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Civil Service to place more weight on skills, competencies in assessing officers' performance: Chan Chun Sing

Civil Service to place more weight on skills, competencies in assessing officers' performance: Chan Chun Sing

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing speaks in Parliament on Apr 6, 2020.

SINGAPORE: The Civil Service will place greater weight on assessing officers' demonstrated skills and competencies, following a review of its human resource (HR) systems and policies last year, said Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (Oct 6).

Mr Chan said this in a written answer to a parliamentary question by Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng of the People's Action Party (PAP).

The MP for Nee Soon GRC had asked if the Government intends to abolish the use of Currently Estimated Potential (CEP) within the Civil Service.

In his reply, Mr Chan said the CEP is adopted "as a proxy of an officer’s potential".

"It is expressed in terms of the largest job responsibility level an officer is assessed to be capable of undertaking in his or her career in the Public Service.

"Today, it is used as a long-term talent development and succession planning tool for key leadership positions and a career management tool for progressing and developing officers."

READ: Public service committed to provide 'inclusive and mental health-friendly' workplace: Chan Chun Sing

The CEP system was reviewed as part of a "proactive review" of the Civil Service's HR systems and policies last year to support public sector transformation, said Mr Chan.

"We concluded that while CEP is still a useful tool to identify and develop officers with leadership potential, we need to adapt its application in a few ways."

Mr Chan, who is also Minister for Trade and Industry, said the set of "leadership competencies" that factor into the CEP has been "refreshed to be more holistic".

"For instance, leaders must have the cognitive ability but also be able to build systems for the future, lead people well and have a good sense of the ground.

"These qualities will be consistently observed through job rotations as well as through new channels such as 360 feedback," said Mr Chan.

READ: Future public sector leaders will need more than just policy-making skills: Chan Chun Sing

The CEP itself will be used "more lightly in our HR decisions", he added.

"It is a means of identifying those with leadership potential for early development but will no longer be the single most important determinant of career development and progression."

Instead, greater weight will be placed on "assessing officers’ demonstrated skills and competencies as part of performance management, progression, and talent identification and management", said Mr Chan.

He also said the Civil Service will give more emphasis on "helping individuals identify their potential and career goals within the short to medium term of three to five years, and work with them on achieving these goals".

The service has started to expand training, job rotations and career coaching, based on the expectation that "as our operating landscape changes, the CEP of our officers will keep changing", Mr Chan added.

"What is important is to create the best conditions, for our officers to discover their passion and talents and to maximise their full potential," he said.

Source: CNA/jt

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