Singapore gov to groom 'specialist' public leaders
The programme focuses on the development of leadership on a sectoral basis, allowing officers to become specialist leaders with deep domain knowledge
Submitted on Thu, 05/23/2013 - 14:46
By Robin Chan
The Singapore government has launched a new programme to develop officers with specialist skills for leadership in the Singapore Public Service.
The new Public Service Leadership (PSL) Programme will develop officers for key leadership positions in five sectors: 1) economy building, 2) infrastructure and environment, 3) security, 4) social and 5) central administration.
The officers from each of these sectors will be developed under the guidance of five sectoral leadership committees, overseen by senior permanent secretaries. The Public Service Division (PSD), Prime Minister's Office, will oversee and provide secretariat support for this programme.
Some 500 officers are expected to be placed in the programme. These include some 220 management associates currently working in 16 ministries. High-calibre public officers identified by their agencies as potential future public sector leaders will also be included and developed under the PSL Programme.
The programme is expected to eventually draw officers through multiple channels including fresh graduates, mid-career entrants and in-service nominees from the ministries and statutory boards.
On the need for specialist and generalist leaders, the Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean - who is also the Minister in charge of the Civil Service - said: "The PSL Programme will significantly widen and deepen our public sector leadership corps by developing a pool of capable leaders who are specialists with deep expertise in these five sectors. "
"Specialist leaders will work with Administrative Officers who are generalist leaders integrating the work of agencies across the government. This will enable the Public Service to build strong teams with a deeper range of governance capabilities, perspectives and expertise to better serve Singapore and Singaporeans," the Deputy PM added.
Details of the PSL Programme
The PSL Programme focuses on the development of leadership on a sectoral basis, allowing officers to become specialist leaders with deep domain knowledge.
Officers on the programme will be posted to agencies within the sector for development. In some instances, officers may also be given cross-sector postings to better understand the linkage between different sectors; for example, the linkage between social and economic policymaking.
Officers on the PSL Programme may be considered for the Administrative Service should they be more suitable for a generalist track; while Administrative Officers may be considered for the PSL Programme if they want to pursue a deeper specialised career track.
The PSL Programme will also provide a platform to expand training and career development opportunities for all officers in their sectors. Senior public sector leaders in each of these sectors will oversee the development of leaders at all levels.
Some agencies already have such professional development programmes for their officers. The PSL Programme augments these by providing a platform to systematically develop expertise and capabilities that cut across a number of agencies, for example, in Engineering or Economic Regulation, and front-line service delivery.
All officers to benefit from a strong leadership corps
The competency frameworks and career pathways developed for officers on the PSL Programme can also be applied to officers interested in a career in the sector. Agencies can also tap on the shared curriculum and resources to train their own officers, regardless of whether they are on the PSL Programme.
Head of the Civil Service, Mr Peter Ong said: "We are investing more resources and attention to develop these specialist leaders so that they can, in turn, train and develop other officers at various levels. This will lift capabilities for the entire Public Service. From the most junior officer to the most senior, we want to uplift their capabilities - give them skills; help them build a career, so they can feel fully engaged and take pride in their work."