Chief Executive of HTA
T. Raja Kumar,
Home Team colleagues
Partners of the Home Team
Ladies and gentlemen
- Two years ago, I spoke with Raja and then-Permanent Secretary Leo, and said “Look, we say training is important, how seriously do we take it?” And really I want to see the Home Team Academy be the driving force in training. Quite apart from the training that each individual Home Team Department does, the Home Team Academy could be the driving force of many other things that, as we say, can be specialised under one roof. I would also like to see a greater collaboration with our universities, more pathways for people to take up self-learning programmes, accreditations, credits from modules towards the journey in terms of getting skills and degrees. Not everyone can be sent on a full scholarship, but we can open up more pathways. So that is something, looking on two years, listening to Raja’s speech, looking at the progress that the Home Team Academy has made, I am very heartened to see where we are now.
- Last year, I think we have progressed in a number of ways. The skills and knowledge of Home Team trainers have increased. Training was brought to the frontline with simulators, e-learning and SPECTRA, which is to train our trainers. It was co-developed with National Institute of Education International (NIE International) and also a new training staff authority has been set up.
DEVELOPING OUR PEOPLE
- We have always emphasised, we do our work because we have quality, people are at the core of what we do in the Home Team, our own people. We have to give them the best and develop them.
(A) Continuous Education and Training
- I will touch on two aspects today. The first, continuous education and training. Within the framework of continuous education and training, in turn, we talk about skills and academic output.
- Skills – we will aim to train officers at different points in their careers. In their work skills, it could be investigation skills, it could be fire rescue, could be emergency medical services. Things that we do, we train them, and we train them better, at different points.
- Second, apart from their core skills, what we call cross-cutting skills which can support innovation across the Home Team and get the entire Home Team to be able to face the future.
- The Home Team Academy is working with SkillsFuture Singapore, as well as Institutes of Higher Learning, to come up with specific courses which can add value to our people – data analytics, design thinking, cybersecurity etc, but taken and customised to our Home Team context.
- Let me give you a direct example. Take Ms Hamidah Bte Haji, 59 years old. She works for Prisons, she taps on data analytics. This is to better understand inmates’ rehabilitation needs and track their progress. To support this effort, she needs to know the skills, so she upgraded her skills in Microsoft Excel and Business intelligence, so that she can better handle and process the data. We have her saying “we have to keep transforming ourselves to stay relevant at work ”.
- As long as our officers are willing to put in the effort, we will support you on this journey – get better skills, capabilities and transform together with the entire Home Team.
- Secondly, academic upgrading. Last year, the Home Team Academy partnered with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and rolled out a number of modules. One, how to operate as One Home Team, the second, as you saw from the video, on ethos and values. Officers can go for these courses and they can get credits towards an SUSS undergraduate degree. And we will seek to roll out more such courses for credits, so that our officers can work towards a degree. And we will try and open up the pathways as much as possible and for as many officers as possible.
(B) Home Team Integration
- So that is one aspect. Secondly, integration. We will need to strengthen the Home Team Integration, based on common values and shared mission. And the Academy has a key role in that.
- The Home Team Foundation Course was rolled out recently for all our senior officers, to really build strong bonds across the Home Team, with a common understanding of our heritage, our culture and what we aim to achieve. There are challenges in terms of getting people released, in terms of how long they can spend. I think we have to try and overcome them. If we say this training is important, this approach is important, then we just have to do it and Ministry Headquarters will take ownership of it, and drive it if necessary.
- Secondly, the Simulation Centre. It’s a mock command centre, with real life scenarios and situation injects, joint incident management and decision-making skills. We will be launching it later today. It keeps the officers in-sync, provides hands-on feel, develops their command skills.
ROLE OF HTA AND TRAINING COMMUNITY
- In all of these, the Academy plays a crucial role as our Corporate University. I want it to be seen as a significant entity, a prestigious position, a unit within the Home Team that drives the entire learning culture. That will help our officers upgrade their skills, knowledge, values and prepare them for both the current challenges and future challenges.
- In order to succeed, we need to continue to focus on developing a very strong core of Home Team leaders, both in terms of quality leadership programmes. And now, increasingly the international aspect is becoming important. We have to strengthen regional and international partnerships and build thought leadership, so we have the new Phoenix International Programme which will be started, in collaboration with NTU, and the new International Programme on Crisis Leadership. These are very welcome.
- Secondly, the Academy will also introduce continuous learning opportunities for trainers to support both current training needs and future training needs. We will work with NIEI to refine SPECTRA which I mentioned earlier, to see how we can do that better.
- Next, to drive the Home Team-wide learning technologies. Realistic training, joint training and learning anytime, anywhere, preferably on the go.
- The Home Team Academy will enhance and refine the Learning Management System (LMS), it will roll out a mobile app which will enable the LMS to be accessed on the go so that training content can be available on the ground.
- So these are some of the opportunities that would be available through the Home Team Academy, and it will be available to all of the officers.
- I am confident that the Home Team Academy will continue to drive this. I am confident and hopeful that our Home Team Departments will continue to support the learning journey for the officers and we will have more skilled, adaptable officers with the right values, who will continue to keep Singapore safe and secure.
- Thank you.