In order to maintain close liaison with partners and explore opportunities for new partnership, the Director General of the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and President of the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, assisted by Executive Secretary Ms. Adrienne Abril, embarked on several meetings from April 13 and 14, 2015 in Singapore. The meetings were organized in conjunction with the Regional Program on TVET for Principals and Leaders held in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Singapore and Institute of Technical Education.
On April 13, the CPSC DG paid a courtesy visit to the newly appointed Director General of Technical Cooperation Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore Mr. Heng Aik Yeow. The meeting was set to further discuss and exchange ideas about continuous future collaborations and cooperation through the conduct of programs beneficial to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region. Dr. Naim likewise updated MFA with the initiatives of APACC within the region especially its relevance to the pursuit of goals of the ASEAN Community 2015.
Mr. Heng shared MFA's cooperation projects through the Singapore Cooperation Program (SCP), one of which was the then ongoing regional program in collaboration with CPSC and Institute of Technical Education. He had full appreciation to CPSC for being a reliable partner since year 2008. He hoped that the programs being provided by SCP are beneficial to the program participants, thus feedback acquired by CPSC are requested to be shared with MFA Singapore.
APACC, the accreditation arm of CPSC, has so far accredited 42 TVET institutions in five countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Pakistan and Malaysia. Two other meetings were attended by Dr. Naim on April 14 mainly to promote APACC and explore its expansion in Singapore as well as general exchange of institutional information.
Dr. Naim met Mr. Lee Leck Seng, General Manager, Singapore Polytechnic International PTE LTD (SPI) and discussed about APACC and SPI's consultancy services and training programs for governmental agencies in the ASEAN region and other countries in areas such as TVET Institution Quality Assurance Framework, Competency-based Curriculum Design & Development, and NQF/ASEAN Qualifications Referencing Framework (AQRF).
He likewise met representatives from Council for Private Education (CPE) - Mr. Remy Choo, Director of Assessment, Registration, Monitoring and Investigation and Ms. Zheng Huimin, Senior Head of Policy Department. CPE is the regulatory body which covers the private education sector in Singapore. Mr. Choo shared the two-tier regulatory and quality assurance system administered by CPE. First tier is the Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) which is a mandatory requirement for private educational institutes to operate in Singapore and the EduTrust Certification Scheme, a quality assurance system which is not required but rather availed on voluntary basis.
During these meetings, Dr. Naim stressed the importance of APACC on assuring the quality of TVET institutions in the Asia Pacific region. The initial meetings with SPI and CPE generated recommendations on the way forward and the necessary steps in order to pursue APACC accreditation in Singapore.