Registration of CoreTrade Personnel

What is CoreTrade? Who is it for?

The Construction Registration of Tradesmen (CoreTrade) Scheme was introduced to allow the built environment sector to build up its core group of competent and experienced workers in key construction trades and supervisory roles to anchor and lead the construction workforce, and raise its quality and productivity levels.

Who is it for?

CoreTrade provides a platform to retain the better and more experienced workers by providing a clear career progression path and giving them due recognition. It allows one to progress from a “Basic Skilled” R2 worker, to a registered CoreTrade Tradesman specializing in specific trades, a registered CoreTrade Trade Foreman and eventually a CoreTrade Supervisor. CoreTrade personnel are qualified as “Higher Skilled” R1 workers under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s Foreign Worker Levy Scheme.

Q6: What are the classes of CoreTrade personnel? What are the registration requirements to be CoreTrade personnel?

There are 3 classes of CoreTrade personnel:

  • CoreTrade Tradesmen

  • CoreTrade Foremen

  • CoreTrade Supervisor

Generally, the registration requirements for a foreign work permit holder with a Skills Evaluation Certificate (SEC/SEC(K)) to be CoreTrade personnel are:

Type of personnel

Minimum years of local construction experience

Practical Test

Theory Test

CoreTrade Tradesmen

4 years


Not applicable1

CoreTrade Foremen

6 years



CoreTrade Supervisor

8 years

Not applicable


1 Theory Test is required only for Tradesmen in Construction Plant Operation and all enhanced formwork trades to ascertain the safety knowledge.

Q7: What are the trades available for registration under CoreTrade?

The trade categories available for registration are listed below.

CoreTrade Personnel

Trade Category

Tradesmen & Foremen

Structural Trades

Reinforced Concrete Works

Structural Steel Works

Architectural Trades

Cladding & Curtain Wall Installation

Doors & Windows Installation

Drywall Installation

Glazing Works

Joinery Works

Suspended Ceiling Installation

Tiling, Stone Laying & Floor Finishing Works

Waterproofing Works

Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Trades

Air-conditioning Ducting Installation

Electrical Works

Fire Protection Works

Gas Pipefitting Works

Lift Installation

Plumbing And Piping Works

Construction Plant Operation

Construction Plant Operation

(for Tradesmen only)


Architectural Works,

Structural Works, and

Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Works

Q8: Where to apply to be CoreTrade personnel?

CoreTrade applications can be made via www.bca.gov.sg/cwrs before registering the construction personnel for training and skills assessment at BCA’s Approved Training and Testing Centres.

Q9: I wish to upgrade my workers to “Higher Skilled” R1 status. However, the trades under CoreTrade Scheme are not relevant to my trades. Are there any other pathways to upgrade my workers?

Yes, employers can upgrade their workers to be “Higher Skilled” R1 workers through any of the 4 upgrading pathways – Coretrade Scheme, Multi-skilling scheme, Market-based Skills Recognition Framework and Direct R1 pathway.

q1 upgrading pathways

Q10: My worker is already registered as a CoreTrade Tradesman. How can he upgrade to be a CoreTrade Trade Foreman?

Application can be made to upgrade from a CoreTrade Tradesman to Trade Foreman. Once an application to upgrade has been made, the application is reviewed to determine if he/ she meets the minimum requirements for skills and experience to upgrade.

If a CoreTrade Tradesman has obtained 6 years construction experience in Singapore, he may take the written test component only and pass the written test component of the same trade category to upgrade to Foreman.

Q11: I wish to apply my worker as CoreTrade Foremen. However, he failed the written test component, what should he do?

If the candidate failed the written test component for Trade Foremen and have passed the practical test component (only for non-plant construction trades), he would then be allowed to be registered as CoreTrade Tradesmen which allows him to stay in Singapore up to 22 years and their employers pay lower levy. However, for Timber formwork and Steel Reinforcement, the trades are only applicable at Trade Foremen level.

Alternatively he can take a retest on the written test component.

Q12: My workers cannot read and write in English. I am afraid they could not pass the test.

To register as a CoreTrade Tradesman (except for Construction Plant Operation), the worker needs to take and pass a practical test component only.

To register as a CoreTrade Tradesman in Construction Plant Operation, CoreTrade Trade Foremen or Multi-Skilled worker, the worker needs to take and pass both practical and written test component. The written test paper has translations in Chinese, Tamil, and Thai.

>In addition, the written test component for CoreTrade Foremen has been modified from a closed-book to an open-book written test from 3 November 2014 onwards, to enable the candidates to learn better.

To register as a CoreTrade supervisor, the worker needs to take training and test in theory only.

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