Singapore Institute of Retail Studies
1. Who is SIRS? Is it a private commercial school? Where is SIRS located?
The Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS) is a Continuing Education & Training (CET) institute of Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). SIRS is the first CET centre set up in January 2006 as a collaborative project between the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) (now restructured into SkilsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG)) and NYP. SIRS is awarded the National CET Institute (NCI) status, the pinnacle status for CET centres, since January 2011.
In 2016, SIRS is appointed as the Anchor Provider by WDA for the retail industry to support retailers improve business performance through holistic enablement solutions including consultancy, executive programmes, applied research, training and recruitment/placement services such as the Professional Conversion Programme.
SIRS is located at 11 Eunos Road 8, #08-02/03/04, Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore 408601 (next to Paya Lebar MRT). Please use Lift Lobby B to reach our office.
2. What training does SIRS provide?
As a Anchor Provider for the retail industry, SIRS provides a comprehensive workforce development service which include:
• Enhancing the capability of the retail professionals with relevant and industry-recognised training and development.
• Developing training programs through research-driven course development and world-class adult education and training pedagogy.
• Matching trained and nationally-certified workers to retailers' manpower needs.
• Developing & sustaining new knowledge, especially on retail trends and strategies for the regional market to sustain a competitive retail sector.
• Sharing best practices and standards in the retail sector through industry practitioner seminars and retail workshops.
3. What is Retail WSQ?
The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) is a national credentialing system. It trains, develops, assesses and recognises individuals for the key competencies that companies look for in potential employees.
As a CET institute for the retail sector, SIRS offers Retail WSQ programmes from Certificate, Advanced Certificate, Diploma and Specialist Diploma levels. The programmes focus on the skills (both hard and soft), knowledge and competencies (i.e. having the abilities to do the job well) that encompass employability, occupational and industry skills.
4. Is WSQ qualifications recognized by employers?
Yes, WSQ qualifications are recognized by employers of Singapore. WSQ retail qualifications competencies are developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (now under the purview of SSG) with employers input and contributions. WSQ qualifications are endorsed by employers, unions, and industry associations in the retail industry.
5. What is the difference between a Diploma offered by Polytechnics and WSQ Diploma?
Retail WSQ programme is a competency-based training programme. These competencies are developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (now under the purview of SSG) and endorsed by employers, unions and industry associations in the retail industry. They are translated into training modules to enable a worker to develop the required skills, knowledge and competencies to do his job well.
The WSQ Diploma also recognises past training and current credentials in addition to academic achievements. In the case of Polytechnic diploma courses, these are targeted at secondary school leavers with entry requirement of minimum GCE 5 ‘O’ levels. The polytechnic courses are full time courses which are longer, and where academic focus takes prominence, unlike WSQ qualifications which competency and skills take the centre stage.
6. Should I enrol for Retail WSQ Programmes?
If you are seeking to join or a career change to the Retail industry, hope to upgrade and have an advancement in the Retail career or wish to understand more on the skills and knowledge of a salesperson, cashier, visual merchandiser, purchaser, a retail manager or a service professional, you can join the Retail or Service WSQ Programmes at SIRS.
7. I am over 50 years old - Am I too old for the course?
There is no age limit to WSQ Training.
8. Must I complete the full programme or can I choose to do certain module(s)?
You can sign up any module(s) as desired to raise required skill levels and competencies or complete a full qualification programme.
This open and easy accessibility to training is the key feature of SIRS training model. SIRS encourages an open access approach to public wanting to enrol in WSQ modules / units or full programmes.
For each competent module, you will be awarded a Statement of Attainment (SOA). Upon completion of the necessary modules in each qualification level, you will be issued a Full Qualification Certificate and Transcript.
9. What are the modules offered in the various programmes? Where can I get detailed information on courses, course fees and course schedule?
Please click on the “Courses” tab to view modules offered in various programmes. You can view the course schedules by clicking on the COURSE SCHEDULE under each course. You may also wish to download SIRS Mobile App Jobs/Courses, available in IOS and Android, for your convenience to view and apply for courses on the move.
10. Can I enrol for Certificate or Advanced Certificate or Diploma programmes on full time basis?
SIRS offers public run Day class (2 days per week) and Night class (2 nights per week) for Certificate, Advanced Certificate, Diploma and Specialist Diploma Programmes.
11. What is the schedule of the full programmes?
Classes are scheduled twice a week for both day and night classes, Monday to Friday only.
12. What is the entry requirement for the full WSQ programmes, e.g. academic qualifications, WPLN?
Please click on the “Courses” tab to view modules offered in various programmes for the entry requirements.
13. Will I be awarded certificate if I were to take another non-prescribed module?
Yes, the Statement of Attainment (SOA) is issued on a modular basis; a participant will be awarded the relevant SOA if they were to be assessed as competent.
14. Do I need to be sponsored by my company?
No. Sponsorship is not a must. You can join the course on a self-paying basis.
For company sponsored, we can also arrange for a contextualised class with a minimum class size of 20 participants. Please email to SIRS via email@example.com for enquiries.
15. Can I get a retail job after I completed WSQ retail qualifications?
The chance of getting a job with training in WSQ qualification is good.
The Statement of Attainment (SOA) that you obtained certifies that you are competent in the relevant unit. Coupled with relevant experience, SIRS Career Services Centre will make recommendation to respective employers for their consideration.
16. Can SIRS help me to look for a job in Retail industry after completion of WSQ course?
SIRS assists in job placement for Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents.
Course participants can request for employment assistance with SIRS’ Career Services Centre by completing an Employment Assistance Request form. SIRS’ Career Services Centre Officer will review your application and recommend you to respective employers for their consideration.
17. Will SIRS help me to get a job if I have not attended any WSQ courses?
If you are Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident, SIRS Career Services Centre will review your qualifications and work experience to assist you in job placement. Should you possess all the required qualifications and experience, we will recommend you to the respective employers for their consideration.
However, if there are skills and knowledge gaps, we will recommend you relevant WSQ courses to enhance your employability and upon completion of your course, we will recommend you to the respective employer for their consideration.
18. How do I access to the job vacancies in the retail industry directly?
You may wish to visit our website at www.sirs.edu.sg and click on Career Services and under the tab Job Vacancies Listing you can view all the job vacancies and apply accordingly. You may also wish to download SIRS Mobile App Jobs/Courses, available in IOS and Android, for your convenience to view and apply for jobs and courses on the move.