ABOUT 500 trainees were affected after the Manpower Ministry (MOM) revoked the accreditation of five safety training providers between December and last month.
The firms were guilty of training and assessment malpractices, and had compromised the integrity of the Workplace Safety and Health courses conducted, the MOM said in a statement yesterday.
It said the firms did not meet its standards for course duration. They also did not ensure trainees' language proficiency for the courses or conduct examinations properly.
As a result, the firms - Work Safe Academy and Propel Consultants, Regent Global Consultants, Bright Training Centre and Ark HSE Management Solutions - are no longer allowed to conduct MOM-accredited courses.
Previously, they were able to conduct safety courses for supervisors of building construction, shipyard and lifting operations.
Their directors will also be blacklisted for two years from the date of cancellation, during which they cannot apply to be a director, principal or trainer of an accredited training provider with MOM.
Trainees who received their certificates three months before MOM revoked the companies' status would not be recognised as having completed the course.
MOM started investigations on the five companies based on regular audits and information from the public. The Straits Times understands most of the firms have folded and vacated their premises.
For example, Work Safe Academy and Propel Consultants moved out of their offices in Pandan Loop after their status was revoked last December.
Since 2010, the MOM has cancelled the accreditation of 11 training providers for similar violations.
It will continue to step up investigations and appropriate action will be taken against offenders, its statement said.
Employers who wish to have their trainees re-certified for the courses attended can send them to other accredited training providers, a full list of which can be found on its website. MOM also urged the public to report poor training practices of accredited firms through its website.