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How the SFIA Framework Functions as an Assessment Tool

SFIA, (Skills Framework for the Information Age), is a powerful and innovative solution that helps in identifying and closing skill gaps within the information and communication technology sector. Briefly put, the SFIA framework is a comprehensive and replicable model that assesses and optimises workforce potential.

The application of SFIA can help business managers, IT professionals, educators, and the HR sector optimise skills to meet SFIA job descriptions. But how does it operate as an assessment tool? No worries, the leading SFIA and competency management company – SkillsTX – is here to explain everything needed. Just read on and find out more.

How Does the SFIA Framework Operate?

Before a company or organization begins with the application of the SFIA framework, it’s essential that they clearly understand how it operates. Namely, there are three key aspects of the framework’s founding principles.

  1. SFIA is Non-Prescriptive

First and foremost, you have to understand that it doesn’t appraise subjects on professionally provided deliverables but corresponding SFIA skills and competencies. It acknowledges that BoKs (Bodies of Knowledge) and industry-specific expertise are dependent on context and changing constantly.

  1. The SFIA Model as implemented within SkillsTX is Holistic

Secondly, the SFIA skills are holistically described and assess proficiency based on attributes that are less quantifiable. The SFIA framework takes into consideration professional skills but with the SkillsTX solution also covering knowledge, certifications, qualifications, and behaviours or attributes. In other words, SFIA doesn’t mark subjects as ‘qualified or unqualified’ but provides strategies and solutions for skill development and growth.

  1. SFIA is Ever-Evolving

Third, the final aspect of the SFIA framework’s founding principle is that its design is open-ended. This means that it is constantly being reviewed, augmented, and changed. The reason for this is that technology and workforce needs are changing continuously. Therefore, the SFIA framework tries to reflect the current needs of the workforce and strives to close the skills gaps present at that time.

What Diagnostic Metrics SFIA Uses?

To further understand the SFIA framework, we’ve created this brief overview of SFIA diagnostic metrics:

  1. Categories

All SFIA skills are grouped into six major categories with its subcategories:

1 Category: Strategy and Architecture

  • Information strategy
  • Advice and guidance
  • Business strategy and planning
  • Technical Strategy and planning

2 Category: Change and Transformation

  • Business change and implementation
  • Business change management

3 Category: Development and Implementation

  • Systems development
  • User experience
  • Installation and integration

4 Category: Delivery and Operation

  • Service design
  • Service transition
  • Service operation

5 Category: Skills and Quality

  • Skill management
  • People management
  • Quality and conformance

6 Category: Relationships and Engagement

  • Stakeholder management
  • Sales and marketing
  1. Skills

Within the above-mentioned categories and subcategories, there are 102 SFIA professional skills. These skills, also referred to as competencies, are much more specific. For example, SFIA professional skills within the Change and Transformation category, Business change implementation subcategory include:

  • Portfolio management (POMG)
  • Programme management (PGMG)
  • Project management (PRMG)
  • Portfolio, programme, and project support (PROF)

And, it’s key to bear in mind that to fit in real-world SFIA job descriptions subjects are required to have skills and competencies across several categories.

  1. Levels

Finally, there are seven SFIA levels of responsibility and accountability used to assess employee’s proficiency in each skill after taking the SFIA test. These levels are based on five generic attributes: business skills, knowledge, complexity, influence, and autonomy. Each of the 102 skills has its own specific skill descriptions for the seven SFIA levels.

The bottom line, if successfully applied the SFIA framework can help identify skill gaps, suggest learning plans towards achieving personal and professional goals, and close the sill gaps through training.

If your organization needs help from a professional SFIA and competency management company, don’t hesitate and contact SkillsTX today!