ISS' NICF Courses are big hits
The Institute of Systems Science (ISS) was designated Singapore's first Infocomm Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centre in April 2009. And less than half a year on, the institute is off to a great start, kicking off a suite of National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) courses.
As a CET Centre, ISS is tasked with running NICF-accredited programmes to expand the capabilities of infocomm professionals in Singapore.
And ISS is doing just that, with 18 NICF-accredited courses now rolled out. In particular, three NICF courses are proving to be highly popular, drawing enthusiastic response from participants and their employers.
The three are: the NICF - Essential Leadership Skills for Project Managers, the
NICF - IT Outsourcing Management for Practitioners, and the NICF - Requirements Engineering.
The NICF - Essential Leadership Skills for Project Managers course provides infocomm project managers with a new way to manage people. Billed as a 'must-have' skill for project managers responsible for managing and leading infocomm projects, the course includes red-hot topics such as Managing Project Politics and Conflict Management Skills.
NICF - IT Outsourcing Management for Practitioners offers managers the rare opportunity to receive formal training in outsourcing skills. The course aims to enhance practitioners' skills and build expertise required for the successful implementation of outsourced IT projects through an intensive training programme with case-based workshops and experience-sharing sessions.
Lian Choan Kiat (left), a participant of NICF - Essential Leadership Skills for Project Managers course and Hshieh Su Yuan, who attended the NICF - IT Outsourcing Management for Practitioners course.
Another course that is a rarity in the local training scene is NICF - Requirements Engineering. The course covers the entire process of eliciting, documenting, and maintaining a set of requirements.
Many among the pioneer batch of participants viewed their NICF course as a great opportunity.
"I felt I really lucked out when I came upon this course," said service delivery manager Hshieh Su Yuan. She had enrolled in the NICF- IT Outsourcing Management for Practitioners course. "This is the only IT outsourcing course that I've come across. Although I have been managing outsourcing for five years, I don't really have formal training in this. That is why this is very exciting for me. It was perfect for me; it was exactly what I was looking for and with the SPUR (Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience) subsidy, I can afford to pay for this very easily."
Lian Choan Kiat was thrilled because the SPUR subsidy meant that he could bring half his team to the NICF - Essential Leadership Skills for Project Managers course. "This opportunity is both rare and exciting," said the IT Manager for Hewlett Packard Asia Pacific.
"Usually only one or two of us can attend such courses. Now, with half my team attending the course with me, we could learn more about our team's group dynamics. It also served as an opportunity to do team bonding. Plus all the topics are structured such that they forced the entire team to reflect on and review what we have done as a team."
Boosting Careers. Transforming The Local Training Landscaping.
As a CET Centre, ISS will develop and deliver 30 NICF programmes and train more than 3,000 infocomm professionals over the next three years. All the programmes are rigorously reviewed and accredited by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
The courses are expected to go some way towards developing talents and boosting the local infocomm scene. NICF courses feature rigorous assessments. Thus they are expected to not only hone the skills of infocomm professionals but also boost careers. They also provide infocomm professionals with a structured roadmap for their personal career development. As for organisations, ISS will help companies to develop competency frameworks to guide the training and career development of their staff.
Already the courses have had some impact.
Said Lian Choan Kiat, "This course will definitely help me in my career. The course provided knowledge that helps me see other dimensions in management. It has certainly enhanced my management ability."
Samuel Puay, who enrolled in the NICF - Requirements Engineering course, echoed that view. "I think I will emerge from the course with a more systematic approach that will make me more efficient in my work," said the Senior Executive with Kuok (Singapore). "This course has enabled me to put all my experience to play in a structured way, allowing me to think systematically. It will make me a better professional."
Participants of NICF - Requirements Engineering course, Samuel Puay (left) and Goh Ruoh Yunn.
The Word Is Spreading Fast.
Since the launch of the courses, demand for NICF courses has increased.
Enrolment has risen tremendously since the courses first started rolling out. Because of this, additional runs were scheduled to cope with the high demand.
One reason for this could be word of mouth.
Among those spreading the word is Goh Ruoh Yunn. The Project Manager with Citibank Singapore had enrolled in the NICF - Requirements Engineering course. She described the experience as a "fascinating two days". She had applied for the course because it is taught by ISS and also because it was exactly what she had been searching for - a specialist course in requirements engineering that touches on all phases in the lifecycle of a project.
Revealed Ms Goh, "The course guides us on how to produce a competent requirement document. I think after this course, I will be able to achieve that. The course gave me a more systematic way of gathering user requirements. And I learnt tools and methods that I was not previously aware of."
She has recommended the course to her team of six. "So hopefully they will be doing the course too," she said.
About the NICF Courses
ISS currently runs 18 courses accredited under the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF). Under the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience (SPUR), Singapore citizens and permanent residents are eligible for up to 90% funding from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency for the courses. On completion of each course, participants will be assessed and successful candidates will be issued a Statement of Attainment (SOA).
The courses are:
- NICF- Business Process Reengineering
- NICF - Building Enterprise Applications Using Java EE
- NICF- Enterprise Business Analysis
- NICF- Certified Enterprise Architecture Practitioner Programme
- NICF - Certification in IT Project Management (CITPM) Preparatory Course
- NICF - Certification in Outsourcing Management for IT (COMIT) Preparatory Course
- NICF - Essential Leadership Skills for Project Managers
- NICF - ITIL® Foundation for IT Service Management
- NICF - IT Outsourcing Management for Practitioners
- NICF - Object Oriented Analysis and Design
- NICF - Object Oriented Design Patterns
- NICF - Project Management for Information Systems
- NICF - Requirements Engineering
- NICF - Service-Oriented Architecture Essentials
- NICF - Strategic IT Planning
- NICF - PMP for Project Managers
- NICF - Professional Diploma in Engineering Java Enterprise Applications
- NICF- PCP Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis
For more information on the details and fees of the above courses, please visit our website www.iss.nus.edu.sg