Ms Annie Yap, founder of HR solutions firm AYP Group, said the verification of qualifications is an “important aspect of pre-employment screening because it helps to ensure that candidates possess the qualifications they claim to have”.
That said, for companies that do not already obtain third-party verification of educational qualifications, the upcoming requirement could lengthen the process of applying for an EP, said Ms Ang Geok Khim, senior partner at Triton AI Consulting.
In her experience, it can take more than 18 days for the verification to be completed. She also gave an example of an older client who did not keep a copy of his educational certificate and could not request a replacement without flying back to the country where he studied previously.
“It’s been two months – we’re still unable to get a verification cert,” she said. “These are the challenges that we have, but then we understand that there is a reason for doing it.
“At the end of the day, when I apply for an EP, I want to make sure that the person I’m bringing to Singapore is really able to contribute to the workforce,” she said.
FLEXIBILITY UNDER COMPASS
The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) pointed out that not every EP application will need verification proof for educational qualifications.
The verification will be enforced through a new points system – the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) – that starts in September. EP applications will be assessed under four attributes and two bonus criteria, with up to 20 points for each.
Each application needs 40 points to pass, but that can be earned from the other attributes – salary, nationality diversity in the company and the firm’s support for local employment.
Only those that want to score points under the qualifications criteria will need to provide verification proof.