The Complementarity Assessment (COMPASS) Framework: Everything You Need To Know About It

6 min read|Last Updated: June 10, 2024|

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The Ministry of Manpower has announced a new point-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to assess foreign candidates’ eligibility for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP). The transparent points-based system provides businesses with greater clarity and certainty for manpower planning. It also enables employers to select high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong local core.

From 1 September 2023 onwards , candidates will need to pass a 2-stage eligibility framework EP Qualifying Salary and Compass Framework.

What is the Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS)?

The Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS) is a point-based framework that will take into consideration the quality of foreign professionals and the workforce diversity in the applied company. Through this framework, MOM aims to enhance the quality of foreign professionals hired in Singapore, improve workforce diversity, and build a strong Singaporean core.

Currently, MOM assesses new EP applicants in Singapore based on their hired salary, the company’s business activity, and the applicant’s background, including experience and education qualifications. Once implemented, COMPASS will require new and renewing applicants to meet the existing EP criteria and score at least 40 points in the COMPASS point-based assessment to qualify for an EP.

How to pass COMPASS?

In order to pass COMPASS your application will need to earn 40 Points. There are 2 types of criterias to earn 40 points, they are Foundation Criteria and Bonus Criteria.

Foundation Criteria can earn up to 20 points per criterion and Bonus Criteria can earn up to 20 points for Skill Bonus & 10 points respectively for Economic Priorities bonus.

How can I calculate my organisation percentile and local PMET share?

The higher the percentage of local PMET employees, the higher the organization’s percentile will be. To calculate your organisation’s local PMET share, take the number of local PMET employees and divide it by the total number of PMET employees.

FOUNDATION CRITERIA

C1: Salary

This criterion benchmarks your salary against the local PMET salaries in your sector. So, It is different from the EP qualifying salary, which is the minimum bar that candidates need to pass to obtain an EP.

You can earn up to 20 points from achieving this criteria.

How can I earn points?

Candidate’s fixed monthly salary compared to salary benchmarks by sector Points
≥ 90th percentile 20
65th to 90th percentile 10
< 65th percentile 0

You can find out more about updated salary benchmarks through this MOM portal.

C2: Qualifications

Candidate’s qualifications Points
Top-tier institutions, such as:

  • Top 100 universities based on QS World University Rankings, and other highly-reputed universities in Asia
  • Singapore’s Autonomous Universities
  • Institutions that are highly-recognised in a particular field and endorsed by a relevant agency
20
Degree-equivalent qualifications, such as:

  • Foreign qualifications that are assessed to be comparable to a bachelor’s degree in the UK system.
  • Professional qualifications that are well-recognised by the industry and endorsed by a relevant sector agency.
10
No degree-equivalent qualifications

  • You will be awarded points only if your candidate’s qualification is assessed to be comparable to a Bachelor’s degree in the UK system. Otherwise, no points will be awarded even if the institution is found in MOM’s drop down list of accredited institutions.
0

C3: Diversity

This criterion awards more points to applications where the candidate’s nationality forms a small share of the firm’s PMET employees.
If your organization employs:

  • Less than 25 PMETs, your application will score 10 points by default.
  • At least 25 PMETs, your points will depend on the share of your candidate’s nationality among your organization’s PMETs.

This criterion recognises organizations that create opportunities for the local workforce and build complementary teams comprising both local and foreign professionals.

C4: Support for Local Employment

This criterion recognises organizations that create opportunities for the local workforce and build complementary teams comprising both local and foreign professionals.

Organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector Points
≥ 50th percentile 20
20th to 50th percentile 10
< 20th percentile 0

BONUS CRITERIA

C1: Skills Bonus (Short Occupation List)

This bonus recognises jobs that require highly specialized skills, which are in shortage in the local workforce. The Short Occupation List (SOL) is determined by a robust evaluation process that takes into account industry needs and local workforce development efforts.

Skills bonus Points
  • Job on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)
  • Share of candidate’s nationality among your organization’s PMETs is less than 1/3
20
  • Job on the SOL
  • Share of candidate’s nationality among your organization’s PMETs is 1/3 or more
10

To obtain the C5. Skills bonus:

  • Your candidate needs to perform the job duties listed for the specific shortage occupation.
  • You need to select one of the eligible job titles in your EP application.
  • Your candidate needs to meet checks on additional job requirements if they fall into either of these categories:
  • They need the SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS.
  • They are applying for a 5-year duration EP for a specific tech occupation on the SOL.

Redeployment to another occupation

Candidates who need SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS or obtain a longer duration EP can only be employed in the specific shortage occupation. This will be clearly stated in the in-principle approval (IPA) letter’s “Important” note.

If they need to be redeployed to a different job, we will need to reassess if the candidate qualifies for an EP in the new job. You should notify MOM first, and we will then advise you on the next steps.

Candidates who did not need SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS are not subjected to this restriction, but will still need to notify MOM.

C2: Strategic Economic Priorities (SEP) Bonus

This bonus recognises organizations that are either:

  • Undertaking ambitious investment, innovation and internationalization activities in partnership with economic agencies
  • Endorsed by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as strong partners on company and workforce transformation activities

MOM will notify your organization if it has been awarded the SEP bonus and the points will be reflected in the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT). You can get up to 10 points for this criteria.

Here’s the infographic detailing the COMPASS Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria in Singapore.

COMPASS Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria Singapore

Exemptions from COMPASS

Candidates are exempted from COMPASS if they meet any of these conditions:

  • Have a fixed monthly salary of at least $22,500 (similar to the prevailing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising exemption from 1 September 2023)
  • Are applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
  • Are filling the role for 1 month or less

How To Be Prepared For Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS)?

While COMPASS may present challenges for applicants seeking an EP in Singapore, the point-based system aims to enhance the quality of foreign talent entering the country and strengthen Singapore’s aspiration to become Asia’s talent hub.

If you would like to know more about COMPASS or other information regarding the Singapore Employment Pass, do not hesitate to contact us at Paul Hype Page & Co and we would be more than happy to help you out with any information you need.

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Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for a free work visa assessment (worth $288) to determine your best chance to move to Singapore today.

FAQs

Why is the COMPASS score different from the actual EP application?2024-03-11T16:02:07+08:00

The SAT result is based on the date of assessment. The EP application outcome could be different because some information such as C3 (Diversity) and C4 (Support) for local employment) are updated monthly, and could change by the time the application is processed.

If my educational institution isn’t on the Employment Pass (EP) application form, what should I do?2024-03-11T16:01:19+08:00

Ensure that you have entered the institution exactly as it appears on your candidate’s certificate. Missing or misspelled words might make it seem like an institution isn’t on the form.

However, If you are still unable to find your candidate’s educational institution on the form, you will need to provide verification proof that the:

  • Declared qualification is authentic
  • Institution is accredited or recognised by the local government

Alternatively, you can also obtain this verification proof through us or an official background screening company.

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