The Saint Lucia government is reviewing the requirements for appointing people in the protective services.
The disclosure came on Thursday from Public Service Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte.
Albert-Poyotte was answering a question from reporters regarding succession planning in the Saint Lucia Fire Service where Fire Chief Joseph Joseph has proceeded on pre-retirement leave.
She said before his departure, Joseph had expressed confidence that he had a line-up of officers to replace him.
The Babonneau MP said the position would be advertised and the best person would get the job.
She also explained that George Victorin, currently the Acting Fire Chief, is due to retire next year.
And when the issue of department appointments without ‘due process’ was raised, the Minister spoke of the review.
“What we have seen as a deficiency is one where persons employed in the protective services were equated to persons in the general public service,” Albert-Poyotte, whose responsibilities include Home Affairs and Labour, told reporters.
But the Minister said the government feels that people in the protective services require special skills.
“We have to place greater emphasis on skills, performance, and experience rather than just certification. A master’s (degree) in something or a doctorate or a first degree – that’s the certification,” she noted.
“But when it comes to practice and having the skills we have to put greater emphasis in that area and not if you have a master’s you move up the ranks,” she said.
Headline photo: Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte (Stock image)