Thinking about taking the Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) or Scrum Master (PSM) training but a little confused about the CITREP+ funding process?
As a Singaporean or a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR), you are eligible for the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s CITREP+ funding, provided you and/or your company fulfils certain requirements.
In this article, we’ll look at how to go about successfully acquiring said funding and all the other necessary details you’ll need to know.
Singaporeans and PRs are automatically eligible for funding (as long as the courses you want are listed under IMDA) but there are several qualifying criteria unique to SMEs, non-SMEs, people of a certain age and even students/full-time National Service men (NSFs).
If you are applying alone (that is you are the payer, not your organisation), then this is what you need to know:
- Below 40 years old: Funding up to 70% of training + exam (PSPO) / just exam (PSM)
- 40 years old and above: Funding up to 90% of training + exam (PSPO) / just exam (PSM)
- Student: Funding is 100% of training + exam (PSPO) / exam (PSM)
If you apply under corporate (that is, your organisation is the payer), there are caps for funding for SMEs and non-SMEs. Let’s do SMEs first:
SMEs are capped at 90%:
- Regardless of age: Funding up to 90% of training + exam (PSPO) / just exam (PSM)
Non-SMEs are capped at 70%:
- But if you are 40 years old and above: funding is at 90% of training + exam (PSPO) / just exam (PSM)
- Below 40 years old: Funding capped at 70% of training + exam (PSPO) / just exam (PSM)
If you want to know the exact % of funding you qualify for, please reach out directly to IMDA.
2. Get your funding
Upon completion of the training and examination, the training provider (why innovation!) will submit your information through ICMS; IMDA’s claim portal. After submission, you will receive an auto-generated email from IMDA requesting you to acknowledge your enrolment in the training.
After this, additional information will be required to process the funding. Some of these documents will be issued by the training provider to you. Completion of the funding process to IMDA will be handled by you or your organisation after training and exam are completed.
Submissions are made online.
To ensure proper processing of your information, provide these documents to IMDA and any additional they may require.
- Invoice/receipt (provided by why innovation!)
- Attendance (provided by why innovation!)
- Completion certificate (provided by why innovation!)
- Exam results (will be emailed to you by scrum.org)
- Scrum.org certificate (will be issued to you upon passing)
- Students may need to provide proof of matriculation to a recognized college & recommendation by the college
- NSFs must provide proof of enlistment and Operationally Ready Date (ORD) including a copy of their SAF 11B card.
You may be required to provide additional documents as requested by IMDA that are not listed above.
In addition, you must have full attendance for the three days to qualify for the funding, including passing the exam (min. 85% passing mark).
Finally, all claims must be made within three months from the date you complete your examination. IMDA can be quite strict about the timeline, so ensure you don’t deviate from it or risk compromising the funding process.
Payment is to be made in full at enrolment. The 70-90% funding depending on training and the other factors listed here will be reimbursed to you via GIRO sometime after the training is completed and exam is passed.
3. Can HR departments apply for group trainings?
Yes. If you’re applying under an SME or non-SME, the information in points number 1 & 2 still stand. The PSPO and PSM courses are very popular trainings often sourced and applied by HR and Learning & Development managers for their various departments and sometimes, whole organisations.
The process of receiving funding remains the same.
Students and NSFs who qualify must be:
- 17 – 25 years old
- Currently enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies i.e NITEC, Higher NITEC Diploma up to First Degree awarded through any tertiary bodies recognized officially in Singapore. This includes JCs, polytechnics, Universities and other government affiliated institutions.
5. Full training funding vs exam-only funding
Purchasing one or the other separately is not possible under why innovation! In the case of PSPO, the CITREP+ funding is applicable wholly to the training including one official exam.
For PSM, even though only the exam is funded, you must take the training as well to qualify for the 70% exam funding.
6. What to know about the exam?
When you purchase the PSPO training, we will take you throughout the entire syllabus culminating in a mock exam to prepare you for the real thing. But as we are not the invigilators for the exam (point no. 5), you’ll have to sit for it on your own at a separate session. This exam:
- Is done online through scrum.org
- Has 80 multiple-choice questions (MCQ)
- Must be completed within 60 minutes of starting
- Requires minimum passing mark of 85%
The exam can be quite tough, so the training is necessary especially if you’re new to Product Management as it will prepare you adequately to pass the exam.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to remember the Agile concepts, Scrum frameworks and more from the Scrum Guide in order to pass.
Due to 60 minutes limit, there won’t be enough time to Google all 80 questions, so you’ll want to sit for it when you’re prepared. And this is usually right after you complete the 3-day PSPO training by why innovation!
Absorbing all the information is a big ask so let us summarise the more important details:
- Funding is available for Singaporeans & PRs only (foreigners on EP are not eligible even if they apply through an organisation)
- 3-day attendance is compulsory
- All trainings purchased through why innovation! will come with the exam. Exam is not optional
- Training and exam are conducted online
- Exam is handled externally, through scrum.org
- When applying for the training under an SME, your funding is capped at 90% regardless of your age
- Non-SME funding is capped at 70% although employees who are 40 and above are still eligible for the 90% funding
- Students & NSFs have 100% funding but must show proof of full-time education and/or ORD date
- Claims must be made within three months starting from date of completion of exam
- Minimum to pass for exam is 85%
Hopefully, this clears up some of the lingering questions pertaining to the IMDA, CITREP+ funding and PSPO in general. At why innovation!, we are committed to delivering world-class trainings that will help you not just ace the exam but excel as a Product Owner.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a comparison snapshot among all the available trainings & certificates, you'll want to read our Product Owner (PO) Certifications: Comparison Guide 2020.
This article was first published on why academy!