Published: 02 May 2023
Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs)
Chief Executive, Home Team Academy (CE/HTA)
Home Team colleagues and partners
1. Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to join you for the Home Team Academy (HTA) Workplan Seminar 2023.
2. HTA and the Home Team Departments (HTDs) have made good progress, year on year, in building up the training domain. As the Corporate University in Homefront Safety and Security, HTA plays a crucial role in developing next-generation Home Team officers to be future-ready.
3. The transformation of our workforce requires the close collaboration of the entire Home Team Training and Learning (T&L) community. HTA, the Training and Competency Development Division (TCD) in MHQ and the HTDs are part of this T&L community that seeks to advance our core mission of making the Home Team always effective and always future-ready.
Importance of Continually Enhancing Training & Learning in the Home Team
4. The Home Team’s operating environment will only become more complex. Domestically, public expectations will continue to rise while manpower constraints remain a reality. Externally, geo-political tensions and international terrorism will raise threat of disinformation, misinformation and foreign interference, as well as radicalisation and terrorism. Competency-building through training and learning will enable our officers to tackle emerging and future challenges effectively, and achieve our mission of keeping Singapore and Singaporeans safe and secure.
5. HTA is uniquely placed as a key touchpoint for Home Team officers throughout their careers. It is where new officers pick up their foundational knowledge as Guardians of Singapore. It is not an exaggeration to say that HTA has to be a constant partner to our officers as they grow their careers in the Home Team, advance in their professions, upskill and re-skill to take on more complex roles and leadership positions.
6. This will be a constant learning journey, and part of it must include digital upskilling so that our officers can optimise the benefits that technology brings to our work and operations. For example, our enforcement officers leverage in-house AI tools to keep abreast of the latest trends in scams, and detect as well as provide intelligence on cybercrime activities. Because scammers and bad actors that perpetrate malicious online crime are able to operate at a scale and speed that is very difficult for individuals to overcome. The use of these AI tools enables us to counter that. HTX also has a E-Commerce Surveillance Tool that uses AI to help enforcement officers to analyse online listings of contraband items, so that the officers’ time can be freed up to focus on higher-order tasks.
7. Digital upskilling is similarly important for us, as HT leaders. We ourselves must be able to understand the opportunities that these tools can bring, as well as the risks that come along with them. Understanding data and being able to analyse it, as well as being familiar with technological advancements in areas such as AI and cloud computing allows us to drive transformation within our teams and to ensure continued mission success.
Launch of Home Team Learning Management System (HTLMS) 2.0
8. And so, HTA has leveraged technology to drive training transformation in the Home Team. It has done so in a very systematic fashion. To enhance the user experience of both trainers and learners, HTA has been working with HTDs to upgrade the Home Team Learning Management System (HTLMS) to ensure a more personalised and data-driven learning experience for Home Team officers. So today, I am happy to announce the soft launch of the HTLMS2.0.
9. The HTLMS2.0 will benefit a wide range of users. For those that are involved in curriculum development, you can look forward to the new content builder, which uses a simple “click and drag” approach to significantly reduce the time required to create e-learning packages. Apart from this, evaluations and assessments can now be completed within the system. Training coordinators will no longer need to manually collate evaluation and assessment results, but can easily extract the reports to generate results and findings.
10. The HTLMS2.0 will also include a social collaboration module to promote and strengthen collaborative learning. Officers enrolled in a course would be able to participate in course discussion forums to share insights, best practices and clarify questions in their minds, thereby creating opportunities for ground-up “Communities of Practice”.
11. Future phases of the HTLMS2.0 development will see HTA exploring mobility options to allow officers to access HTLMS “anytime, anywhere” as part of continuous learning efforts within and outside the workplace.
12. I would like to take this opportunity to commend HTA for your “dare-to-try” attitude in exploring learning technologies that will benefit the Home Team.
A Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Training & Learning
13. CE/HTA also mentioned earlier that HTA is working towards establishing four Centres of Excellence (CoEs) by 2025. These four CoEs will focus on ‘Leadership Development in Public Safety and Security’, ‘Simulation Training for Incident Management’, ‘Evaluation and Assessment’ as well as ‘Online Learning’.
14. HTA’s goal is to be the CoE at the Whole-of-Government (WOG), and international levels for two of the CoEs, namely ‘Leadership Development in Public Safety and Security’ as well as ‘Simulation Training for Incident Management’. Strong and effective leadership is essential for the Home Team’s success. One of the key initiatives under the CoE in ‘Leadership Development in Public Safety and Security’ is to strengthen the WOG crisis response. In the last few years, we saw how important that was.
15. To achieve this, HTA will set up a Crisis Management Training Steering Committee chaired by CE/HTA which will comprise members from the relevant Ministries involved in WOG crisis response. The Committee will also oversee the development of a WOG Crisis Management Competency Framework and a WOG Crisis Management Capability Intervention Roadmap, to align the critical competencies required and the WOG training programmes offered.
16. For the ‘Simulation Training for Incident Management’ CoE, HTA has been working to train our officers in managing large-scale security incidents and joint operations in a safe yet realistic setting.
17. With the success of the current Home Team Simulation System, HTA is now developing the Next Generation Simulation System with up-to-date technology that would include interactive training and 360-degree sense-making for frontline individual training.
18. HTA will work other agencies and international partners to allow them to benefit from using the system for their own training needs as well.
19. In addition, HTA has been working closely with various strategic partners to further deepen HTA’s domain expertise in training and learning. HTA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Institute of Police Management in February 2023 to exchange best practices in law enforcement training, leadership development, and training technology. HTA will also be establishing a partnership with Coventry University in July 2023 to tap on their expertise in the field of simulation training and leadership development.
Training & Learning as a Joint Home Team Effort
20. While HTA drives Training and Learning at the whole-of-Home Team level, I am also pleased to see many initiatives from the HTDs to strengthen our training and learning ecosystem as well as our determination to transform the Home Team continuously.
21. ICA has adopted innovative ideas to make training realistic, more engaging and interactive. For example, they have used 3D printing technology to create models of offensive weapons for officers to experience hands-on training in a safe and controlled environment. ICA has also adopted various learning formats such as using comic strips to create easily-digestible content that will sustain interest among learners.
22. SPS offers useful examples as well. They have been working to deepen the coaching capabilities and capacities of their officers at all levels. Over the next three years, SPS will be sending selected staff for training in professional coaching to become certified Coaching Champions. These Coaching Champions will conduct in-house programmes for other officers’ leadership and personal development. SPS will also be engaging external coaches for their senior leaders to maintain their strong culture of coaching and development in the organisation.
23. So, I am confident these initiatives will further support and strengthen the competencies and professionalism of our Home Team officers in discharging their duties.
24. To conclude, training and learning is vital for our officers and the Home Team as an organisation. It helps us adapt and stay ahead of changes in the security landscape. So let us embrace the opportunities to learn and develop so that we can together build a stronger Home Team and continue to keep Singapore and Singaporeans safe and secure.
25. Thank you very much, and I wish you a very fruitful seminar.