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About 10% of successful EP applications in Singapore were exempted from COMPASS since 1 Sep 2023

About 10% of successful EP applications in Singapore were exempted from COMPASS since 1 Sep 2023

At the same time, about 20% of approved applications scored zero points on the qualifications criterion (C2) for not declaring any degree-equivalent qualifications.

Since 1 September 2023, about 10% of successful EP applications were exempted from COMPASS.

To note, candidates are exempted from COMPASS if:

  • they have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$22,500,
  • are applying as an intra-corporate transferee, or
  • are filling the role for one month or less.

The salary threshold for exemption from COMPASS is similar to that for the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement, and is benchmarked to the top 10% of EP holders.

As shared by the Ministry of Manpower in a written Parliamentary response, less than 10% of approved applications scored zero points on the diversity criterion (C3) for having over 25% of the candidate’s nationality among the organisation’s PMETs. At the same time, about 20% of approved applications scored zero points on the qualifications criterion (C2) for not declaring any degree-equivalent qualifications.

However, the actual proportion of approved applications without any degree-qualifications is lower.

The Ministry clarified: "This is because any qualification declared would need to be accompanied by verification proof. Candidates who have obtained sufficient points across other criteria to pass COMPASS may thus choose not to declare their qualifications."

At the same time, about 30% of all approved applications scored 10 points by default for the Diversity Criterion (C3) and Support for Local Employment Criterion (C4) because the company was a small firm with less than 25 PMETs — to this end, smaller firms are given default points on C3 and C4 as their workforce ratios are easily skewed by small changes in their personnel. These applications will still need to score at least 20 points on the other criteria to meet the minimum 40 points required to pass COMPASS.

MOM discourages judgement of the quality of EP candidates on the basis of their performance in any single criterion.

"COMPASS recognises that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to defining the quality of candidates. Instead, it looks across six criteria, taking into account individual and firm-level attributes, as well as whether the candidate fills a shortage occupation or contributes to a strategic economic priority."

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