In line with the changes to the Employment Pass (EP) criteria announced, the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) will be implemented from 1st September 2023 for new applications and renewals from 1st September 2024. This means that in addition to meeting the qualifying salary, the applicant must also pass the COMPASS framework to obtain their EP.

COMPASS aims to enable employers to select high-quality foreign professionals while improving workforce diversity and building a strong Singaporean core. It is a transparent system that gives businesses greater clarity and certainty for manpower planning.

How COMPASS works

There are 2 categories of criteria, foundational and bonus.

Foundational Criteria

Individual Attributes

C1. Salary: Relative to local PMET salary norms to sector

C2. Qualifications: Based on the candidate’s qualifications

Firm-Related Attributes

C3. Diversity: Whether the candidate improves nationality diversity in the firm

C4. Support for Local Employment: Based on local PMET share relative to industry peers


Exceeds expectations: 20 points

Meets expectations: 10 points

Does not meet expectations: 0 points

Bonus Criteria

C5. Skills Bonus (Shortage Occupation List): For candidates in jobs where skills shortages exist

C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus: For partnership with Government on ambitious innovation or internationalisation activities

The application can also earn additional points on bonus criteria if it meets the relevant qualifying conditions. The bonus criteria recognise the fact that the applicant brings in skills that are in shortage and/or support strategic economic priorities. This creates good jobs for Singaporeans.

Scoring Table:

C1. Salary (individual):

Fixed monthly salary compared to local PMET salaries in sector by age

≥ 90th percentile: 20 points

65th to 90th percentile: 10 points

65th percentile: 0 points

C2. Qualifications (individual):

Based on candidate’s qualifications

Top-tier institution: 20 points

Degree-equivalent qualification: 10 points

No degree-equivalent qualification: 0 points

C3. Diversity (Firm-related):

Share of candidate’s nationality among firm’s PMETs (Small firms with fewer than 25 PMET employees score 10 points on C3 and C4 by default. PMETs are proxied by employees earning at least $3,000 per month.)

< 5%: 20 points

5 to 25%: 10 points

≥ 25%: 0 points

C4. Support for Local Employment (Firm-related):

Firm’s share of local PMETs within its subsector

≥ 50th percentile: 20 points

20th to 50th percentile: 10 points

< 20th percentile: 0 points

C5. Skills Bonus – Shortage Occupation List(Individual):

Job on the Shortage Occupation List: +20

Skills bonus is reduced to +10 if the share of candidate’s nationality among the firm’s PMETs is one-third or higher.

C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (Firm-related)

Firm meets specific assessment criteria on innovation or internationalisation activities: +10

40 points are required to pass COMPASS

Exemption from COMPASS

The candidate is exempted from COMPASS if they fulfil any of these conditions:

  • Earning at least $20,000 fixed monthly salary (similar to the prevailing Fair Consideration Framework job advertising exemption).
  • Applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee under the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services or an applicable Free Trade Agreement that Singapore is a party to.
  • Filling a role on a short-term basis, i.e. 1 month or less.


If you have any company-related queries, you may email us at [email protected]. When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced licensed Employment Agency with the Ministry of Manpower.

Yours Sincerely,
The editorial team at Singapore Employment Agency

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Little Big Employment Agency Pte Ltd is a licensed Employment Agency with the Ministry of Manpower with license number 19C9790.