Parliamentary Replies

January 10, 2018

WSQ Courses

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, Nee Soon GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what are the criteria to qualify a company to conduct Workforce Skills Qualifications courses; (b) what can students do when the quality of the instructors is not as advertised; and (c) how does the Ministry oversee these companies to ensure they are not overcharging.

Response

1. Before accrediting any Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) training course provider, the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (SSG) first evaluates the provider’s ability to design and develop curriculum, its training delivery, financial management practices, and whether it has qualified adult educators. SSG also carefully considers the design and development of the courseware, as well as its system of assessment. The training provider must meet stringent standards and requirements before it can be appointed as an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) to deliver WSQ programmes. All ATOs are expected to maintain and upkeep a high standard of delivery in their training and assessment. To ensure their compliance, SSG regularly audits the ATOs’ systems and processes. The outcomes of such audits are reviewed and considered by SSG for the renewal of the ATOs’ application to offer training.

2. To ensure and uphold the standards of ATOs’ training, SSG recently introduced a community feedback feature in the MySkillsFuture portal. Course participants can directly provide their feedback and views on the quality of learning on the respective SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses they attended. This year, SSG will publish on MySkillsFuture, information on the training outcomes of SSG-supported courses. This is to empower individuals and help them make informed learning choices. It will also serve to heighten the ATOs’ accountability for results in their training. SSG will continue to look into ways of providing greater transparency and information on training quality and impact.

3. SSG takes a balanced approach towards keeping course fees reasonable. With about 500 training providers delivering WSQ courses, market competition serves as a natural check on fees. All ATOs are also required to seek SSG’s approval on their course fees. The agency uses industry benchmarks to ensure that proposed fees are reasonable in comparison with other similar courses.