Frequently Asked Questions

Career pathway and PSLP
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What are the differences between PSC Scholarships and Ministry scholarships? How do the career paths differ between the two?

The key differences between the PSC Scholarships and other Ministry scholarships lie in the leadership/talent development programme and career pathway.

Most PSC Scholarship holders* are emplaced on the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP) General Phase, where they will be rotated across 2-3 sectors within the first 8 years of their career. In contrast, the development for Ministry scholarship holders is more focused within the specific ministry / sector at the start of their career. They will embark on their agency’s talent development programme, and future deployments also tend to be within that sector.

Prospective applicants may look up the different types of scholarships on the PSC website or the respective agency’s website and compare the career pathways, the work they do and other factors (such as course of study, country of study etc) to make an informed decision based on their career aspirations.

As it is essentially a career in the Public Service they are applying for, the scholarship being one of the avenues into Public Service, applicants should do their research on the career, sector and organisation they hope to work in before applying for the relevant scholarships.

*except for scholarship holders on the Legal Service, Medicine/Dentistry and SAF careers
Do I have a say in my deployment after graduation?

Scholarship holders who are awarded the PSC Scholarship or PSC Master's Scholarship will apply for a job from a pool of jobs available in the Service during the deployment period. The final posting is determined by the scholarship holders' job preferences and assessment by the ministries on the scholarship holders' suitability for the job.

Tied scholarship holders (all other schemes) will be posted to their respective parent agency upon graduation.

What is the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP)? What are the Leadership Development (LD) pathways like?

The Singapore Public Service has a systematic and structured approach anchored on competencies, to support the development of capable officers with demonstrated leadership potential towards key Senior / Public Service Leadership positions across the Public Service.

For young and aspiring leaders in the first 8 years of your career, your development will be supported on the PSLP General Phase. Here, you will spend 3 postings of about 2-3 years each across critical job experiences to build your foundational competencies. You will:

  • Experience work in at least two sectors
  • Be exposed to key job roles in Policy, Operations-Policy, and Stakeholder Engagement and Mobilisation
  • Cultivate External Orientation perspectives and Whole of Government instincts
  • Grow leadership competencies
  • The General Phase will be customised for those pursuing specialised careers e.g. Engineering, Foreign Service, Public Finance and Teaching Service.

After the PSLP General Phase, depending on your longer-term career aspirations and fit, you may embark on a more focused LD pathway either on a sectoral or multi-sectoral LD track:

(a) Sectoral LD track (on the PSLP Sectoral Phase) - You will be supported in building the competencies, networks, and domain knowledge required for effective leadership at the sectoral level. There will be opportunities for job rotation to other agencies and developmental programmes to support your development as a sectoral leader. This includes exposure to key developments and cross-cutting issues for your sector / Public Service. Through an immersive and hands-on experience, you will gain a deeper appreciation of your sector and develop your domain expertise as a specialist leader. You will be developed to lead other professionals in your field with credibility, to anticipate, innovate, and resolve complex problems within the sector.

(b) Multi-Sectoral LD track (on the Administrative Service) – You will be supported in building the competencies, networks, and domain knowledge required for effective leadership at the multi-sectoral level. There will be structured job rotations across sectors and developmental programmes to support you in mastering the substance of issues when designing and implementing policies across sectors and providing WOG strategic perspectives.

More FAQs on the PSLP can be found here.

Will all PSC scholarship holders be emplaced onto the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP) General Phase?

Subject to scholarship holders meeting the emplacement criteria (including academic requirements) for the PSLP General Phase upon completion of their studies, those on the following scholarships (including Mid-term candidates where applicable) will be emplaced onto the PSLP:

  • PSC Master’s Scholarship
  • PSC Scholarship
  • PSC Scholarship (Engineering)*
  • PSC Scholarship (Foreign Service) *
  • PSC Scholarship (Public Finance) *
  • PSC Scholarship (Teaching Service) *
  • The SPF Scholarship*

*Those on tied scholarships from the list above will be placed on specialised tracks within the PSLP catered to their careers.

Those on the PSC Scholarship (Legal Service), PSC Scholarship (Medicine/Dentistry) and The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship will not be emplaced on the PSLP upon completion of their studies and will instead embark on their parent agency's talent programmes within their niche career pathways.

Are PSC Mid-term/Master's Scholarship holders emplaced on the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP)?

PSC Mid-term (except those tied to the Legal Service and Medicine/Dentistry) and Master's Scholarship holders will be emplaced on the Public Service Leadership Programme upon completion of their studies, subject to them meeting the emplacement conditions and other required clearances.

How will the career pathways for PSLP (General Phase - Engineering) differ from PSLP (General Phase) officers?

Unlike other officers on the PSLP (General Phase)*, officers on the PSLP (General Phase - Engineering) will be given dedicated resources to pursue a more focused engineering career. Upon graduation, they will spend up to 4 years developing deep technical capabilities in their engineering cluster. Officers will also have opportunities to be posted to other engineering agencies to gain exposure and deepen their engineering expertise.

PSLP (General Phase - Engineering) officers will also be given similar training and development opportunities as other PSLP (General Phase) officers to develop their leadership skills. This includes the Foundation Course, coaching/mentoring, and opportunities to participate in cross-agency project teams.

* Officers on the PSLP (General Phase) will experience 3 postings (of about 2-3 years each) across at least 2 sectors, in the first 8 years of their careers.
Can scholarship holders on tied scholarships switch from their original parent agency to other agencies or career tracks during studies or after embarking on the career track? What happens if I change my mind about my career after a few years in service?

We encourage our candidates to thoroughly consider their career interest and aspirations before accepting a PSC scholarship. Scholarship holders will be expected to commit to the career choices made. Requests to pursue a different career pathway or to switch to another parent agency will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, subject to the assessment of the releasing and receiving agency.

Scholarship holders are encouraged to have regular career conversations with their parent agency (during studies and after they have started work) to ensure that they understand their career options and the implications of their choices.

As a PSC Scholarship (Public Finance/Engineering) holder, will my specific job preferences be considered when I start work?

Yes, job preferences will be considered. However, posting and deployment options will be subjected to the availability of suitable vacancies. We encourage candidates to have regular career conversations with their parent agency.

Are scholarship holders who read Law automatically assured of an appointment in the Legal Service?

Applicants who wish to embark on a career in the Legal Service should apply for the PSC Scholarship (Legal Service). Those who read Law on the PSC Scholarship will be embarking on the Public Administration career pathway.

29 Mar 2023