The National Service Review Committee (NSRC) was established in 2020 to look into strengthening the National Service (NS) system.

The NSRC concluded its review in 2022, and a series of key initiatives to improve the NS system were announced in 2021 and 2022. These initiatives are organised along three key thrusts: (1) maximising servicemen’s contributions; (2) improving NS experience; and (3) strengthening recognition and support for our national servicemen. Some of the initiatives have already been implemented while others will continue to be implemented throughout the year.

Read about the various NS initiatives that have been introduced under the NSRC below.

Maximising Servicemen’s Contributions

Review of the NS Deployment System

The SAF is leveraging technology and redesigning jobs to deploy servicemen of varying physical abilities to a wider range of operational roles, in order to optimise the deployment of every national serviceman.
In parallel, the SAF has been reviewing the Medical Classification System and Physical Employment Standards (PES) System to focus on the operational effectiveness of each individual, which enables the SAF to better match servicemen’s functional abilities to the role’s actual demands, instead of the binary classification of whether one is Combat-Fit or Non-Combat-Fit.

Work-Learn Scheme

Since 2018, MINDEF/SAF has launched Work-Learn Schemes across different domains for our NSFs to upskill and maximise their contributions during NS. Under the scheme, servicemen undergo training and are able to attain a MINDEF-sponsored diploma or partial university credits while serving NS. The work-learn schemes currently available include the Cyber NSF scheme, Work-Study Diplomas for Army and Air Force Technicians, and Work-Learn Scheme for Supply Supervisors. A new Digital Work-Learn Scheme will be launched in 2022. More of such schemes will be progressively implemented in the coming years.

Expertise Deployment of Operationally Ready National Servicemen

Over the years, MINDEF/SAF has expanded opportunities to deploy NSmen with relevant civilian expertise, such as in the areas of cyber, law, medicine, engineering, psychology and info-communications, to operational roles requiring such expertise to maximise their contributions. In 2021, MINDEF/SAF set up the dedicated Expertise Deployment Centre and reviewed expertise deployment criteria for more NSmen to be redeployed under the Enhanced Expertise Deployment Scheme.

Improving NS Experience

Automated Make-Up Pay Claims System and Base NS Pay

To reduce administrative load for our servicemen, from the second half of 2022, Make-Up Pay (MUP) claims will be automated, using data drawn from IRAS and CPF Board. NSmen and their employers will no longer need to submit claims and supporting documents for ORNS activities such as ICTs.
MINDEF/SAF and MHA/HT will also implement a base NS pay, to compensate NSmen whose income from informal employment and foregone training allowances may not be fully reflected in data from IRAS and CPF Board. All NSmen will receive at least $1,600 for every month of ICT they attend.

Enhanced Health Screening Programme (HSP) and HSP Centre

Since October 2020, the HSP process has been streamlined from two to one session, with the introduction of non-fasting blood tests. A specialised SAF HSP Centre was also set up at Kent Ridge in July 2021 to provide NSmen with a more convenient location to undergo HSP, and shorten appointment booking and waiting times.

NS Digital Transformation

The NSRC has focused on digital transformation efforts to enhance the NS experience of every national serviceman.
  • Digital Disbursement of NS Recognition Benefits
    MINDEF/SAF has collaborated with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) to disburse NS recognition benefits, such as the NS Excellence Award and Celebratory Gifts, to our NSmen digitally as cash credits that can be accessed via the LifeSG mobile application. Digital disbursement creates a simple and fast redemption experience. The credits can be used at any online/physical merchants accepting payment by “Scan and Pay” via PayNow UEN QR or NETS QR. This includes heartland shops, hawkers, and e-commerce merchants, and making payments to government agencies and educational institutions.
  • OneNS Platform
    The OneNS platform is a one-stop platform which consolidates all NS-related digital services and transactions throughout an individual’s NS journey. The first phase of the OneNS platform will be launched in the second half of 2022. NSmen will have access to enhanced call-up and deferment eServices. More eServices and products will be progressively enhanced and rolled out on the OneNS platform.

NS FIT

NS FIT is a 10-session programme, launched in April 2021, in collaboration with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Sport Singapore (SportSG). It is designed to better support NSmen in incorporating fitness and exercise into their daily routines while fulfilling their annual fitness requirements. NSmen can choose their preferred NS FIT training location from 40 sites island-wide. Flexibility is also provided for NSmen to take part in different programmes offered at the various training locations.

Strengthening Recognition and Support for National Servicemen

Enhanced NS Housing, Medical and Education (HOME) Awards

The NS HOME awards serve to recognise national servicemen for their sustained commitment to national defence. It is paid out at three milestones - at the end of full-time NS, the mid-point of ORNS, and completion of ORNS. At each milestone, servicemen are given at least $5,000, credited directly into their Post-Secondary Education or CPF-Ordinary accounts, and their CPF-Medisave accounts. From 1 April 2022, national servicemen will receive an additional $2,000 in cash credits cumulatively across the three HOME milestones. This will be disbursed to national servicemen via the LifeSG mobile application, and provides national servicemen with the flexibility to use the award to meet immediate needs.

Enhanced Partnerships with Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD)

Since restructuring in 2014, ACCORD has been reaching out to employers, businesses, families, community and educational institutions, to encourage ground-up initiatives in support of NS and Total Defence.

For more information on the initiatives, visit the resources available below:

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