The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES), the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), SBS Transit Ltd (SBST) and SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to establish the Chartered Engineer programme for Singapore’s railway professionals. This will support the national-level SkillsFuture movement by building a sustainable pool of highly skilled and proficient railway engineers and assisting individuals to advance in their careers based on skills and mastery. Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo was the guest of honour at the event.
2. In addition, the MOU will establish a common set of railway engineering industry standards for engineering competencies. The signatories will work together to provide a platform for the continual development of professional standards and accreditation in operations, maintenance and regulatory work. This will expand on the work of the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications framework and certification for Public Transport by WDA, and build a foundation to support the SkillsFuture objectives of an integrated, high-quality system of education and training. The introduction and recognition of these standards will help to further enhance the professionalism of the sector and to improve its attractiveness as a long-term career. All parties will also collaborate to drive industry-wide branding and promotion of the railway engineering profession.
Singapore’s Chartered Engineer programme
3. Launched by IES in 2013, Singapore’s Chartered Engineer programme provides accreditation to engineers in fields that do not require Professional Engineer registration. The programme was first rolled out for engineers in the aerospace, chemical & process, environmental & water, marine & offshore and systems engineering sectors. This programme will now be extended to engineers in the railway and transportation engineering sector.
4. The accreditation programme is based on independent peer review of an individual’s experience, expertise and practicing competence. For railway engineers, it provides employers with a yardstick to determine and recognise their professional competence, which will in turn enhance their employability and career prospects. Application for accreditation will begin from end-2015. Chartered Engineers will need to accumulate 40 Professional Development Units each year by participating in seminars, conferences and membership in Engineering Boards.
5. “To achieve a robust public transportation system, Singapore needs a strong pipeline of railway and transportation engineers capable of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of various types of railway and transportation systems and developing innovative solutions for technical, societal and commercial problems related to railway engineering. IES is honoured to partner LTA, WDA, SBST and SMRT and contribute to the MOU through our Chartered Engineer programme to raise standards, competencies and proficiencies of the railway and transportation engineering industry and attract new entrants to this field while retaining current engineers,” said Er. Chong Kee Sen, President of IES.
6. Mr Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive of LTA, said, “The development of rail engineers is crucial to our growing public transportation sector. With the building of new rail lines and the doubling of our rail network to about 360km by 2030, it is critical that we have engineers with the knowledge and expertise to plan, build, operate and maintain the rail system. This programme also encourages the right attitude in our engineers and the spirit of continuous learning, which will keep them in good stead to progress in this exciting industry.”
7. WDA’s Ag Chief Executive, Mr Goh Eng Ghee said “WDA will work closely with the public transport stakeholders to build an industry-recognised skills-based framework. This collaboration will be part of the efforts to support SkillsFuture through the development of an integrated, high-quality system of education and training that responds to constantly evolving industry needs.”
8. SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, said, "As SBS Transit Rail grows and evolves, it is important that our people do so too. We strongly believe that this partnership will enable our rail engineers to develop their professional competency and keep pace with technology improvements. We fully support this initiative that complements our career development path for rail engineers as it enables our engineers to attain higher qualifications and recognition and ultimately, benefits the entire industry."
9. Mr Lee Ling Wee, Managing Director of SMRT Trains said, “SMRT trains and nurtures a growing core of rail engineers to uphold the highest standards of leadership and operational competencies necessary to fulfil their important roles in an increasingly complex rapid transit system. We cultivate the career aspirations of rail engineers through a well-defined career progression ladder based on performance and potential for higher responsibilities. With this MOU, we continue to work closely with various key industry partners to further enhance the professionalism of our rail engineers, taking a significant step towards developing a pool of rail industry professionals to provide better rail reliability and enhanced service experience for all commuters in Singapore.”
10. More information on Singapore’s Chartered Engineer programme can be found at www.charteredengineers.sg.