Opening Address by Mr Christopher Koh at WSH Training Providers Forum 2024
26 Jan 2024 Speeches
Partners from SkillsFuture Singapore and the Singapore Accreditation Council, Workplace safety and health training providers,
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. Good morning, and welcome to the Training Providers’ Forum 2024. I am pleased to join you at this annual forum, where we share updates with our training providers so that you are kept informed of the latest direction in workplace safety and health (WSH) training.
TPs play a key role in making training effective and relevant.
2. The theme for today’s forum is “Towards Quality Training”. This is important because we rely on WSH training as an essential enabler to level up workers from different backgrounds, different levels of education and knowledge, and in different industries to be safe at work.
3. If WSH training is not of good quality, workers’ knowledge of risks, how to mitigate them, and how to work safely, will be compromised. Ultimately, it puts them and their colleagues at greater risk of being harmed at work. So we need to do as much as we can to level up and enhance training quality.
4. As training providers, you are important partners in this endeavour. You are the ones who can impart WSH understanding and knowledge to workers, to equip them with the know-how to prevent workplace incidents.
Direction for WSH Training Landscape
5. Let me share our direction for the WSH training landscape to move us towards Quality Training. I would like to start by introducing someone.
6. It is almost Chinese New Year. I know not all of us here celebrate Chinese New Year, but I think most of us would know this person, who usually appears this time of year.
7. Who is he? He is Cai Shen Ye – God of Fortune. In Chinese, Cai means fortune. Our direction for WSH training can be captured by the acronym CAI.
8. First direction is Continuous. Training should be Continuous throughout the workers’ career in Singapore.
9. Second direction is Accessible. Training should be Accessible, which means it can be done anywhere, anytime. This is possible with online training.
10. Third direction is Integrity. There must be Integrity in teaching and assessment procedures, so that we are more assured that the training is relevant and that trainees really learn and internalise the knowledge.
11. Let me share more on each of these 3 directions.
WSH Coordinator Refresher Training
12. First, for making WSH training Continuous. We have introduced the WSH Coordinator Refresher training in November 2022, starting with Construction WSH Coordinators. This initiative is part of making WSH training not limited to one-time gateway training at one point in time, but extending to refresher training to make training an on-going and continuous process.
13. We have thus far, with your help, trained close to 9,000 WSH Coordinators, which covers the vast majority of the WSH Coordinator community. Some participants have given feedback that the case study discussions and sharing of good WSH practices were relevant and useful in helping them discharge their duties more confidently and effectively.
14. Moving forward in 2024, all appointed WSH Coordinators, regardless of their industry, will be required to attend the WSH Coordinator Refresher Training every two years. This is to ensure there is continuous learning, updates and enhancements to their WSH knowledge and competencies.
15. Second, for making WSH training Accessible. To support this, the WSH Council introduced the online Microlearning Programme in September 2023 to allow workers to learn through bite-sized modules on their phone, at their convenience, without having to take time away from work to go to a physical centre.
16. Beyond using the current programme to prepare for the Construction Safety Orientation Course recertification assessment, we will be looking into where else we can introduce online microlearning. After our pilot run has stabilised and we account for the lessons learnt, we will consider calling for a proposal for more TPs to be involved in online microlearning.
No-Notice Audits on Training Providers
17. Thirdly, for making sure WSH training has Integrity. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and WSH Council has a framework to conduct no-notice audits on WSH training providers to ensure compliance with the Curriculum, Training and Assessment Guide (CTAG) requirements. These audits began in November 2023 and will carry on this year. Some of you may have already been paid a visit by either officers from MOM or WSH Council. Such audits are necessary to ensure we uphold the standards within the CTAG.
E-Assessment of SOCs
18. Another aspect of Integrity is in assessment procedures. Otherwise, there is little assurance that the trainees really understand what was taught.
19. To support this, the WSH Council recently introduced electronic random assessment for the Safety Orientation courses from 1 January 2024 onwards. This form of WSH assessment is more robust, it randomises all questions from the question bank and eliminates the need for training providers to download 40 sets of questions every six months. The assessment is also marked almost instantaneously and can reveal the results to trainees on the spot, for them to review those that they answered incorrectly.
20. We will be looking at how to have such independent assessment as a feature for more types of WSH training, so that we can have better insights of the quality of teaching for different WSH courses by different TPs.
21. To conclude, I invite all TPs to consider our CAI direction, and align yourselves to it. Those TPs that can do Continuous training well, have Accessible online capability, and do training and assessment with Integrity, will be more likely to do well commercially in the WSH training landscape. Then CAI will really translate to “cai” for you. I wish all of you a fruitful forum today. Thank you.