FAQs

Play your part in National Defence

Frequently Asked Questions

General

How did the idea of the SAF Volunteers Corps (SAFVC) come about?

The Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) engaged more than 40,000 people from all walks of life through extensive conversation on NS. One feedback that arose from these discussions is how more Singaporeans want to be involved in national defence. A survey by the Institute of Policy Studies found that eight in 10 respondents supported creating opportunities for women, new citizens and first-generation Permanent Residents to contribute to defence. Taking into account the feedback, MINDEF took steps to establish the SAFVC, to include the wider Singapore community in contributing to our national defence.

Who will manage the SAFVC?

The SAF Volunteer Affairs Department (SVAD) has been set up to manage the SAFVC. It will be responsible for personnel administration, training, deployment and engagement of the SAFVC Volunteers.

When can we expect the first volunteer to be deployed?

SAFVC Volunteers can be deployed upon completion of their training. The SVAD will work with SAFVC Volunteers to arrange for their deployments. The first intake of volunteers started their training on March 24, 2015. SAFVC Volunteers have already been deployed in various roles since late 2015.

What can an SAFVC Volunteer expect in his/her volunteer journey?

SAFVC Volunteers will undergo the requisite training to be proficient in their respective roles. Over the years, SAFVC Volunteers will deepen their skills and knowledge, and eventually have the opportunity to coach and mentor other SAFVC Volunteers.

We have a general development plan for our volunteers. The development plan for SAFVC Volunteers is based on their length of service and rank progression in the SAFVC. As the volunteer becomes more experienced and familiar with the SAF, he or she will be given the training to take on greater responsibilities. Flexibility, however, will also be given to SAFVC Volunteers to progress at their own pace.

Selection Criteria and Application

How long does the application process take?

Depending on the volume of applications, an applicant may receive a letter to schedule for an interview in about four weeks.

Upon passing the interview, an applicant should expect to wait up to four weeks before being called up for a medical screening. The duration for medical screening may vary from individual to individual depending on the individual’s health status.

How do I know I have been selected to join the SAFVC?

The SVAD will inform applicants of the outcome of their applications via letter, as to whether they were found suitable to join the SAFVC.

Who is eligible to join SAFVC?

The SAFVC is open to all individuals who are not required to serve National Service (NS). These include women, first-generation Permanent Residents and new citizens. We welcome all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who desire to contribute and are aged 18-45 years old to sign up. Applicants will undergo interviews and medical screenings to determine if they are suitable to serve as volunteers.

[For NSmen, ex-NSmen and ex-regulars in the SAF, SPF, SCDF] Those with NS training are strongly encouraged to contribute in their NS capacity. NSmen who have completed their NS commitments can apply to volunteer through their former NS units. NSmen who wish to contribute their civilian expertise can contact ecs_query@defence.gov.sg to find out more about the Expertise Conversion Scheme.

[For SPF and SCDF Regulars] Females who are currently serving in SPF and SCDF may apply to volunteer with SAFVC.

[For NSFs] NSFs serving in the SAF, SPF and SCDF will not be considered for the SAFVC.

What are the minimum requirements for the roles?

SAFVC Volunteers will need to meet the pre-requisite qualifications, and fulfil the relevant training requirements so that they can contribute in their roles safely and effectively. The minimum requirements vary for different roles. Some of these requirements include relevant work experience, physical fitness level and assessed overall aptitude.

Can an SAFVC Volunteer subsequently change his/her role?

An SAFVC Volunteer can apply to change his/her role, as long as the pre-requisites are met, but this is still subject to a selection process. If selected, the volunteer will need to go through the necessary Qualification Training and Advanced Training for the new role.

Training

Who will train the volunteers?

SAFVC Volunteers will undergo Basic Training conducted in SAFVC. The training cadre comprises staff from the SAFVC, augmented by a cadre of experienced regular trainers such as those from BMTC. The Qualification and Advanced training to qualify SAFVC Volunteers for deployments are similarly conducted by experienced SAF trainers from the respective domain expertise. Training is designed to ensure volunteers are adequately trained and ready to fulfil the roles that they have volunteered to perform.

Will training be safe?

The SAF takes a serious view on safety. Safety is an imperative. Sufficient resources will be committed to ensure the safety of training. Furthermore, SAFVC Volunteers will be trained by experienced Regular trainers such as those from BMTC. All SAFVC Volunteers will also undergo medical check-ups to determine their suitability to participate in training and be deployed to their roles.

When I am selected to join the SAFVC, is there anything that I can prepare for?

Basic Training is designed such that volunteers across a wide range of ages would be able to complete it. No extra physical training should be necessary if you already exercise regularly.

Are SAFVC Volunteers required to take the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT)?

No, SAFVC Volunteers are not required to take the IPPT. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to keep fit as they will find it easier to keep up with the training and operational duties if they are fit.

What is the living arrangement like for SAFVC Volunteers during their training?

Accommodation for SAFVC Volunteers during their training will be at Maju Camp, SAFVC barracks. There will be separate living quarters and toilet facilities for female and male volunteers. Each volunteer is provided with a locker to store their personal belongings.

Will volunteers be contactable during their training?

SAFVC Volunteers will not be carrying their personal mobile phones during training. However, they will have access to their mobile phones during personal time. A phone number will be provided to volunteers’ families if they need to contact the volunteer urgently during training.

Deployment and Service Obligations

How many days of deployment can an SAFVC Volunteer expect for each call-up?

SAFVC Volunteers will be called up to serve for typically seven days each year. The number of days of deployment for each call-up depends on the volunteer’s role-specific requirements. For instance, a volunteer may serve three days for a call-up and four days for another call-up, instead of serving seven days consecutively.

Do SAFVC Volunteers have to serve a minimum number of days a year to remain in the SAFVC?

SAFVC Volunteers will typically be called up for seven days each year. During their service, those who are unable to fulfil this duration of service due to valid reasons (e.g. due to relocation or injury) can request to be placed on a holding list. They can request to resume their volunteer service subsequently.

How does a volunteer get notified for deployment?

The SVAD will provide early notice when issuing call-ups to the SAFVC Volunteers so that they can make the necessary arrangements to be excused from their other commitments.

Are there any restrictions on SAFVC Volunteers joining other Volunteer Corps or Associations (e.g. Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC)?

As with any member of the SAF, a volunteer in the SAFVC can join other volunteer corps or associations.

Law and Statutory Protection

Am I subject to military law if I join the SAFVC?

All SAFVC Volunteers are members of the SAF, just like our NSFs and NSmen. During their service, they will be subject to a disciplinary framework based on military law.

Are volunteers subject to exit controls? (e.g. MINDEF Notification Centre and exit permit)

No. SAFVC Volunteers do not hold mission critical appointments and are therefore not required to notify MINDEF nor apply for exit permit if they are travelling overseas.

As a volunteer, how do I approach my employer to release me for training and deployment?

SAFVC Volunteers will receive a call-up notice, the SAF100V, typically three to six months prior to their call-ups. They should show this call-up notice to their employers, who are required to grant them leave of absence to attend their trainings.

Does my employer continue to pay me when I am called up?

Similar to the existing arrangements with NSmen, SAFVC Volunteers who are employed will be eligible to claim Make-Up Pay, which is the difference between his civilian income and SV allowance for the period of In-Camp Training (ICT) call-up.

How much time will the employee be away from work if he/she serves as an SAFVC Volunteer?

All SAFVC Volunteers will go through Basic Training. Basic Training will be conducted over a continuous period of ten weekdays or over ten Saturdays. After Basic Training, SAFVC Volunteers will undergo a Qualification Training to prepare them for their specific roles and it will be conducted over a period of 5 weekdays or over 5 Saturdays.

Some roles, such as the Auxiliary Security Trooper, require more training. For such roles, there will be Advanced Training which will be conducted over 5 weekdays or over 5 Saturdays.

Qualification Training and, where applicable, Advanced Training can be arranged to be completed at a later date. An SAFVC Volunteer will typically be called up for seven days each year upon completion of the training syllabus for their roles.

Does the company still have to contribute to the employee’s CPF during the time he/she is called up?

When the employee is away from work performing SAFVC training, his/her employer is required to continue paying CPF contributions based on his/her civilian remuneration.

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