A significant update to the work visa policy was announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) during the Committee of Supply announcements on 4 March 2022. In line with Singapore’s objective to develop skills and employment for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), businesses will have more clarity and higher certainty when it comes to their employment issues with this new policy.
Starting from 1 September 2023, all new Singapore Employment Pass (EP) applicants will have to go through this new policy, the Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS). EP renewal applications will also have to be eligible for this framework from 1 September 2024.
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 increase the quality of the foreign professionals that are hired in Singapore while improving workforce diversity and building a strong Singaporean core.
Currently, the new EP in Singapore applicants are assessed based on their hired salary, the company’s business activity as well as the applicant’s background which includes experience and education qualifications. Once COMPASS is implemented, new and renewing applicants must pass both the pre-existing EP criteria and score at least 40 points in the COMPASS point-based assessment to qualify for an EP.
Learn more: Impact of New Singapore Employment Pass COMPASS Scheme
How does the Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS) work?
The framework’s assessing criteria will consist of a two-stage evaluation process. Under Stage 1, the EP applicants must pass the minimum qualifying salary criteria which is S$ 5,000 per month. In the financial sector, the minimum qualifying salary will be S$ 5,500 per month.
For the second stage, applicants must pass the COMPASS assessment which is assessed based on a set of individual and business-related attributes.
|Individual Attributes||Business-Related Attributes|
|Foundational Criteria||C1. Salary
Relative to Local PMET salary norms for sector
Whether the applicant improves nationality diversity in the firm
Based on the applicant’s qualifications
|C4. Support for Local Employment
Based on Local PMET share relative to industry peers
|Bonus Criteria||C5. Skills Bonus
(Shortage Occupation List)
For applicants in jobs where skills shortages exist
|C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus
For partnership with Government on ambitious innovation or internationalisation activities
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) application will be scored based on four foundational criteria and will be rewarded points based on whether you meet or exceed expectations.
|Point For Each Foundational Criteria||Assessment|
|0||Does Not Meet Expectations|
Applicants would need 40 points to pass the COMPASS assessment.
How To Score On Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS)?
The table below summarises how points are earned.
|C1. Salary (Individual)
Fixed monthly salary compared to local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) salaries in the sector by age
|≥ 90th percentile||20|
|65th to < 90th percentile||10|
|< 65th percentile||0|
|C2. Qualification (Individual)
Based on candidate’s qualifications
|C3. Diversity (Firm-related)
Share of candidate’s nationality among the firm’s PMETs.*
|5 to < 25%||10|
|C4. Support for local employment (Firm-related)
Firm’s share of local PMETs within its subsector*
|≥ 50th percentile||20|
|20th to < 50th percentile||10|
|< 20th percentile||0|
|C5. Skills Bonus – Shortage Occupation List (Individual)||Job on the Shortage Occupation List||+20|
|C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (Firm-related)||Firm meets specific assessment criteria on innovation or internationalisation activities||+10|
How To Be Prepared For Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS)?
Although COMPASS might make it difficult for applicants to secure an EP in Singapore, the point-based system is meant to improve the quality of the foreign talents that will be entering the country and reinforce Singapore’s aim 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.