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Home > For PEIs > Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) > Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF)

Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF)

 

The Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF), as set out under the Private Education Act and the Private Education Regulations, spells out the mandatory registration requirements and legislative obligations which all PEIs, operating in and from Singapore, must meet.

 

It is administered by the CPE, which is the sectoral regulator overseeing the private education sector, as established under the Private Education Act.

 

The ERF aims to enhance the overall quality of PEIs in Singapore and ensure that they are of a certain acceptable standard in order to protect the interests of students. It does this through the following aspects of ERF:

 

Registration

The Private Education Act requires all PEIs to be registered with the CPE before they are allowed to commence operations.

 

In the past, under the Education Act, registration for PEIs was a one-off exercise. Since 21 December 2009, under the Private Education Act, registration status has a specified validity period determined by how well a PEI measures up to the registration criteria.  This provides PEIs with the incentive to improve their standards in order to attain a longer period of registration.

 

Corporate Governance

The Private Education Act prescribes a clear line of accountability for the conduct and practices of PEIs.

 

To ensure that accountability for any misconduct is placed on the actual persons who exert management influence over the PEIs, the Private Education Act defines the manager of a PEI as any director (if the PEI is a company), or member of its management committee (if the PEI is a registered society). 

 

The Act also requires the manager of a PEI to fulfil a prescribed set of duties and responsibilities. These include the keeping of proper records, providing for students affected by the closure of PEIs to complete their enrolled course or a similar one in another PEI; and furnishing information requested by the CPE within the stipulated duration. The failure of a manager to fulfil his responsibilities without any reasonable excuse would constitute an offence.

 

The CPE has the power to direct any PEI to suspend or remove any of its managers if they are found to be inadequate in carrying out the responsibilities of managing the school, or are unable to discharge their prescribed duties. 

 

Quality of Provisions

A PEI is required to set up an Academic Board and an Examinations Board with at least three members each. The Boards are to set up proper academic and examination processes and frameworks respectively.

 

The onus is on the PEI to ensure that its teachers have relevant and authentic qualifications and experience that meet the requirements stipulated by the Private Education Act and Regulations.

 

PEIs also have to seek and receive permission from the CPE before they offer any course, with the exception of part-time certificate-level courses which are less than one month or 50 hours in duration. The requirements for any PEI applying to offer external degree programmes (EDPs) must also be met before they can be offered. 

 

In processing a PEI’s application to offer courses, the CPE would verify the authenticity of the qualifications it offers, and the standing of the institutions issuing them. For example, the CPE would examine the track records and profiles of both the PEI and the foreign university issuing the degrees. Foreign universities would have to make the commitment that the degree programmes offered at the local PEIs are recognised by the relevant authorities in their home country; are subject to the same academic approval and assurance processes as the programmes offered at their home campuses; and that the graduates here receive equivalent recognition, treatment and privileges as those enrolled in their home campuses.

 

It would be an offence for PEIs or any persons to advertise courses not permitted by the CPE, or to solicit or receive any fee from any student for such courses. PEIs found to have committed any of these offences would be liable for its registration period to be shortened, or even for its registration to be suspended or cancelled.

 

Information Transparency

The ERF stipulates requirements for full information disclosure by PEIs about themselves and the services they provide, such as their registration validity period, courses offered, teachers deployed, fees, facilities and refund policy. All information on PEIs which is pertinent to prospective and current students is published on the CPE website to enable students to make informed choices in their selection of PEIs and courses.

Last updated on 30 January 2013