FAQ - Leadership Development Programme


Eligibility Criteria

Which professionals qualify for the Leadership Development Programme (LDP)? 

Currently, only Social Workers, Therapists (Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists), Psychologists, Counsellors and EIPIC Teachers can be nominated for the specialist track. However, the management track is open to all professionals in the social service sector including corporate/administrative staff. 

Can a PDMP awardee be nominated for the LDP? 

Yes, if he/she is eligible for the LDP and has completed his/her PDMP bond.

Why are there different eligibility criteria for the various professional groups? 

For professions where there is an established national registration system (i.e. accreditation for social workers and registration for therapists), we have used that as the qualifying benchmark. Where there is no national registration system, we have consulted with stakeholders to set the eligibility criteria to ensure that professional standards are met. 

Must psychologists and counsellors be registered with their respective professional bodies to qualify for the LDP? 

No, they do not. However, they must provide the number of supervised practice and client contact hours they have achieved to date and submit any supporting documents. With this information, the panel can better assess the applicants' level of professional competency and recommend appropriate professional development activities.

If an employee does not meet all the eligibility criteria but has potential, would he/she be considered? 

If the social service agency strongly feels that an employee has potential, he/she can be nominated for the LDP. However, the social service agency must clearly state the reasons for nomination and chart the employee’s career progression. 

What is the selection process?

Applications  will be duly assessed by panel and a resource panel of experts will also be consulted on the types of training proposed by social service agencies for the nominees.

Can Executive Directors be nominated for the LDP? 

The purpose of the LDP is to develop a pipeline of future leaders to take on senior leadership positions. As Executive Directors are already taking on top positions in their agencies, they should tap on other programmes that are more suitable for them, such as executive leadership courses for senior leaders. 


Is there a maximum number of nominations that each social service agency  can put up? 

There is no limit on the number of nominations that each social service agency  can put up for the programme. 

Can I nominate myself for the programme?

We recommend that nomination for the programme be conducted by social service agency as they play a key role in the employee's development and can better assess when the LDP would be most beneficial to his/her career progression.

Components of the LDP

How many persons can the LDP support? 

As a general principle, we will work towards accepting all deserving candidates into the programme. 

Will bigger social service agencies benefit more from the LDP as compared to smaller ones? 

The LDP aims to develop professionals with the potential to take on senior leadership positions in their social service agency, regardless of whether they come from bigger or smaller social service agencies. Through the programme, we build the professional and leadership capabilities of social service professionals to raise the standards of the sector as a whole.  

What roles do social service agencies play in the LDP? 

As part of the programme, social service agencies must jointly develop an Individual Development Plan with the LDP awardee, with inputs from NCSS. As the LDP awardee will be away for the duration of the training, social service agencies will have to arrange for staff to cover his/her duties during the LDP. social service agencies will also need to provide regular feedback to NCSS on the LDP awardee’s performance and development needs; and provide necessary supervision, guidance and career development opportunities. 


Individual Development

Who approves the Individual Development Plan? 

The Individual Development Plan is jointly developed by the social service agency and LDP awardee, with inputs from NCSS. Once complete, it is endorsed by the LDP Panel and reviewed every two years. 

What are the milestone programmes? 

These are programmes offered by the Institute that LDP awardees attend when they reach a certain career milestone (e.g. taking on a managerial role). Besides preparing them to take up leadership positions in their agencies and providing exposure to policy making, the programmes also provide a platform for awardees to establish networks with their peers from various agencies. 

What is the typical duration of candidature for LDP awardees?

The duration of candidature depends on the competency of the LDP awardee at entry and the highest position at which he/she has the potential to assume in his/her career pathway.

Can LDP awardees switch from one track to another?

Yes, LDP awardees can switch from the management track to the specialist track and vice-versa, subject to the LDP Panel's approval. However, this also depends on their stage of development and whether they possess the requisite specialist skill sets.

Leadership Development Grant

Can social service agencies tap on the leadership development grant, exit the agreement and, at a later date, tap on the leadership development grant again for further training? 

No. The LDP is not designed for social service agencies to tap on selective component(s) of the funding support to boost their own training efforts for their staff. It is meant to provide a holistic approach towards developing, engaging and managing staff with potential over a period of time to prepare them for leadership roles. To achieve this, social service agencies are required to partner with NCSS in mapping their staff’s development and career plan, and implementing them together. 


Where a bond applies, where will LDP awardees be bonded? 

The LDP awardees are bonded to the social service sector and priority will be given for the awardees to serve the bond with the nominating agency. 

What are the liabilities to the social service agency if the LDP awardee does not complete the programme? 

Should an LDP awardee exit the programme, NCSS will conduct a discussion with the social service agency on taking appropriate measures. Any incomplete bonds will be taken up directly with the LDP awardee.

Can a social service agency sign a contract with the LDP awardee to ensure that he/she is bonded to the Social Service Agency? 

The LDP awardees are bonded to the social service sector and priority will be given for the awardees to serve the bond with the nominating agency.

What is the duration of the bond for the LDP? 

The bond duration varies according to the type of programme the LDP awardee undergoes, and ranges from one year to four years for an overseas Master’s programme. 


If the LDP awardee resigns from his/her current social service agency and joins another social service agency, can he/she still proceed with the programme? 

Yes, but only if the LDP awardee’s new social service agency endorses his/her continual participation in the programme by ensuring that a viable career development pathway is in place.

Difference between the PDMP and the LDP

What is the difference between the PDMP and the LDP? 

The PDMP is a one-off training sponsorship that seeks to develop professionals and enhance their management capabilities while the LDP is a career development programme that is aimed at training selected individuals to take up top positions in the future.


Difference between the LDP and the Sun Ray scheme 

What is the difference between the LDP and the Sun Ray scheme? 

The Sun Ray scheme aims to grow a pool of future leaders who would illuminate the way for others and bring hope to the clients in the social service agencies they are serving whereas the LDP is a career development programme that is aimed at training selected individuals to take up apex positions in the future.