Skills Framework for the Information Age

Skills Framework for the Information Age

The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) is a UK-government backed initiative to attempt to define a competency framework for IT, which will describe the roles IT practitioners in the United Kingdom fill and the skills needed to fulfil them. SFIA is a two dimensional matrix that consists of skills, roles and tasks (subsets of roles) and relates one to the other. In the current version there are 78 skills and 263 tasks.

SFIAplus is a three dimensional matrix which adds a further layer of detail to the SFIA framework. In the current version, version 3, the skills in SFIA are further subdivided into eight skill resources and the SFIA tasks are divided into six task components. SFIAplus also includes detailed training and development resources to provide industry with a model for skill training and development.

SFIA is owned and administered by the [ SFIA Foundation] . SFIAplus is an added-value product administered by the BCS (British Computer Society), the UK's main professional body for information technology.

Levels of responsibility and accountability

Levels of responsibility and accountability levels run from level 1 (the lowest) to level 7 (the highest). Only one skill has all levels available (Management and operations COPS), the rest starting either higher than one or ending lower than seven. Each skill and level combination is defined in a short paragraph. In addition each level has a generic description in terms of autonomy, influence, complexity and business skills.

Level 1: follow

Basic capability to complete tasks under close supervision. Not expected to use much initiative. Should be organised, capable of learning and contribute to own development plan.

Level 2: assist

Uses some discretion and has a wider circle of interaction than level 1, especially in speciality. Works on a range of tasks, and proactively manages personal development.

Level 3: apply

Complete work packages with milestone reviews only. Escalates problems under own discretion. Works with suppliers and customers. May have some supervisory responsibility. Performs a broad range of tasks, takes initiative, and schedules own and others work.

Level 4: enable

Works under general direction in a framework. Influence at account level, works on a broad range of complex activities. Good level of operational business skills.

Level 5: ensure, advise

Broad direction, supervisory, objective setting responsibility. Influences organisation. Challenging and unpredictable work. Self sufficient in business skills.

Level 6: initiate, influence

Authority for an area of work. Sets organisational objectives. Influences policy, significant part of organisation, and customers and suppliers at a high level. Highly complex and strategic work. Initiates and leads technical and business change.

Level 7: set strategy, inspire, mobilise

Authority includes setting policy. Makes decisions critical to organisation, influences key suppliers and customers at top level. Leads on strategy. Full range of management and leadership skills.


The competencies are grouped into categories and sub-categories, intended to be broadly in line with job functions. Each skill also has a four letter code (e.g. METL for "Methods and Tools"), a name, a short description, and the definition of the skill levels.

trategy and planning

Information strategy

This sub category is made up of information management (IRMG).

Advice and guidance

This comprises consultancy (CNSL) and technical specialism (TECH).

Business/information systems strategy and planning

The element of this are research (RSCH), innovation (INOV), business process improvement (BPRE),strategic application of information systems (STPL), business risk management (BURM), information security (SCTY) and information assurance (INAS).

Technical strategy and planning

This sub-category comprises systems architecture (ARCH), emerging technology monitoring (EMRG), continuity management (COPL), Software development process improvement(SPIM), network planning (NTPL) and methods and tools (METL)


ystems development

Systems development management (DLMG), data analysis (DTAN), systems design (DESN), network design (NTDS), database design (DBDS), programming/software development (PROG), safety engineering (SFEN), web site specialism (WBSP) and systems testing (TEST),

Human factors

Systems ergonomics (HCEV), content creation (DOCM), non-functional needs analysis (UNAN), usability evaluation (USEV) and human factors integration (HFIN).

Installation and integration

Systems integration (SINT), porting/software integration (PORT) and systems installation/decommissioning (HSIN).

Business change

Business change management

Business analysis (ANAL), programme management (PGMG), project management (PRMG), business process testing (BPTS), change implementation planning and management (CIPM), organisation design and implementation (ORDI) and benefits management (BENM).

Relationship management

The skill stakeholder relationship management (RLMT).

ervice provision


Configuration management (CFMG), change management (CHMG), capacity management (CPMG), system software (SYSP), security administration (SCAD), radio frequency engineering (RFEN), availability management (AVMT) and financial management for IT (FMIT).


Data protection (DPRO), application support (ASUP), management and operations (COPS), network control and operation (NTOP), database administration (DBAD) and service level management (SLMO),

User support

Network support (NTAS), problem management (PBMG) and service desk and incident management (USUP),

Procurement and management support

upply management

Procurement (PROC) and supplier relationship management (SURE).


Quality management (QUMG), quality assurance (QUAS), quality standards (QUST), compliance audit (COMP ) and safety assessment (SFAS),

Resource management

Project office (PROF), asset management (ASMG), information systems coordination (ISCO), client services management (CSMG), professional development (PDSV) and resourcing (RESC),

Ancillary skills

Education and training

Education and training management (ETMG), training materials creation and maintenance (TMCR) and education and training delivery (ETDL).

ales and marketing

Account management (ACMG), marketing (MKTG), selling (SALE) and sales support (SSUP).

External links

* [ SFIA Foundation]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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