The career development of Singapore’s civil servants was a cause for concern in the late 1960s following Singapore’s independence in 1965. Before the establishment of the Staff Training Institute (STI) in 1971, there was little concerted effort to implement formal training for civil servants. Instead, on-the-job training was provided on an ad-hoc basis that was contingent on the capacity and resources of the various government departments and ministries. To make matters worse, about 50 percent of the officers in the administrative service were new and untrained at the time. In a bid to remedy the situation and fill the gap in the officers’ training and development, the government opened the STI on 15 March 1971 to conduct training programmes for officers in the administrative service initially, and subsequently for staff in the general executive and clerical services.
STI was initially located at the former Flagstaff House at Lorong Langsir, off Stevens Road. As the STI moved to other locations over the years, its name was also revised to reflect the expansion and reach of its programmes. In June 1975, STI was renamed the Civil Service Staff Development Institute when it relocated to Heng Mui Keng Terrace at Kent Ridge. The name was later shortened to the Civil Service Institute (CSI) in May 1979 before it was renamed The Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM). In April 1996, IPAM merged with the Institute of Policy Development, which was created in 1993, to form the Civil Service College (CSC). CSC aimed to be a centralised training institute for all grades of government officers and to help the civil service achieve its training goals. The CSC initially operated from its Heng Mui Keng Terrence premises before moving to a new training facility at Buona Vista in 1998. CSC was inaugurated as a statutory board in October 2001 to allow it greater autonomy and flexibility in hiring the best trainers.
1. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1971, March 29). Complaints against civil servants of discourtersy (Vol. 30, cols. 1452–1453). Retrieved December 2, 2013, from Parliament of Singapore website: http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00054700-ZZ¤tPubID=00069243-ZZ&topicKey=00069243-ZZ.00054700-ZZ_1%2Bid005_19710329_S0005_T00081-oral-answer%2B; Tan, W. L. (1971, March 16). A staff training centre for the civil service. The Straits Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. The Straits Times, 16 Mar 1971, p. 17; Campbell, W. (1972, February 12). New lease of life... The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. $5 mil complex for Kent Ridge. (1975, February 24). The Straits Times, p. 5; Ngoo, I. (1055, March 9). ‘Brain centre’ to house think thanks. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Civil Service College. (2013, May 28). History of CSC. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from Civil Service College website: http://www.cscollege.gov.sg/About%20Us/Pages/Our-History.aspx; Civil Service College. (2011). We are CSC (pp.15–16). Singapore: Civil Service College. Call no.: RSING 352.669095957 CIV.
4. Chua, M. H. (1996, February 28). Civil service to get one central training college. The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Civil Service College, 2011, p. 22.
6. Civil Service College now a stat board. (2001, October 10). The Straits Times, p. H10.
The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.