A Captain of Lives

A Captain of Lives

What you need

Entry requirements for Prison Officers (Sergeant):

Diploma from any of the five local polytechnics,Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, or LASALLE College of the Arts

A-level certificate;

International Baccalaureate Diploma;

NUS High School Diploma

Entry requirements for Prison Officers (Corporal):

Higher National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (Higher Nitec);


O-level certificate

Career prospects:

The Singapore Prison Service believes in maximising officers' potential. All officers can expect to be exposed to the various areas of prison work.

Depending on their aptitude and potential, subsequent postingsmaybe to different aspects of ground operations, specialist vocations and staff work.

Within 10 years in the Singapore Prison Service, he hasdone a range of duties, from being deskbound to the outdoors.

During that time, RO2Teng Song Guan, 38, has been a personal supervisor, a planning and management officer, and even a research and statistics officer.

Mr Teng, now a memberof the Singapore Prison Emergency Action Response (Spear) Force, finds this job rotation fulfilling.

Hesaid: "This gives more depth to mycareer. Prison officers are all trying to make Singapore a safer place to live in.

"We help rehabilitate prisoners and also facilitate their search for jobs before their release from prison."

In his current role, Mr Teng is responsible for deployment, exercises and emergency training of members of the Spear Force.

The Spear Force's primary role is quelling any disturbances in our prisons, such as riots.

But they also escort high-risk prisoners for medical treatment at hospitals or for hearings at the courts.

He said: "Every day has something different. Even the same thing can be done differently.

"My daily routine at Spear Force comprises physical training in the mornings, followed by scenario training and exercises in the afternoons to test our doctrines, tactics and execution of duties."

Surprisingly, Mr Teng, whose fit and lithe physique belies his age, did not immediately choose a career in the Prison Service.

"Aftermynational service, I thought a regimented life was not for me. As I was on an Economic Development Board scholarship for my polytechnic studies, I worked in Sony for 41/2 years after my national service stint.

"But I later found the job monotonous. As I was going to get married soon, I decided to look for a more secure job.

"One day, I was surfing the Net when I came across the words Captains of Lives in a job advertisement. The words intrigued me and I examined the job scope more closely.

"I liked it and joined the Prison Service in 2002," said the Diploma in Manufacturing graduate from Nanyang Polytechnic.

As a diploma holder, Mr Teng entered the Prison Service as a sergeant. His consistently good performance led to him being emplaced in the Senior Prison Officer scheme in 2008.

He said: "If you work hard and perform well, your efforts will be acknowledged and rewarded.

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