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Through the Eyes of a Cohesion Programme Specialist
It’s all about emphasising the “Team” in Home Team! Ever wondered what a cohesion programme specialist does? We spent a day at HomeTeamNS Tampines to find out.

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PHOTO: HomeTeamNS Tampines

As I arrived at HomeTeamNS Tampines bright and early at 8 am on a Monday, a group of guests had just arrived while others were having breakfast. So why exactly did they report to HomeTeamNS Tampines on a Monday morning, a day when many of us drag our feet to work?

Simple. They were attending a cohesion programme.

A cohesion programme is all about building team spirit, a crucial factor in driving engagement and performance. And the person who’s responsible for doing this at HomeTeamNS is the Cohesion Programme Specialist.

“The best part of our work is that we get to meet different groups of people for each session,” said Syafiqah, the main Cohesion Programme Specialist for that day.

I couldn’t agree more with Syafiqah. As I followed the cohesion programme through the day, I could see why she enjoyed her job. The participants were a group of Home Team officers, each carrying out a different role in the Home Team, but who all shared one common objective: keeping Singapore safe and secure. Putting myself in Syafiqah’s shoes, I’d feel proud too to be able to help them strengthen their bonds with one another.

The session kicked off with brief introductions of the team of specialists, who will take the participants through the programme. Then Syafiqah gave a quick briefing about the programme outline for the day. Afif, a full-time game specialist at HomeTeamNS Tampines, then took over the reins to give a safety briefing for the highlight activities for the day - Clip ‘n Climb and Laser Quest.

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Giving a safety briefing to climbers. Clip ‘n Climb utilises an automatic belaying system that offers a safe and controlled descent to the ground. PHOTO: HomeTeamNS Tampines

Climbing (and Breaking Down) Walls

Over at Clip ‘n Climb, the participants were guided on how to gear up. After everyone was properly equipped with harnesses, the game specialist gave a quick demonstration on one of the walls.

Clip ‘n Climb has 19 walls, each with a unique theme such as Twister Right, Dry Ice and Speed Climb. “The climbers have to get to the top before letting go of the grips to come back down,” Afif explained. “What we’re trying to do is give climbers the chance to fight their fears, and for the others to encourage one another as a team.”

As each climber took to the wall, those below cheered them on and encouraged them not to give up. Regardless of the difficulty level chosen, everyone was really hyped up as each climber went higher. While it was fun to climb, it was even cooler to cheer and to see the bonds of friendship grow stronger. I believe this is what Cohesion Programme Specialists like Syafiqah and Afif enjoy most – to know that they can help develop stronger teams, within the short time they spend with each group.

Jamie cohesion 3Did you know that the layout in the Laser Quest arena changes periodically, sometimes according to occasions such as Halloween? PHOTO: HomeTeamNS Tampines

I’ve Got Your Back

At 11.45am, we switched with the other team and proceeded to the Laser Quest session. Syafiqah briefed the participants on the safety precautions within the Laser Quest arena. And then it was game on!

The arena was pulsing with music and lights. As I observed the participants engage in laser skirmishes, I noticed that their heads were really into the game. They strategised and schemed… oops, I meant worked together, to score as many points as possible. It wasn’t about being the best player, but the best team.

All participants had a blast, judging from the smiles and laughter. And their sense of satisfaction was shared by Syafiqah and Afif. Even as an observer, the cohesion programme was really fun and exciting; in Clip ‘n Climb, the participants helped one another overcome their fears, and in Laser Quest, they succeeded by working together as one.

This isn’t very different from what Home Team officers do every day. But relearning these lessons in different settings reinforces what makes the Home Team unique – we’re all about the “Team” in the Home Team.


To learn more about HomeTeamNS’ cohesion programmes, check out this page.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Jamie Ang
  2. 12 January 2018
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