rolled out at the Singapore Police Force last July.

The unified rank structure is a move away from the separate schemes for junior and senior officers. Instead, all officers will start on common ground, on the same career track, instead of non-graduates starting as lower-ranking junior officers.

Under the separate schemes in the Singapore Police Force, for example, it could take up to 18 years for a polytechnic graduate to become an inspector - the entry rank of a degree-holder. But with the unified rank structure, diploma holders who perform well can rise up the ranks more quickly.

"These departments will similarly introduce expert tracks and programmes to develop officers professionally. There will be new career development pathways for officers with specialised skills. Altogether, these measures help to enhance our Home Team's operational capabilities and preparedness," said Mr Lee during a Home Team award ceremony.

As an example, the expert tracks in the Singapore Police Force allow experienced officers to deepen their skills in the areas of investigations, intelligence or special operations.

The extension of the scheme to more Home Team agencies is the first announcement made by Mr Lee since the Prime Minister's Office announced his promotion to Second Minister for Home Affairs on Thursday. His promotion will take effect tomorrow.

The unified rank structure for police officers was first announced by the Home Affairs Ministry during the Budget debates last year. Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam said then that the changes would be progressively extended to the rest of the Home Team.

Audrey Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 30, 2017, with the headline 'More Home Team agencies to unify career track for grad, non-grad officers'. Print Edition | Subscribe