The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore has recently made an announcement that is essential for all employers to take note of. Companies looking to hire foreigners on Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore must now ensure that all education qualifications are authentic. This mandatory verification is in place to safeguard against the submission of fraudulent education qualifications, which has become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
Employers will need to submit third-party verification proof for applicants with diploma-level qualifications and above. The verification requirement will be enforced through the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), which takes effect in September for new applications. For EP renewal applications, the requirement comes into effect in September 2024.
EPs are generally given to professionals, managers, engineers, and technicians. Under COMPASS, an EP application will be awarded points based on four attributes and two bonus criteria. A minimum of 40 points is needed for the application to pass. The specialised roles in the areas of technology, healthcare, and sustainability are considered under the “Shortage Occupation List”, a bonus criteria which awards extra points.
Why Are Education Qualification Verifications So Important?
Fake qualifications, fake education certificates, and false employment pass declarations aren’t new. and recent cases include 23 foreigners who declared qualifications from Manav Bharti University in India, – where they could obtain a degree qualification from MBU by simply paying a certain sum of money without needing to attend classes. Two people were jailed for submitting false qualifications in their work pass applications, while 19 were permanently barred from working in Singapore.
Even professors of educational institutes have been called out for fake credentials, such as the case of Professor Chen Chunhua, a visiting professor at the NUS Business School and the Dean of Beijing International MBA Business School at Peking University. Chen was found to have provided details of a doctorate from a fake university in Ireland and claimed to be a “military adviser” for tech company Huawei. However, Huawei denied this and stated publicly that they had no knowledge of Chen.
It is important for employers to comply with all educational checks and verification processes mandated by MOM, and Sterling RISQ has been listed as one of the global verification agencies on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website.
Sterling RISQ offers background screening services in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region, and has experience in tailorsing screening packages for all roles and organisation types. Protect your business from fraudulent candidates by getting in touch with Sterling RISQ today to discuss a background screening package suited for your organisation.