Dear Home Team colleagues and valued partners,
2020 - A Whole New World
The past year has brought fresh challenges for the world, Singapore and the Home Team. The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve globally and as a nation, we strive to prevent, respond to, and mitigate the social, economic and security challenges that the pandemic poses everyday. We also continue to face challenges such as technological disruptions, manpower constraints and increasing public expectations. However, it is not all doom and gloom as 2020 also stands out for the achievement of extraordinary milestones and success stories as HTA emerged stronger from the experience through strength in unity personified by the HEART of HTA.
Rising Above Challenges In The ‘New Normal'
As I look back on the extraordinary year 2020, I am heartened and proud of our family of HTA-Enablers for rising to turn these challenges into opportunities for HTA to Learn, Serve and Excel together as ONE. We started 2020 by being one of the first government agencies to operatea Government Quarantine Facility (GQF), a Relocated Foreign Workers Dormitory and a Dormitory Isolation Facility concurrently within HTA’s premises until July 2020. On this note, I would also like to express my appreciation to all HTA-Enablers who have contributed directly or indirectly to this effort as well as the co-located training schools for their round-the-clock manpower support.I look forward to your continued support as we work together as One Home Team to support the nation’s continued fight against COVID-19.
COVID-19 has also changed the way Training and Learning (T&L)is conducted. With millions of people forced to stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19, the usual face-to-face T&L activities were no longer tenable. As Singapore entered the Circuit Breaker period in Apr 2020, HTA had to think out-of-the-box by pivoting from the conventional approach of delivering T&L to our learners to virtual platforms. To drive T&L in the ‘new normal’, HTA redesigned our programmes and developed new modalities by leveraging technology, such as video conferencing services and online learning platforms. We were able to quickly pivot our training modalities by converting our courses for trainers, the Facilitator-in-Training (FiT) course and Upgrading Professionally through Specialist Certificate in Adult Learning and Education (UP-SCALE) programme, into a fully virtual course and blended course respectively since July 2020. Our HT cross-cutting skills courses in ‘Data Analytics’ (DA) and ‘Design Thinking’ (DT) were also converted from classroom-based into fully virtual courses from August 2020. In October 2020, HTA organised the 4th run of our apex HT leadership programme for HT senior leaders, the Phoenix Programme, via a blended modality comprising face-to-face sessions as well as virtual and e-learning sessions. In this regard, I would like to applaud HTA staff for their good work and success in making Good & Effective Learning at HTA (GEL@HTA) possible during this tough operating landscape with such speed and agility.
Despite the challenges posed, HTA’s continued pursuit of organisational excellence drove us to achieve a Silver Award for ‘Excellence in Business Transformation’ and a Bronze Award for ‘Excellence in Workplace Culture’ for the Singapore HR Excellence Awards 2020. We were also accorded with the Civil Service College (CSC) Institutional Partner Award in recognition of our strong partnership with CSC in training and developing people for a first-class Public Service. I am extremely proud of HTA’s stellar, all-rounded performance, even during these unprecedented times.
As we navigate a post-COVID-19 world full of uncertainties, I am sure HTA and the HT will continue to push boundaries and strengthen T&L for a future-ready HT in the ‘new normal’.
Strengthening Training and Learning For A Future-Ready Home Team
With COVID-19, the acceleration of technology and digitalisation initiatives has made it to the top of almost every organisation’s to-do list, including HTA’s. To be a digitally empowered and future-ready and smart Corporate University of the HT, existing plans are in place for HTA to leverage technology and digitalisation to deliver seamless smart campus experiences and effective learning outcomes. The Technology-Enabled and Digitalised HTA (TED@HTA) Master plan culminates in a HTA Smart Campus by 2025 and some of the transformative initiatives in the pipeline include the Next-Generation Home Team Simulation System (HTS2), Home Team Learning Management System (HTLMS) 2.0, Collaborative and Technology-enabled Learning RESTRICTED Spaces, and Smart Home Team Gallery that provides immersive, multi-sensory and interactive experiences.
HTA will continue to partner leading T&L institutions and the Home Team Departments (HTDs) to develop quality programmes and initiatives for HT officers. Since the establishment of the HT Civilian Training School (CTS) to provide structured development for HT civilian officers, we have reviewed the civilian milestone programmes and will continue enhancing these programmes. HTA will also develop a training programme for HT civilian support officers to up skill their competencies and work with the Training and Competency Development division (TCD)/MHQ to develop training roadmaps for HT civilian officers to guide targeted T&L interventions for each career milestone.
As HTA brings HT officers together through multiple touch points, we play a critical role in shaping the HT’s values, culture and the mindset of HT officers, in partnership with the respective HTDs. In FY 2021, HTA will develop a set of key HT values and key principles to shape beliefs and understanding of the rationale behind HT’s work, to guide HT officers in dealing with our dynamic operating environment. These values and principles will be incorporated in HTA’s courses, from foundation to leadership courses.
HTA will continuously stay ahead of the curve by keeping attuned to the latest developments in T&L and adapt proactively and agilely. By being a forerunner in T&L, HTA will also share our expertise and best practices to transform and strengthen the HT T&L ecosystem amidst the new normal.
As we continue our fight against COVID-19 as one HT, the HT’s T&L community will need to Empower Training & Learning in the New Normal by embracing technology, so as to Enable a Trusted Home Team. In order for the HT to stay resilient, adaptive and agile, we need to press on in our training and up skilling efforts towards learner-centric learning that offers operational relevance and realism.
I am heartened to see the progress of the HT T&L initiatives. In this microsite, you will be able to read more about the initiatives by other HTDs and work units. Key highlights include Home Team Behavourial Sciences Centres’ (HTBSC) initiative on enhancing interviewing capabilities of ICA officers at border checkpoints, SPF’s Home Based Learning (HBL) for police trainees, SCDF’s Emergency Responders’ Fitness Conditioning and Enhancement Laboratory (ExCEL), ICA’s Augmented Reality application for document examination, SPS’s Professional Certificate in Correctional Management in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), TCD/MHQ’s T&L Transformation Plan V2.0, and CNB’s blended learning model for learners using “Flipped Classrooms”.
Your continued partnership and strong support for HTA will be invaluable as we continue to strive towards HTA’s vision to be a Leading Corporate University in Home front Safety and Security, that is recognised for organisational excellence, future-readiness and global leadership. Effective T&L is one of the enablers for the HT’s mission success and must continue in the ‘new normal’. I wish you an enjoyable “visit” to the HTA E-Work Plan Seminar 2021.
Chief Executive Home Team Academy