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SFIA

At Infrassistance we enable you to adopt and incorporate the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) in a complete and organisationally beneficial way. Offering SFIA advice and guidance through both our consultancy and training services, your organisation and IT function achieve both excellence and clarity.

Using SFIA in your organisation, with Infrassistance support, can enable you to achieve clarity, insight, direction and fairness to your complete employee lifecycle.

What is SFIA?

SFIA provides descriptive markers for the competencies and skills which are needed by IT professionals across a broad spectrum of roles, without constraining these to specific software or approaches. It can be understood as a reference model which brings context and clarity to a complex function.

SFIA has developed through several adaptations since being launched in 2000. We are currently utilising SFIA 7. It is rooted within a not-for-profit structure, designed to be of benefit to all, globally, and regularly updated.

As its name implies, SFIA is a framework outlining different levels of competency across a number of different skills bases. It is the IT industry’s common language. It sits comfortably alongside best practice models, such as ITIL, but isn’t restricted by defining these. It is of particular benefit to HR directors from recruitment through career progression and assigning balanced teams to projects.

Whilst SFIA, being a not-for-profit, is free of charge, implementing it within your own organisation takes a concerted and directed approach. Our consultant trainers (IOOs) can support and assist your organisation with adopting SFIA.

Why choose SFIA?

SFIA is focused on clarity. This starts with its ability to reference skills (and skill levels and competencies) without jargon. This helps to improve understanding of the IT function throughout the organisation. In turn, this enables better collaboration with other functions.

Using SFIA, we can help you create a new job description for a new role or map an existing job description to the appropriate SFIA skills and skill levels.

SFIA can help you more effectively engage with managed service providers by recognising which skills are needed both within the retained organisation and with the service provider.

SFIA can help you define and populate a target operating model, recognising the skills needed and mapping these to your current skills portfolio.

SFIA is also consistent. It can be applied to all sizes and types of organisation. We’ve successfully assisted businesses both large and small, and those operating in an immense range of niches, to adopt SFIA. In short, it’s flexible whilst also achieving consistency and clarity. It is about enhancing your current model of work, rather than replacing it.

When you choose SFIA with Infrassistance, you benefit from our bespoke skills analysis tools and unique testing capabilities enabling you to ensure you have the right staff doing the right jobs with the right skills. This helps you in every facet of the employee lifecycle including recruitment, promotion, performance reviews, training needs analysis, career development and more.

Central principles of SFIA

We recommend using our IOOs to provide support for SFIA adoption and SFIA training precisely because of SFIAs central principles:

  • Straightforward, generic and universally applicable: It is suitable for all no matter what your size or industry.
  • Experience-based: Individuals can demonstrate competence through real-life experience.
  • Defines levels of responsibility and skill: SFIA isn’t restricted to job titles and descriptions but instead focuses on skill levels and responsibility. It describes skills and levels of competence within that skill. It takes an integrated view of how skills work together and complement one another.
  • Independent of technology and approach: With SFIA you aren’t restricted to specific technology, models, technical knowledge or approaches. In an environment where these change rapidly, this enables SFIA to be agile.
  • Global and real: Real IT practitioners from an international scope contribute to its development.

Who should use SFIA?

Due to its flexibility, SFIA can be of benefit to a number of different individuals, groups and whole organisations, especially those with responsibility for talent or human capital management whether that’s across the organisation or responsibility for assigning specific staff to IT projects.

SFIA is ideal for any individual or function within a management or recruitment role that needs to assess skills and experience. This makes it applicable to those in IT management functions, line managers, HR, recruitment and organisational leaders. It is also of use to those with learning and development responsibilities as it enables clear training and planning as well as offering a framework for seeing how you can meet business needs. Furthermore, it is useful for trainers themselves, as well as professional bodies.

SFIA is of particular benefit wherever communication regarding IT skills is needed across functions, and with individuals themselves. As it is a clear measure of capability in the here and now, it can provide clarity regarding future requirements.

SFIA can be used in various different ways. For example, it may be used for a ‘one-off’ purpose to address a particular problem, such as identifying training needs. However, it can also be used across the entire function of IT, through organisational design and more.

SFIA in more detail

SFIA defines seven levels of responsibility across all of the roles it addresses. It starts with Level 1 (lowest) and progresses through to Level 7 (highest). Within each level you find a description of the behaviours, knowledge, values and characteristics which an individual should possess to be deemed competent at that level.

SFIA 7 (published in June 2018) covers 102 different professional skills. The skills are grouped in to categories and sub-categories to make for easy navigation. These apply across the full range of IT areas.

The different levels of SFIA are defined within attributes:

  • Autonomy
  • Influence
  • Complexity
  • Knowledge
  • Business Skills

Time to use SFIA in your organisation

It is time to benefit from SFIA in your organisation. Our IOOs can help through both consultancy and training. We can deliver a precise understanding of this framework within the context of your unique needs so that SFIA delivers the clarity needed from your IT function. SFIA can help you gain clarity regarding IT skills uniquely within the needs of your organisation for talent management. Call +44 (0) 1344 567 222 to discuss your requirements.

When you choose SFIA with Infrassistance, you benefit from our bespoke skills analysis tools and unique testing capabilities enabling you to ensure you have the right staff doing the right jobs with the right skills. This helps you in every facet of the employee lifecycle including recruitment, promotion, performance reviews, training needs analysis, career development and more.