Many like myself, begin the CEI certification journey without thinking too much on the cost of getting it. More likely it was put across as a job requirement when applying for a job as a Recruiter or Employment Agent working for any MoM (Ministry of Manpower of Singapore) licenced Employment Agency. However, after getting my CEI on the 3rd attempt, I realised there are actually a few ways the total cost of ownership (TCO) could have been reduced. If someone has provided me with a guide or written something that described the options available. Thus, my motivation for writing this article.
Advance hint: The minimum cost of getting a CEI certification is the $171.20 (inclusive of GST.) exam fees.
The course fees can be in the range of $85.60 to $642. Why the difference you might ask. Well, it voices down to 3 things. The CEI certificate you need to acquire, the quality of the lecturer and the training facilities. Personally, I took my course at AKC and I won’t recommend it for people looking to get examination advice or how to start your own maid/employment agency here in Singapore. Here are the published course fees at the 3 approved training providers. If you are a Singaporean above 25 years old, don’t forget to check if you have Skill Future Credit that can be used to offset the published course fees.
However, I hoped the authority can put in some guidelines to the fees collected and open up to online e-learning as well in the future.
There is only one place to take the exam, NTUC Learning Hub, so not much of comparison advice I can offer you. The exam fee is $171.20 regardless of the CEI exams you are taking. However, you can choose to take ANY of the CEI exams (only ONCE) without attending the course. If you fail your first attempt, you are required to complete the relevant course before taking the re-test and must produce their course certificate of completion during registration for the re-test. After attending the course, you can re-take the corresponding test. There is no limit to the number of re-takes. You can re-take without taking the course again. You can also take another CEI test that has the same modules as the CEI course.
After failing the CEI exam for the 1st time, I realised some of the questions are tricky. Some can even be considered as impossible because of the information contained inside the study materials are incomplete. I started asking around my classmates and we started sharing notes we found online. If you do a Google, you probably can find people selling notes and sample exam questions. Still, only a handful of us managed to pass on the first try and I failed on my 2nd attempt again. Did I miss something in my learning or that I didn’t get the same straight forward questions as the rest maybe? After some checking, I think it’s the way I’ve picked up the questions and answers from reading text alone. I remember things much better if I am forced to redo questions repeatedly and probably in a similar format as the actual exam. So comparing the CEI questions purchased from different online sources that cost between $20 to $30, the online tests and exams found on this site can be the alternative for you.
The CEI can be yours free with conditions of working for a specific company. It can also be something cheap if you can learn by reading the required materials and some sample questions or mock exams to help you understand the format better.