Services

What you should know about Complementary Assessment Framework

Since September 1st, 2023, new Employment Pass (EP) applicants in Singapore have to comply with a new system called the Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS).

EP renewals will also have to be eligible through the COMPASS framework from September 1st, 2024.

The COMPASS is a transparent points-based system that evaluates EP applications on individual and firm-related attributes. The framework is designed to give businesses greater clarity and certainty for selecting high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong local core.

The new eligibility assessment system has to be done in two stages:

  1. The minimum qualifying salary for an Employment Pass (EP), since September 1st, 2022: S$5,000 per month for all sectors and S$5,500 per month in the financial services sector. The minimum salary requirement increases progressively with age, reaching up to S$10,500 at age 45 and above for most sectors, and up to S$11,500 for individuals in the financial services sector.
  2. The COMPASS: to qualify for an Employment Pass (EP) application in Singapore, criteria both from the candidate and the prospective employer will be assessed.

To pass COMPASS, an application needs to earn a minimum of 40 points.

The framework evaluates each application on four foundational criteria and two bonus criteria. The foundational criteria are as follows:

  1. Salary: applicants must meet the EP qualifying salary requirement (stage 1 above) and can earn up to 20 points if the offered salary meets sector-specific, age-adjusted benchmarks for PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians).
  2. Qualifications: applicants can earn up to 20 points for a qualification from a top-tier institution and 10 points for a degree-equivalent qualification (a bachelor’s degree recognised in the UK system is a minimum requirement).
  3. Diversity: COMPASS awards more points to applications where the nationality of the candidate forms a small proportion (20 points if less than 5%, 10 points if between 5 and 25%) of the total hiring firm’s PMET employees (all employees earning at least S$3,000 per month). No points are earned if the candidate’s nationality forms more than or equal to 25% of the hiring firm’s PMET employees.
  4. Support for local employment: Applications earn more points if the hiring firm has a relatively high share of Singaporean nationals amongst its PMET employees compared to its peers in the same subsector.

In addition to the foundational criteria, applicants can earn additional points against two bonus criteria:

  1. Skills Shortage: Applicants filling an occupation on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) can earn bonus points.
  2. Strategic Economic Priorities (SEP): Firms undertaking investment, innovation, internationalism, or workforce transformation activities can earn bonus points, provided they are supported by sector agencies or the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The total number of points needed for a successful application is 40 points.

Notes:

  • Applicants can be exempt from the COMPASS framework if they meet certain criteria, such as earning a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD 22,500.
  • If a company has fewer than 25 PMET employees, the application automatically gets 20 points for the criteria linked to the international diversity and local employment (criteria 3 and 4 above).

The COMPASS system is designed to provide businesses with greater clarity and certainty for manpower planning. Employers and Employment Agents (such as the French Chamber of Commerce, EA licence no.10C4756) can assess the eligibility of each application with the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) before submitting an application.

It is important to note that even if all criteria are met it doesn’t guarantee the application will be approved. MOM will still consider other elements (such as turnover, etc.) to assess each application.

The framework aims to address the demand for skilled roles by foreign workers, given the limited local workforce and intensifying global competition for talent. Successful candidates are also required to meet vaccination requirements, and employers must continue to fulfil the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising requirement before submitting new EP applications.

Thanks to its Employment Agency licence (EA no. 10C4756) and its extensive experience, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore can assist you in your recruitment in Singapore and work visa applications for your foreign employees and accompanying family.

Contact us: bizsupport@fccsingapore.com

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