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Our Trainers, Our Pride: Dedication That Knows No Borders

With over 15 years of service, CI Muhammad Bin Latiff knows our checkpoints like few others. As a Home Team Trainer, he’s keen to share his know-how with the next generation of ICA officers.
Our Trainers, Our Pride profiles outstanding Home Team Trainers, a key factor behind our ability to keep Singapore safe and secure.

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Nothing escapes CI Muhammad’s eagle eye on the ground, and this is a quality he’s intent on instilling in his Trainees. PHOTO: Shafiq Guee

Friendly and approachable, Checkpoint Inspector (CI) Muhammad Bin Latiff, 38, regards his Trainees as friends and part of his work family. As a Specialist Trainer with the Trainers Branch of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) Training Command, CI Muhammad is a father-figure that everybody looks up to. 
How did you become a Home Team Trainer?
My journey began more than 15 years ago when I joined ICA as a Primary Screening Officer in 2006. I was assigned to mentor new officers at Woodlands Checkpoint before being posted to Changi Airport where I attended a First-Responder Train-the-Trainer programme conducted by the Singapore Police Force’s Special Operations Command.
Having completed the course, I then attended a Methods of Instruction course – now known as the Facilitator-in-Training programme, at the Home Team Academy. This course taught me practical skills such as group facilitation and how to design effective training materials, marking the start of my journey as a Home Team Trainer. 
In 2018, I joined ICA’s Training Command where I completed the UP-Scale course in instructional science, cementing my role as a full-time Trainer.
What are the qualities of a good Trainer?
One of the qualities of a good Trainer is to be a lifelong learner; a Trainer must continue to broaden his knowledge and acquire new skills. This allows me to curate my syllabus based on the learning styles of the Trainees. It’s like revising different parts of a textbook to suit each student’s needs. 
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CI Muhammad records drills his trainees are put through so he can review their performance and give them his feedback. PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Samantha Fuentes

Adaptability is another important quality for Trainers. As technology progresses, we can use digital tools to better engage our trainees and further reinforce learning outcomes. To be an effective Trainer, I revise my content regularly to refine and streamline my lessons. 
How have you enhanced the learning experience for your Trainees?
My training is conducted through classroom-based lessons and practical lessons. In the classroom, I employ active learning strategies such as “Read-Write-Pair-Share.” This involves Trainees reading their course materials before pairing up to discuss their takeaways from the lessons. When Trainees do this, they often have more learning points than if they learnt solo. After this, I’ll step in to address any questions that the Trainees have. 
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One of the drills CI Muhammad runs his Trainees through simulates an attack by armed offenders. PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Samantha Fuentes

During practical-based lessons and drills, I make it a point to let my Trainees solve problems independently. This way, they are able to evaluate and apply their analyses to link together different concepts to overcome challenges.
How have your training methods evolved over the years?
Technology has played a big role in what I do as a Trainer. We use the Home Team Learning Management System, an online portal developed by the Home Team Academy, that facilitates blended learning, allowing Trainees to access bite-sized lessons during their free time before and after training sessions.
More recently, due to COVID-19, we’ve started utilising apps such as Skype and Zoom to stream Scenario-Based assessments for Trainees. Before this, Trainees had to be physically present during a drill to observe their peers and provide feedback. 
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CI Muhammad welcomes questions that bridge theory with practice. PHOTO: Shafiq Guee

What do you love most about being a Home Team Trainer?
As a Trainer, I can make a tangible difference to our Trainees. It’s very meaningful to see Trainees address the gaps in their existing knowledge and sharpen their skillsets. 
Sometimes I even see my Trainees practising what they’ve learnt during their lunch hour. It puts a smile on my face to know that this is the dedication they have for keeping Singapore’s borders secure!

Home Team Training Excellence (TRaX) Awards
The Home Team TRaX Awards are given out by the Home Team Academy and recognise outstanding Trainers and Training Units in the Home Team’s Training and Learning Community. At a virtual award ceremony held in December 2020, nine Trainers (individual awards) and five Training Units (team awards) received honours for their commitment to innovation in learning. Click here to find out more about the Home Team’s Training and Learning initiatives.

Written by

Shafiq Guee


16 April 2021

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