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Library Association of Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System for Library Officers & Para-professional . Janice Chia, Chair, Training & Development, LAS Brunei Darussalam Library Association 25th Anniversary Regional Conference on Library , Archives and Museums November 2011.

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Library Association of Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System for Library Officers & Para-professional

Janice Chia, Chair, Training & Development, LAS

Brunei Darussalam Library Association 25th Anniversary

Regional Conference on Library, Archives and Museums

November 2011

focus on staff

Traditional focus on resources

Current focus on value-added services

Who are the most visible staff?

Whose efficiency allows the professional to operate effectively?

right staff right skills
Right staff, right skills

Doing the right things right

Support staff are the front line

Technical services more reliant on support staff

Singapore overall has generous support staff levels; the total population in libraries is not small

Where to get relevant education and certification and continuing education?

from temasek to nothing
From Temasek to Nothing

TemasekPolytechnic (TP) offered courses in library skills and know ledge aimed at para-professional and would-be paraprofessional staff

5 years ago TP terminated courses

Large libraries plan and conduct own in-house/on the job training programmes for these staff;

Small libraries rely on on the job training

wda initiative
WDA Initiative

2007 - the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) approached LAS to develop competency standards for the Library industry

Why competency standards? What do they lead to? The importance of WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualifications) – portability & recognition

LAS and NLB first jointly developed the competency map for support staff and professionals

who are wda
Who are WDA?
  • Government statutory authority about 7 years old which:
    • Supports the development of competency standards for industry
    • Provides pre-delivery approval of courses
    • Encourages regular reviews of courses
    • Provides assistance to bodies wishing to train for their industry
competency standards for libraries
Competency Standards for Libraries

WDA focused on the Creative Industries from 2007 and asked LAS to develop the competency standards and potential training courses that could be offered to LAS members/interested outsiders

In 2008, 5 LAS members came together to develop the first 5 competency standards for support staff professionals at Entry Level 2

approval of competency standards
Approval of Competency Standards

The five standards were finalised with the help of a consultant appointed by WDA who had done similar work in UK

These were then tabled for approval at the WDA Steering Committee responsible for standards development

The standards were then made ready for development into training courses

developing training courses
Developing Training Courses

Mid 2009 another team of LAS members came forward to help develop and deliver courses

Before they could begin, they were required by WDA to attend the Advanced Certificate for Training and Assessment (ACTA) Advanced Certificate course conducted by WDA

10 of our members have completed the course

target groups
Target groups

Entry level – no prior requirements

Staff needing a specific or broad grounding in basic library services

Staff in allied areas who need to know about library functions

New support staff: staff moving to new areas of work

Experienced support staff who would like a qualification for recognition

People who are looking to enter/re-enter library work

library competency standards entry level 2
Library Competency Standards ( Entry Level 2)




(2 or 3 days)

2 weeks later

Statement of Attainment (SOA)

library competency standards entry level 21
Library Competency Standards ( Entry Level 2)

Competency 1

Higher Certificate in Library and Information Services

Competency 2

Competency 3

Competency 4

Competency 5

library competency standards entry level 22
Library Competency Standards ( Entry Level 2)

Support general reference and information enquiry work

Support collection maintenance

Support acquisitions and serials work

Support loans and membership services

Support bibliographic control work (3-Day Module)

training courses timeframe
Training Courses Timeframe

The first course on was accredited in June 2010 and first training in August 2010.

The rest of the courses were accredited by Nov 2010 and the first training in Jan 2011.

A cycle of the 5 modules were set up so that staff can gradually assemble the SOAs needed to obtain the HCLIS

course fees
Course Fees
  • Gross Fees per course
    • S$ 330 for 2 day module
    • S$495 for 3 day module
  • Nett Fees per course (after subsidies)
    • S$65 for a 2 day module:
    • S$95 for a 3 day module
  • Full certificate gross fee
    • S$1815
  • Full certificate net fee (after subsidies):
    • S$355

LAS Members Mailing List

LAS FaceBook

the numbers so far
The numbers so far ….

Support General Reference = 76

Support Collection Maintenance = 48

Support Bibliographic Control = 31

Support Acquisitions & Serials = 48

Provide Loans & Membership Services = 34

Total SOAs issued for the 5 modules = 237

Total no. of HCLIS = 17

No. of Unique Headcounts = 97

the challenges
The Challenges

Limited manpower resources in LAS Council

Balancing demands & limitations

Keeping up with the paperwork

Sustainability of courses & trainers

the fruits
The fruits

“[Participating in these programmes] will enable me to better perform my job and duties.”

“It is a good opportunity to upgrade and receive recognition of our skills. Hopefully [attending these courses] can help us in our career advancement.”


Thank you