The Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory board, is responsible for the regulation of private education institutions in Singapore.
The Private Education Act, legislated in December 2009, provides the CPE with the regulatory powers to penalize private education institutions for any non-compliance with the regulatory requirements.
The severity of the penalties is dependent on the level of non-compliance with the regulatory requirements and runs the spectrum from taking remedial action based on CPE’s direction, laying down additional conditions for registration, censure, financial penalty, suspension, non-renewal or revocation of the errant private education institution’s registration / EduTrust certification to the other extreme of the spectrum of prosecution in a court of law.
Under the Private Education Act, the Council for Private Education will administer the following two schemes
A mandatory Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF)
The mandatory Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF), as set out under the Private Education Act and the Private Education Regulations, spells out the mandatory registration requirements and legislative obligations which all private education institutions, operating in and from Singapore, must meet.
The aim of the ERF is to raise the overall quality of private education institutions in Singapore and ensure that they are of a minimum acceptable standard for the protection of students’ interest who are enrolled in their PEI.
The requirements also necessitate that PEIs set up an Academic Board and an Examinations Board to put in place and ensure proper academic and examination processes. This also includes ensuring the deployment of teachers who possess the relevant and authentic qualifications and experience that meet the requirements and ensuring full information disclosure such as the registration validity period, courses offered, teachers deployed, fees, facilities and refund policy.
A voluntary EduTrust Certification Scheme
The voluntary certification scheme, for private education institutions to differentiate themselves as having achieved higher standards in key areas of management, provision of educational services and financial health, is one of the prerequisites which private education institutions that wish to enrol international students must meet to qualify for the issue of Student Passes, as stipulated by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
The EduTrust certification is based on the following six criteria:
1) Management Commitment and Responsibilities.
2) Corporate Governance and Administration.
3) External Recruitment Agents.
4) Student Protection and Support Services.
5) Academic Processes and Assessment of Students.
6) Quality Assurance, Monitoring and Results.
There are also five critical requirements that Private Education Institutions must satisfy for any award of EduTrust certification, namely:
- Credit Rating.
- Fee Protection Scheme (FPS).
- Implementation of Fee Protection Scheme.
- Provision of Medical Insurance.
- Fulfilment of all EduTrust Terms and Conditions.
Private education institutions that have successfully passed the EduTrust assessment will be awarded with either the EduTrust Star, EduTrust or EduTrust Provisional certifications.
Reference Source: The above information is selectively extracted from the CPE website.
For further information, please visit the Council for Private Education’s website at www.cpe.gov.sg
For futher information on the Private Education Act, please visit the Singapore Statutes Online website at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg