Business Continuity Management

What is a Certification vs Competency-based Course?

BCM Institute offers both competency-based and certification courses. You may have known that BCM Institute offers two types of courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore.  One is WSQ competency-based, and another is a non-WSQ advanced-level certification course

Which course should I then attend? What are their differences?

Moh Heng Goh
Business Continuity Management Certified Planner-Specialist-Expert

What are the Non-WSQ certification and WSQ competency-based courses offered by BCM Institute?  Should I attend the competency-based training or the certification-based training?  

New call-to-actionAs a Singaporean or a Singapore Permanent Resident (PRs), what are my advantages in government funding? The good news is that both sets of courses (WSQ and Non-WSQ are funded by SkillsFuture Singapore or SSG).

Before diving deeper into the different types of courses, BCM Institute offers, let us know more about what competency is.

What is a Competency?

A competency is a measurable set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that an individual needs to perform a task effectively.   Thus, Your job may need several competencies, such as business continuity (BC), crisis management (CM) and Crisis Communication (CC), to perform well.  As competency is task-based, an individual may need to transfer the competencies to new situations and environments. 

What is WSQ Competency-based Training?

Now that we've understood competency, competency-based training in BCM Institute follows defined BCM knowledge, skills, and behaviour competency standards set out by the Singapore Workforce Skill Qualification (WSQ).

The WSQ competency framework provides a structured guide, enabling the identification, evaluation, and development of competencies in individual BCM professionals. 

WSQ.pngThe standard states what an individual can do and should know, when and where to perform his job and how well s/he performs his job.

BCM Institute, with review and approval as an Authorised Training Centre (ATO) by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), provides competency-based training that adheres to WSQ's structured competency standards and BCM industry best practices.

[WSQ] Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification Course Catalog

For Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) Undertaking the Competency-based BCM Training

The competency-based courses' design focus on a subject matter one at a time. The courses are broken down into smaller modules to enable participants to understand a particular area before moving on to the next subject matter. At the end of all courses, participants are assessed through face-to-face or online recorded video. The courses are scheduled two weeks apart to give the participants ample time to complete an assignment worksheet before attending the next class.

Typically our WSQ competency-based courses are funded by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). At the end of the course, participants will be able also to obtain a Statement of Attainment (SOA) awarded by SSG. 

As of May 2023, the advanced level certification course is now funded by the SkillsFuture funding program.

What is Non-WSQ Certification-based Training?

So what, then, is certification-based training by BCM Institute? Instead of explaining certification-based training, it is easier to provide a BCM example.  Whenever there is a BCM program, the Organisation's BCM Coordinator must have sufficient BC knowledge that covers a broad range of competencies on various aspects of BCM planning before s/he could embark on the BCM role. S/he is also most likely to need to ensure that the knowledge s/he gained is referenced to industry best practices and, whenever possible, an ISO standard.

The best course for an appointed BCM manager would be the holistic  ISO22301 BCMS Expert Implementer certification programme. This comprehensive BCM course is suitable for newly appointed Organisation BCM Coordinators and experienced coordinators as it enables participants to understand the full spectrum of BCM implementation concerning the global BCM ISO standards ISO 22301.

This flagship course would take the participant from understanding the basics of BCM, i.e. familiarising and understanding the 7 BCM Body of Knowledge needed to implement a plan, through to the steps and documentation needed in implementing the programme and managing and maintaining the programme.

The programme would also allow participants to get insights into market best practices shared by industry practitioners and course facilitators.  Publicly run courses would also enable participants to learn from other participants of other industries and maturity on alternative ways to implement and manage BCM plans. 

This unique gradual understanding of implementing a plan also applies to BCM Institute's other certification courses, such as the ones in

  1. Business Continuity Management [SkillsFuture funding available]
  2. Crisis Management [SkillsFuture funding available]
  3. ISO22301 BCMS Standard Lead Auditor [SkillsFuture funding available]
  4. IT Disaster Recovery Planning [SkillsFuture funding available]

Banner [BL-5-Catalog] What Expert Level Blended Learning Courses that are Available?

What Should be My Option?

So which course is most suitable for me?  You would need to ask these questions first:

  1. Fundamentals: Do I need base-level knowledge and skill for my interested course of study, e.g. BCM, Crisis Management, IT Disaster Recovery or BCM Audit?
  2. Funding: Do I want to exercise the subsidies from the Singapore government available for me?
  1. Advanced Level Training: Do I need to know all the domains even though I lack experience?
  2. Adaptive Learning and Practice-OrientedDo I want to attend a practice-orientated program?
  3. Professional Certification: Do I want/need an internationally recognized industry certificate?
  4. Funding.  From May 2023, for Singaporeans and Singapore PR, there is up to 70% SSG funding (SGD 1155 for age above 40 years of age and SGD 1925 for those below 40)  for the advanced-level courses.

The strength of our program is that Senior Industry Leaders teach both courses: Do I want to learn from the senior industry professionals sharing their knowledge and experience?

Those who are curious if they can relate both BCM Institute's competency and certification courses and how they can upgrade from these courses and are still unsure of the course most appropriate for you have read "What Is My BCM Competency Level?"

Other readings that could help you include Where Can I Improve My BCM Competency and Skill?


  CTA KMA Know More About WSQ Courses


Email to Sales Team [BCM Institute]We hope the readings give you a clearer understanding of our courses, but if you still would like someone to help you, drop us a line.


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