Press Releases

Home Team Psychology Division

Published: 24 November 2023

1. On 1 Feb 2023, the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre (HTBSC), Office of Chief Psychologist (OCP) and Centre for Advanced Psychological Sciences (CAPS) merged to become the Home Team Psychology Division (HTPD), a division within the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The formation of the HTPD allowed MHA to pool together resources across the three psychological units for greater effectiveness and efficiency. The history of the HTBSC, OCP and CAPS can be found in the Annex.

2. HTPD provides support to MHA and Home Team Departments (HTDs) by applying psychological sciences and conducting research to support policy development and enhance operations. HTPD also supports and develops psychologists across the various HTDs. 

3. HTPD conducts research to improve outcomes in areas such as:

(a) Forensic and criminal psychology, e.g. related to scams, drugs and sexual offending

(b) Leadership assessment and talent development psychology

(c) Crisis preparedness and community safety and security

(d) Communication and information psychology

(e) Mental resilience and well-being of our Home Team officers

4. HTPD uses behavioural sciences to support Home Team officers, to ensure they are operationally ready. This includes conducting regular mental health surveys to track stress levels, and providing standards and research into managing fatigue and building resilience and peer support. HTPD has also conducted research to examine the integration of physiological, mental, and emotional responses to better prepare our officers for the work they do. 

5. HTPD also works closely as a community of psychologists in the Home Team, to support professional development and develop standardised practices. HTPD does this through organising and conducting workshops for our psychologists; and putting in place programmes to support the growth of the team.

Annexes: History of HTBSC, OCP and CAPS 

(a) Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre (HTBSC)

Established in 2006, the HTBSC was set up as a behavioural sciences research and training centre to provide a behavioural sciences perspective to support Home Team operational work. To complement ground operations and to enhance the effectiveness of our officers, HTBSC advocated the integration of research science and evidence-based practices. 

It comprised four main branches: Crime, Investigative and Forensic Psychology Branch (CIFP), Operations and Leadership Psychology Branch (OLP), Resilience, Safety and Security Psychology Branch (RSSP) and Operations and Corporate Support Branch (OCS).

HTBSC was located at the Home Team Academy (HTA) so that research and training elements could be incorporated across cross-cutting areas within the HTA. This also allowed for close collaborations between the research and training fraternities across other departments in HTA that enabled quick enhancements to training programmes on the ground.

(b) Office of Chief Psychologist (OCP)

Established in 2017, the OCP drove the professional development of Home Team psychologists and aligned the efforts of the various Home Team psychology units to MHA’s strategic priorities. OCP roles had three main specialist groups:

(i) Clinical, Counselling and Crisis Psychology. This group’s primary focus included counselling and peer support, crisis psychology and resilience, risk assessments, intervention and rehabilitation.

(ii) Operations, Investigative and Forensic Psychology. This group looked at investigative psychology, crime profiling, crisis negotiation, morale management, and operations psychology. 

(iii) Industrial, Organisational and Personnel Psychology. This group oversaw matters relating to leadership selection and development, organisational health psychology, personnel assessment and selection, optimal performance psychology and training. 
(c) Centre for Advanced Psychological Sciences (CAPS)

CAPS was formed in 2021 to develop a small group of psychologists to conduct deep dive and cross-cutting research; and provide psychological expertise to support Home Team operations and policy development. These areas included psychology of crime; drug and substance addiction and recovery; and trauma, crisis and emergency psychology.