To raise the quality of workplace safety and health (WSH) training in Singapore, and to enhance the oversight of training providers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is introducing a new international standards certification all providers must obtain by July 2017.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 29990:2010 Learning Service Provider (LSP) is administered by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) through its certification bodies, and will replace the MOM Accredited Training Provider (ATP) Scheme.

The ISO standard, which has been adopted by countries including Germany, France, Australia, Denmark and Hong Kong, will align training providers’ practices to an international standard for quality professional practice and performance in the design, development and delivery of education, training and development.

It is valid for three years, and LSPs will have to undergo an audit at the end of the validity period to be re-certified.

In addition to meeting these requirements, training providers will also have to conform to MOM’s technical notes, which stipulate WSH-related course requirements such as course duration, trainer criteria, trainees’ prerequisites, learning objectives and outcomes, assessment method and criteria, a statement from MOM said.

This "will ensure that WSH training courses are put together and delivered at a high level of quality, while remaining relevant to Singapore’s industries".

"Training is a key component of WSH programmes," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, Hawazi Daipi.

"It entrenches safe and healthy behaviour, and helps shape WSH outcomes at workplaces. The ISO certification and MOM’s technical notes will raise the quality of WSH training services, and will benefit the industry with uplifted standards, and workers who are more attuned to good WSH practices."

To ensure training standards are maintained, the LSPs will be subjected to two surveillance audits over the span of the three-year certification validity.

If these training providers are found to have committed malpractices, the SAC-accredited certification bodies may impose penalties on the training providers, including suspension or cancellation of certification.