NS certificates will list out WSQ credits

Mr Yeo Cheong Guan, 63, managing director of Eng Bee Paper Merchant, and Mr Willy Tan, 27, director of ForBis Accounting, with the NS Advocate Award for SMEs handed out to their firms for their exemplary support for Total Defence and NS.
Mr Yeo Cheong Guan, 63, managing director of Eng Bee Paper Merchant, and Mr Willy Tan, 27, director of ForBis Accounting, with the NS Advocate Award for SMEs handed out to their firms for their exemplary support for Total Defence and NS.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Improved Certificate of Service to be given out next year will include milestone events

From next year, national servicemen will get a certificate showing the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) credits gained during their full-time service when they complete their NS.

The improved Certificate of Service (COS), given out to all NSFs upon completion of NS, will also include milestone events they were involved in, such as overseas exercises or the Army Open House.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced the enhancement at this year's Total Defence Awards Dinner at Fairmont Hotel yesterday.

Companies said the information would be useful in judging prospective hires. Mr Charlton Ong, vice-president of human resources at Singtel, said: "It gives us an opportunity to assess whether the skills and values that the applicant has picked up during their national service days are aligned with our core values and practices, such as leadership, critical thinking or teamwork."

ForBis Accounting's director Willy Tan, 27, whose firm has four staff, said having information about the number of servicemen who have taken a course would also be useful.

"If there are many people who have taken a particular course, we might afford to be more picky."

A Certificate of Completion will continue to be given to NSFs. Those who perform exceptionally well and those who have leadership roles will also be given a testimonial.

There will also be an employers' guide launched with the enhanced certificate next year, to help employers understand the significance of the various NS milestones and achievements, including soft skills and character attributes displayed or developed by NSFs.

Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung said in March that 23 Singapore Armed Forces courses were accredited under the WSQ scheme.

It is a national framework that trains and certifies individuals in skills valued by employers.

Mr Ong had said then that the move to accredit SAF courses was to recognise that servicemen attain leadership, technical and specialist skills that meet professional standards accepted by industries.

In his speech yesterday, Dr Ng also acknowledged the increasing concern of Singaporeans about continued peace in the country and the region, with the escalation of words over North Korean's missile and nuclear tests, and regular reports of terrorist attacks overseas.

"The concern of Singaporeans is legitimate. Over the last two years, (the Internal Security Department) has detained 11 radicalised Singaporeans. This number is as many as in the seven years preceding that period," he said.

Dr Ng was the guest of honour at the event where 139 NS Advocate Awards were presented to 12 individuals, 89 small and medium-sized enterprises, 24 large companies and 14 organisations. It is the highest accolade conferred on organisations, businesses and individuals for their exemplary support for Total Defence and NS.

One winner of the award for small and medium-sized enterprises was Eng Bee Paper Merchant, which sells religious items. The firm motivates its staff who are NSmen to do well for their Individual Physical Proficiency Test by putting their results on a noticeboard.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2017, with the headline 'NS certificates will list out WSQ credits'. Print Edition | Subscribe