1.1 Background of TMC Education Corporation Pte Ltd
TMC Education Corporation Pte Ltd was first established as TMC Computer School in 1981. As a private education institute, TMC Academy admits both local and international students. They thrive on providing quality and value-added educational courses and services to current and prospective students.
In 1994, TMC Business School was established in Singapore and they further expanded operations by setting up in Shanghai, China. Throughout the years TMC collaborated with various universities from Australia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA, which became their affiliates. In 2003, TMC Education Corporation Pte Ltd launched the ‘TMC Academy’ brand name.
Apart from the 4-year EduTrust Certification awarded by the Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory board under the Ministry of Education, TMC Academy has been awarded various certifications for their organization. TMC Academy has been providing more then 30 years of quality education.
1.2 Organizational Structure
Updated on 28 Nov 2014
Source: TMC Organization Structure. TMC Academy corporate website.
TMC have three main arms in the organizational structure. The academic division is responsible for all academic matters relating to policies and procedures, new and existing courses and maintaining academic integrity within the organization. This division is required to oversee and review academic proceedings and developments along with improving academic related matters. The second arm focuses is the corporate services division within the organization. The final arm is the Marketing and Business Development division. The responsibilities include all marketing initiatives with various organizations to provide them with scholarships and grants, collaborating with new partner universities, expansion plans or initiatives and plans to further develop the organization.
This report will focus mainly on the business operations in Singapore particular in all the divisions of TMC Academy.
1.3 TMC Academy Mission Statement
Source: TMC Organization Structure, TMC Academy Corporate Website
TMC Academy mission statement highlights that the organization would aim and strive to deliver the highest quality standard of courses for students. Students are promised to graduate with skills relevant to the industry of their study. With their pool of academic and non-academic staff, they promise students will learn in a good environment with ample guidance, support and encouragement.
1.4 Business Objectives
1.4.1 Managing Students Expectations
TMC provides education courses for both locals and foreign students residing in Singapore. The courses offered needs to meet the students expectation in terms of the having competent lecturers, classroom learning, materials, fee protection schemes, student contract and refund process. TMC has to comply with the Council of Private Education (CPE) requirements to protect student’s interest. They are expected to comply to the regulations such as documenting their operations into policies, systems, processes and procedures to assist them in ensuring quality services for their students (EduTrust Certification Scheme ‘ Guidance Document, CPE Corporate Website).
1.4.2 Providing Competent Lecturers
TMC’s role of recruiting lecturers for each course is important. They need to comply with regulation set by CPE. It is essential for them to follow the guidelines closely as CPE is allowed to intervene if the CPE feels that the lecturers are deem unsuitable. Lecturers have to be informed of TMC’s policies and systems complies to them. Lecturers have to be monitor for the delivery progress, achievement of targets and teaching performance (EduTrust Certification Scheme ‘ Guidance Document, CPE Corporate Website). With this, they are able to provide high quality program delivered by competent lecturers.
1.5 Key Business Strategies
1.5.1 Expansion of Campus
Currently, with their newly built city campus, they are actively marketing the programs to working professionals and adults. The strategic location of the city campus in the city is convenient and would be able to help increase enrolment of the part-time courses and evening programs. With more classrooms available, they are able to increase recruitment.
1.5.2 Wider Range of Programmes/Courses
TMC is constantly working on improving and expanding their variety of academic programs to be on par with the current and future trend of economic growth not only locally but also regionally. TMC needs to diversify and promote more enriching and high quality programmes and courses. TMC continues to work closely with university partners to expand the range of programs and ensure the programmes are relevant to the industry.
1.5.3 Working with Mass Based Organizations
TMC also promotes their courses and programs with organizations like SAFRA, Mendaki, SINDA. In return, TMC provides scholarship and grants for students from the respective organizations. This is a good strategy as it promotes social responsibility and portrays a good image for the organization.
1.5.4 Future Expansion Plans
As most of TMC Education Group Pte Ltd core business is mainly in Singapore and a small part is in China, it would be best to incorporate future expansion plans in their key business strategies. Apart from having partner universities, TMC should consider setting up institution overseas. It would increase the profitability of the organization.
2 Stakeholders Expectations
2.1 Internal Stakeholders
Employees of TMC would include support staffs and lecturers. Staffs are concerned about earning high income and stability in their jobs. TMC have to recognize efforts, remunerate accordingly and provide benefits like bonuses, insurance or healthcare subsidies. Employees’ welfare needs to be clear and concise within the organization. Employees are at risk of being treated unfairly or ill-treated by employers.
Lecturers are concerned about their position within the organization. They are at risk if the institution fails to comply with regulations and causing the closure of the institution. The institution may not be doing well and not profitable. TMC is partnering with overseas universities to provide more courses. In an event that the partner universities pull out their programmes, lecturers face the risk of losing their job.
The management are appointed by directors to manage the institution on a day-to day-basis. Managers put themselves at risk if they make wrong decision. Managers are at risk if they are unable to synergize their team to work well together. Work performance within the team might be affected. Some managers may own shares in the company or rewarded with bonuses if the company does well, explaining why they constantly push for success.
In TMC Education Corporation Pte Ltd, the founder holds shares within the company. Owners or shareholders are ultimately concerned about business growth, their investment, share price and also profitability. They are at risk if the company does not perform well.
2.2 External Stakeholders
Students face the risk of having incompetent lecturers, or partner universities pulling out from the joint-courses. Students are also concerned if the fees are increased with any information given.
Banks provide TMC with loans for bigger purchases like buildings for classes. Banks needs to analyze TMC’s statements to ensure that they are doing financially well, no bad debts, repayments are on time and are liable for the loan. By having meet the criteria and having good relationship, it would be more likely for TMC to qualify for the loan in the future.
TMC needs to comply with the regulations set by the government and regulators. CPE, appointed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) has to ensure that the private education institution adheres to the regulations. CPE has to follow up on legit complaints from students regarding the institutions and attend and investigate it. Failure to do so might lead to the institutions breaking regulations. Wrongful operations matters might take place in the institution quietly, that CPE might not be aware of. In terms of providing new programmes, TMC needs to have approval from MOE before the addition of new courses.
Suppliers provide printing materials and books for students and lecturers and other employees. With technology advancement, institutes might result to e-learning which would cause the suppliers in losing the institution as their customers. They would definitely want TMC as the customer to continue buying their products.
2.3 PESTEL Analysis
2.3.1 P ‘ Political
The Singapore political government is stable and no corruption is tolerated, therefore regulations and guidelines are introduced systematically. The government is always stressing on the importance of education. MOE is promoting the 21st Century Competencies. The framework states that Civic Literacy, Global Awareness, Cross-cultural Skills, Critical and Inventive Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Information skills should be present in the young (Ministry of Education). Young students are getting more tech-savvy in school with online and interactive learning. Private institutions like TMC have to keep up with these policies that the government are promoting. Interactive learning is taking place in primary schools, private institutions has to keep alongside the advancements in the education system in Singapore.
2.3.2 E – Economic
The rate of inflation might affect TMC in terms of remuneration for employees or restructuring of the organization, course fees for students and other operating expenses. Interest rate can affect the organization’s capital and loans. Economic growth can affect the sustainability and profitability TMC and have an impact on how TMC will and can carry on its operations in the future. When economic downturn occurs, people tend to upgrade themselves and further their education as they realize the importance of education. When the economy is doing well, people rather be chasing after their career then studying. Foreign exchange risk can also affect TMC as they have international students in the institute. According to a report in March 2014 by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore is ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live in. International students would rather go elsewhere for their education where the cost is lower in terms of accommodation, transport and food.
2.3.3 S – Social
When the population decreases, it could lead to a lower enrolment number for students. That could affect the enrolment rate of the academic year. Some organizations might not accept the social change of acceptance of women in the workforce and having a higher management role. We are living in the 21st century; Organisation has to do away with the thinking that women are not able to contribute equally as men. In 2010, women made up half of the 270,000 workers trained under the Workforce Skills Qualification system (Permanent Missions of Singapore 2011). Different organizations have different culture like the style of work and management and each individual has to learn to accept and adapt to the culture of the organization they are joining.
2.3.4 T ‘ Technological
Technology is evolving very quickly and consumers, employees and employers have become more tech-savvy. Like other organizations, we rely on computers and software for daily workflow. Being an institute, students data are at risk of being affected by viruses or theft of data. TMC needs to keep up with the technological change and adapt the e-learning methods with students. TMC needs to have a good technical infrastructure to ensure that their computer hardware and software are up to date at all times. At this age, any information is available online and accessible to anyone. These informations, whether good or bad, can affect the reputation of the organization.
2.3.5 E ‘ Environment
TMC has a role to play in contributing to the environment. As the technology advances, more and more institutions are adopting the idea of e-learning or making use of e-book. At times, students are not required to buy physical books. Materials used by students are available online. With these ‘Go Green’ efforts, the institution is able to minimize the wastage of paper. Students and employees are encouraged to recycle as part of eco-friendly efforts.
2.3.6 L ‘ Legal
There are government policies and regulations that are establish to regulate private education institutions (PEI). Institutions have to be well update of new regulations are introduced by MOE and CPE. TMC is responsible for abiding to the guidelines, failure to do so might cause the institution to be suspended or close down and affect the organization’s profitability. Employment laws also falls under political factor where TMC needs to comply to. The institution has role to play in recruitment, discipline, assessing the performance of the employees and rewards and bonuses. The institution also has to adhere to tax policies set by the government. As TMC admit international students, they need to be aware of the guidelines for student visa and fully explain the consequences of not abiding to the government regulations. The institution is at risk with Immigrations and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) if foreign students holding student pass do not comply to the minimum attendance required.
2.4 Risk management Framework
As a private institution, TMC is open to risk that can threaten them. There are quite a handful of competitors in the market. Competitors would be offering and promising the kind of values and mission to current and prospective students. Prospective students might not prefer the courses that TMC is offering, and instead enroll with TMC’s competitor. This can result in a decrease in student enrolment and population, which can affect the finances in the organization. The relevant department should wisely choose the courses they intend to offer in the institution. When TMC promised to deliver high qualities courses, the academic staffs have to be experienced and qualified to a certain level. It would be risky if the human resources department hires incompetent lecturers and affect a student’s academic performance. TMC should constantly strive to improve and be ahead of the rest of the competitors.
2.5 Internal & External Risk Environment
2.5.1 Internal Risk Environment
TMC needs to manage and have proper control of their finances. TMC needs to pay off debts and make profits for them as internal shareholders and for external shareholders. If TMC is financially stable as compared to their competitors which is not financially stable, investors, banks (lenders) and employees would be more willing to be associated with organization that are financial stability. It portrays the image that the management and brand is stable. If the organization is unstable, it can lead to a decrease in their profits and eventually to bankruptcy.
220.127.116.11 Organizational Structure
TMC needs to organize their structure correctly so as to achieve effectiveness, efficiency and success in the business. The organization needs to assess the structure in terms of the management team, job positions and responsibilities and communication within the organization. TMC has to ensure that the employees synergize well with one another to meet the organization’s goals and to increase business success. The CEO of TMC has a lot of factors to monitor and analyse so that TMC will not fall short either in profitability, pool of qualified lectures, or the competition from other institutions.
Lack of financial and human resources can cause impact on employees’ drive to work within the organization. It can be a challenge to recruit qualified and experienced lecturer to teach the programmes. At times they are a demand of students wanting to enroll in the courses, but because of inadequate lecturers, institutions have to cut the class/programme. In terms of competitors, there are not only other private institution likes SIM, Kaplan but other government universities. TMC might miss out on profits, sales and especially the teaching staffs.
2.6 External Risk Environment
The economy whether good or bad, will and can impact the institution. Even when TMC has no control over the economy, they need to understand the economy well so as that they are able to react and implement effective counter measures. They need to be able to deal with threats and maximize opportunities relating to the economy.
TMC organization needs to be aware of latest development so as not to commit any offence by not keeping to guidelines and regulations. If TMC do not comply, there is no one else to blame but the institution itself for not abiding to the stated clauses.
Technology is advancing and improving everyday. To keep up and to continue to remain relevant, TMC Academy needs to make sure that they monitor the technological developments so as to improve their business.
2.6.3 Labour Market
Lecturers are essential in an institution. With increasing number of students, the demand for lectures will increase too (Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore 2010). TMC has to employ qualified and experienced and lecturers that are registered with MOE. TMC would be in a bad state if there is a shortage of qualified lectures to deliver the courses.
3 Integration of Risk Management & Developing Risk Framework
3.1 Risk Assessment in Business
Effective risk management within the organization can contribute to the business success. If a risk is assessed and identified at a later period, more resources like human or financial resources might be needed to treat the risk. Failure to make fees payment might affect the financial status. As a result of that, the organization has to incur loss of sales and tap on other resources to finance the shortage in their accounts. That would decrease their profitability in the organization.
As a private education institute, TMC is required to abide to the regulations that have been set to protect both parties; student and the institution. If a risk such as having an incompetent lecturer is identified, they can immediately treat it and come out with measures to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Day to day operations might be open to risks and by proactively assessing all risk, the organization is able to function well if minor risks are prevented or eliminated.
3.2 Value & Benefit of Formal Risk Management
3.2.1 Improves Chances of Achieving Objectives
It does not matter what the organization’s objectives are. With a proper risk management framework in place, TMC will have a better chance to improve and eventually achieve the objectives that have been set out.
3.2.2 Encourage Proactive Management
Organizations must focus on being proactive, rather then merely reactive (Accenture 2011). TMC has to prepare and be prepared of the risk that might threaten them. The management must be able to visualize how the risks relate to each other and it encourages them to think ‘outside the box’ (Protiviti 2011). With that they are able to easily tackle the risks proper prioritization and planning.
3.2.3 Improves Governance of Organisation
It helps TMC to enhance its image in the public eye if TMC is responsible towards their stakeholders. TMC is also able to improve its accountability and avoid disastrous risk or issues from happening.
3.2.4 Examines Opportunities & Threats
The opportunities can also falls under the risks that might take place, as those are potential events that might happen. Instead of just examining risks alone, TMC would be able to identify other potential threat that might harm the organization too. With early identification, TMC would be further prepared.
3.2.5 Improves Decision Making
TMC will be prepared with treatment and options and can immediately implement those. TMC must make decisions and be prepared to handle the risk. TMC has their external shareholders; they need to be accountable to their shareholders. All risk and decisions made have to be communicated throughout the organization.
3.2.6 Assists in Allocation of Resources
Every department and function is open to risk. Resources are needed to address and treat each risk. TMC needs to allocate their resources carefully to effectively make use of the resources that they have within the organization.
3.2.7 Assists in Continuous Improvement
TMC is well established and known in the market. TMC can work on their weakness and further improve the organization. In this current century, the organization has to be dynamic as there are always changes like implementation of new regulations, new trends, changes in system. There is a need for TMC to be iterative and responsive to change.
3.3 Framework for Risk Identification & Categorization
3.3.1 Identifying and Managing Risk
TMC need to review past incidents, new threats and reflect and implement new ways to minimize future incidents from taking place. The risk management policy must be aligned with the organization’s culture. The AZ/NZS ISO 31000:2009 will be used in the paper identify TMC’s risk.
Managing risk is a responsibility that is shared by all employees of TMC. Directors need to lead and provide support. The risk owner should be accountable should any risk arise. As risk is part and parcel of TMC’s daily operations, it needs to be integrated with the organizational process. Each risk should be explicitly addressed and not taken lightly.
3.3.2 Communicating of Risk
TMC needs to be proactive about communicating the risk through various forms of communication like emails to students, meetings with staffs or the organization’s newsletter. TMC should have the required personnel with the skills, knowledge and expertise to carry out the responsibilities given to them. Even after a risk has been treated, TMC needs to be iterative and continue monitoring and reviewing the necessary areas.
3.3.3 Constant Improvement
It is important for TMC to be dynamic, iterative and responsive to change as change might occur at any moment. CPE might change or review its regulations, which can affect the institute. TMC can learn to know their competitors so that the organization can continue improving.
3.4 Risk Identification & Categorization
1) Programs/courses that are not up to industry standards may cause low enrollment rate which could result in loss of business.
2) Failure or delay in tuition fees payment may lead to financial risk resulting in loss of sales
3) Presence of other educational institutions may lead to tight competitions resulting in low enrollment rate.
Legal & Compliance
1) Failure to comply to regulations under the Public Education Act may lead to the discontinuing of operations.
2) Failure to comply to regulations under the Personal Data Protection Act (Singapore) may lead to a financial penalty.
3) Publishing an advertisement with false or misleading statements may influence potential students which may results to a breach of the Private
1) Limited knowledge of information technology leading to human error resulting in incorrect data processing or careless data disposal, or accidental opening of infected email attachments.
2) Improper and lack of information security controls may result in confidential data being compromised and inappropriately shared.
3) Systems issue on e-learning or LMS (learning management system) may result to students not being able to get learning materials.
1) Incompetent lecturers may lead to low quality of teaching resulting in bad students’ experience.
2) Ineffective HR management leading to high employee turnover rate resulting in shortage of staffs.
3) Lack of training and development may lead to incompetent staffs resulting in inefficiency and ineffectiveness of school operations.
3.5 Risk Assessment Techniques
3.5.1 Risk Identification Techniques
18.104.22.168 Fault Tree Analysis
The risk of improper and lack of information security controls may result in confidential data being compromised and inappropriately shared can be identified by using a fault-tree analysis. TMC Academy is able to identify the weakness in the system and security control system. With that, they are able to identify effective upgrades to the system to prevent data other confidential materials being leaked.
The risk of having system issues on the E-learning portal or LMS may result to students not being able to get learning materials. TMC can gather information from students and lecturers on constant complaints on system issues and narrow down to the having systems problems. For instance, they can brainstorm on ways to support e-learning when system failure occurs.
22.214.171.124 Cause & Effect Analysis
The risk of failing to comply with regulations under the Public Education Act may lead to the discontinuing of operations can be worked out by using the cause and effect analysis. TMC is able to identify all the causes relating to the effect of closure of the business. As compliance is a serious issue, there is a need to list down all possible causes to avoid the undesirable consequences.
3.5.2 Risk Analysis & Evaluation Techniques
126.96.36.199 Cause & Consequences Analysis
The cause and consequences tool is suitable to analyze the risk of lack of training and development, which may lead to incompetent staffs and eventually resulting in inefficiency and ineffectiveness of school operations. TMC is able to branch out all the probable causes and consequence and work on prevention and controls so as to increase profitability of the organization.
188.8.131.52 Event Tree
To analyse the situation of having incompetent lecturers leading to a low quality of teaching, TMC can adopt the event tree tool. There are many factors leading to lecturer’s incompetency, with this tool TMC can control the risk so as to minimize the consequences of student’s having a bad experience in class and also in school general.
184.108.40.206 Decision Tree Analysis
TMC uses the decision tree analysis tool for analyzing and evaluating the risk of publishing and advertisement with misleading statement, which may influence potential students leading to a breach of the Private Education Act. Management can analyse whether or not the statements they publish are appropriate, it enables them to make a better choice so as to comply to regulators.
3.6 Risk Assessment Criteria
From the financial statement like the profit or loss statement, the organization can determine if TMC is doing well. If company’s profitability is at the higher end, it means that sales were good for the financial year; they had a high number of students enrolling for programmes in the institutions. The risk is low.
3.6.2 Information Technology
TMC needs to ensure that all systems are updates and flawless. Apart from students and lecturers who use e-learning or LMS portal, staff uses the system on a daily for operations. If there are many complaints received on system technicalities, it means that the organizations faces a high risk in the IT function.
3.6.3 Human Resource
Employees; whether the ground staffs or lecturers are essential to TMC. The daily operations involves them, therefore if there is a high turnover rate of staff it is measured as a risk. It suggests that employees are unhappy with the management or workflow, or that the employees hired are incompetent. A high turnover rate is a high risk.
As for operations, in terms of measuring risk we can consider students & lecturers providing feedbacks to the institution. A high percentage of negative feedback suggests that the organization is at risk high. The operations needs to be improve so that the institution can have a effective and efficient work flow.
4 Risk Register
4.1 Risk Management Process
To insert – DIAGRAM of Risk Management Process
1) Establish the Context
TMC should establish the context by looking at their mission, objectives, structure, functions within the organization, the government and regulators.
2) Identify Risks
TMC needs to identify their threats and opportunities and determine the strategies it could take to be in line with their objectives. TMC should list down all possible risks so as to be able to work out the impacts of each risk.
3) Access Risks
TMC has to access and categorize and rank the risk level; low, medium or high risk. Each risk is dealt with a different approach.
4) Evaluate the Risk
TMC needs to identify the likelihood and consequences of the risk. For example, what is the probability of the risk occurring again and threatening TMC. The consequences of the risk should be address at the beginning. For example what is the probability of the risk impacting the different functions; legal, finance, human resource department.
5) Treat the Risk
TMC has to treat the risks according to the risk level. There is a need to determine if the risk is acceptable or unacceptable to the organization. TMC needs to come up with a treatment to treat the risk. The risk owner within the organization; be it the department head or the CEO has to be accountable to monitor and report the progress of the plan that has been implemented.
6) Communicate with stakeholders
TMC needs to communicate with communicate and consult with stakeholders effectively. TMC can tap on some stakeholders expertise on evaluating the risk. With this, TMC can maintain a two-way communication with stakeholders to share and receive information on the management of risk.
7) Monitor & Review
TMC should continue to monitor and review the risk treating it and whether the target or results have met their expectations. By having the results, TMC can make use to that for continuous improvement of the institution.
4.2 Development of causes
Refer to appendix
Annex A: Consequences Table
Annex B: Likelihood Table
4.3 Development of causes
Refer to appendix
Annex C: Risk Matrix,
Annex D: Summarised Risk Register
Annex E: Risk Profile
Annex F: Detailed Risk Register
4.4 Identification of Controls
TMC needs to review the process and ensure prevention of harm and loss from taking place. For example, if an employee submits a withdrawal of funds for petty cash or payments, a second person or the department head has to authorize it so as to prevent fraud.
TMC need to come up with corrective measure to correct the situation that is harming the organization. For example, if the e-learning or LMS system is having issues, TMC should implement corrective measures to prevent it from happening or having a second method if the system fails.
This is to monitor activities to identify whether regulations or policies within TMC are closely followed. For example, there is a need to monitor actual expenditures against the budget for any expenses to avoid fraud from occurring.
TMC needs to set policies and procedures within the organization. For example in terms of their IT systems, they need to set standards so that employees can following according to prevent any IT risk like data being compromised or inappropriately shared.
4.4.5 Share (transfer)
This occurs when TMC transfer the risk to another party. Vendors who are outsourced will have to bear the risk. For example, the insurance premium for student is being handle by another vendor.
4.5 Evaluation of Control
TMC needs to determine how effective the controls are. Whether the controls are very effective and good which can eliminate the risk. If there are reservations it means that TMC has not done enough to comment on the control implemented. When the control is deemed unsatisfactory, TMC has to do something to rectify it. In situations where it has not been evaluate, it might be because there are no controls and there is nothing to evaluate as yet.
The purpose of this report was to provide an overview and understanding of an TMC Academy as a private education institution. Apart from providing quality education courses and services to current and prospective students, the organization has a large role to pay in ensuring that they tackle every issue outside and within the organization. Risk is an important factor that is contributing to the business. It needs to be addressed proactively and promptly by the relevant department or people in the organization. By identifying, assessing and evaluating the risk, TMC is able to formulate a risk treatment plan to treat the risks. By having supporting documents it enables TMC to carefully manage the risk within the organization so as to continuously improve and achieve profitability. The next report will be reviewing more in’dept of the risk management plan to treat the risk that has been identified.