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SFIA Version 6 — A Quick Update and Tour of the New Version Bill Appelbe CTO, Advanced Computing Consulting Services

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White Paper


Introduction............................................ 1

Why Another Version? ........................... 1

The Revision Process ............................ 1

Changes in SFIA 6.................................. 2

SFIA 6 Category Names ........................ 2

SFIA 6 Skills ........................................... 2

Retirements & Consolidations ............. 3

SFIA 6 Skill Name Changes .................. 3

SFIA 6 Skill Levels ................................. 4

About Learning Tree .............................. 5

About the Author ................................... 5

SFIA 6 Framework Chart ....................... 6

Introduction SFIA (the Skills Framework for the Information Age) is a standardized and internationally recognized framework for defining IT roles and skills, and levels of those skills.

The key business advantages of SFIA: • Simplifying the assessment of your workforce’s IT skills to meet your business needs • Reducing IT project risk by providing a framework to measure the skills you have against the skills you need, and to track skills in short supply • Managing professional IT competencies using a common lexicon to define skills, abilities, and expertise in a consistent way — making it readily understood by technical and non-technical functions in organizations

Why Another Version? All international IT standards are regularly revised to meet the changing IT landscape: technology, tools, processes, and IT roles. The SFIA framework is no different. Since the last release of SFIA 5 in 2011, the IT landscape has changed significantly, and thus SFIA has been updated to reflect current technology and skills. The SFIA framework was first released in 2003, and the sixth edition of this standard was formally released in July 2015.

The Revision Process The revision process was thorough, open, and consultative with input from practitioners who have real-world experience of skills management in a business environment. The revised framework includes an in-depth listing of changes by specific skills targeted at the SFIA user community and consultants. The current SFIA 6 Skills Framework Chart is included at the end of this white paper for your reference. Full details on the changes from SFIA 5 to SFIA 6 are available on the SFIA Foundation website.

SFIA Version 6 — A Quick Update and Tour of the New Version


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Changes in SFIA 6 The SFIA framework changes are important for many IT roles and skills. IT workforce changes include the increased uptake of cloud, agile, big data, and the critical need and focus on cyber security. The structure of the framework has remained unchanged, and has proven resilient and adaptable (e.g., SFIA’s Skill Categories, Subcategories, and seven Skill Levels). The thoroughness of the revision process is illustrated by the fact that — of the current 97 SFIA 6 skills, six were retired, seven added, and about three-quarters had minor revisions and improvements, such as updated wording and nomenclature, and new levels for specific skills to ensure SFIA is fit for purpose in 2015 and beyond. The use of the term ‘IT’ has been reduced. The intention is not to take SFIA outside of the technology space, but to recognize that IT-management roles now often involve developing strategy and policy that extends beyond the IT domain.

SFIA 6 Category Names There are still six categories, however, five have been renamed. Not all skills performed by a role fall into one category — the reality of today’s IT industry is that roles can span multiple categories, Service Management being a good example of this.

Previous SFIA 5 Category

SFIA 6 Category

Strategy and Architecture

Strategy and Architecture (no change)

Business Change

Change and Transformation

Solution Development and Implementation

Development and Implementation

Service Management

Delivery and Operation

Procurement and Management Support

Skills and Quality

Client Interface

Relationships and Engagement

SFIA 6 Skills The seven new skills added in SFIA 6 are an interesting reflection on IT evolution and its increasing integration into society:


Digital Forensics


Hardware Design


IT Strategy and Planning


Penetration Testing


Performance Management (of IT staff)


Product Management

SORC Sourcing

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Retirements & Consolidations Six skills have been retired, and their content moved to more current or specific skills. The rationale for the retirement is again an interesting reflection on IT evolution: • Software Development Process Improvement (SPIM), which was its own unique skill, is now properly integrated under Systems Development Management (DLMG) • Human Factors Integration (HFIN), which was a rather vague skill, is now factored into User Experience Evaluation (USEV) • Technology Audit (TAUD) has been merged with Conformance Review (CORE) • Procurement (PROC) and Supplier Relationship Management (SURE) have been merged under the more appropriate new umbrella skill: Sourcing (SORC) • Account Management (ACMG) has been merged into Relationship Management (RLMT)

SFIA 6 Skill Name Changes Previous SFIA 5 Skill Name

SFIA 6 Skill Name

Financial Management for IT

Financial Management (FMIT)

Sustainability Management for IT

Sustainability Management (SUMI)

Enterprise and Business Architecture Development

Enterprise and Business Architecture (STPL)

Database/Repository Design

Database Design (DBDS)

IT Operations

IT Infrastructure (ITOP)

Service Desk and Incident Management

Incident Management (USUP)

IT Estate Management

Facilities Management (DCMA)

Client Services Management

Customer Service Support (CSMG)

Porting/Software Integration

Porting/Software Configuration (PORT)

Learning and Development Assessment

Learning Assessment and Evaluation (LEDA)


Digital Marketing (MKTG)

Ergonomic Design

User Experience Design (HCEV)

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SFIA 6 Skill Levels Twelve existing skills have new level descriptions to reflect the breadth of levels and experience performing these skills. One skill level has been removed — USUP Incident Management (previously Service Desk and Incident Management) level 1 — as this aspect is covered within the new Customer Service Support skill.

Existing Skill

New SFIA 6 Levels

Information Security (SCTY)

Level 7

Research (RSCH)

Level 2

Sustainability Strategy (SUST)

Level 4

Data Management (DATM)

Levels 2 and 3

Portfolio, Program, and Project Support (PROF)

Level 6

User Experience Design (HCEV)

Level 2

User Experience Evaluation (USEV)

Level 6

Security Administration (SCAD)

Levels 1 and 2

Learning Design and Development (TMCR)

Level 6

Resourcing (RESC)

Level 4

Quality Management (QUMG)

Level 4

Digital Marketing (MKTG)

Level 2

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About Learning Tree

White Paper

About the Author

Established in 1974, Learning Tree is a leading provider of IT training to business and government organizations worldwide. Learning Tree provides Workforce Optimization Solutions — a modern approach to delivering learning and development services that improves the adoption of skills, and accelerates the implementation of technical and business processes required to improve IT service delivery. Learning Tree is also a SFIA-accredited training and consultancy partner with a team of SFIA-accredited consultants. We offer a comprehensive suite of skills enhancement services, including: • SFIA-accredited training • Organizational skill-needs analysis • Skills assessments and gap analysis • Acceleration workshops • Ongoing measurement and assessment for continuous improvement We have mapped our 350+ IT and management courses to the SFIA Framework — enabling organizations and individuals using SFIA to easily identify courses that meet their needs. Training can be taken through our public course schedules, on-site at client facilities, and online via AnyWare® — Learning Tree’s web-based training service. To learn more about Learning Tree and SFIA, call 1-800-843-8733 or email

Bill Appelbe CTO, Advanced Computing Consulting Services

Bill Appelbe has over three decades of experience in Advanced Computing in the R&D sector: academia, industry, and corporate management and governance. Bill Appelbe was the founding CEO of Compute Canada and the founding CEO of VPAC (the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing). He has also had a founding or leadership role in many ongoing national and international Advanced Computing organizations in the last decade including: Cybera, AutoCRC, and the NSF Center for Computational Infrastructure in Geodynamics. Bill graduated from UBC in 1978 with an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Bill was on the faculty of University of California, San Diego, then the faculty of Georgia Tech from 1985 to 1998. Bill has published over 50-refereed publications and supervised a dozen PhDs. Bill has been a consultant or contractor to industry and research agencies for many decades including: Los Alamos National Labs, IBM, HP, Oracle/Sun, IntelSat, and more recently the University of Alberta.

SFIA Version 6 — A Quick Update and Tour of the New Version



Skills Framework for the Information Age version 6 1

Follow Strategy and architecture








Ensure, advise

Information strategy


Initiate, influence


Set strategy, inspire, mobilise

IT governance GOVN IT strategy and planning ITSP Information management IRMG Information systems coordination ISCO Information security SCTY Information assurance INAS Analytics INAN Information content publishing ICPM

Advice and guidance

Consultancy CNSL Technical specialism TECH

Business strategy and planning

Research RSCH IT management ITMG Financial management FMIT Innovation INOV Business process improvement BPRE Enterprise and business architecture STPL Business risk management BURM Sustainability strategy SUST

Technical strategy and planning

Emerging technology monitoring EMRG Continuity management COPL Sustainability management SUMI Network planning NTPL Solution architecture ARCH Data management DATM Methods and tools METL

Change and transformation

Business change implementation

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

Business change management

Business analysis BUAN Requirements definition and management REQM Business process testing BPTS Change implementation planning and management CIPM Organisation design and implementation ORDI Benefits management BENM Business modelling BSMO Sustainability assessment SUAS

Development and implementation

Systems development

Systems development management DLMG Data analysis DTAN Systems design DESN Network design NTDS Database design DBDS Programming/software development PROG Animation development ADEV Safety engineering SFEN Sustainability engineering SUEN Information content authoring INCA Testing TEST User experience analysis UNAN

User experience

User experience design HCEV User experience evaluation USEV Installation and integration

Systems integration SINT Porting/software configuration PORT Hardware design HWDE Systems installation/decommissioning HSIN

Delivery and operation

Availability management AVMT

Service design Service level management SLMO Service transition

Service acceptance SEAC Configuration management CFMG Asset management ASMG Change management CHMG Release and deployment RELM

Service operation

System software SYSP Capacity management CPMG Security administration SCAD Penetration testing PENT Radio frequency engineering RFEN Application support ASUP IT infrastructure ITOP Database administration DBAD Storage management STMG Network support NTAS Problem management PBMG Incident management USUP Facilities management DCMA

Skills and quality

Learning and development management ETMG

Skill management

Learning assessment and evaluation LEDA Learning design and development TMCR Learning delivery ETDL Teaching and subject formation TEAC People management

Performance management PEMT Resourcing RESC Professional development PDSV

Quality and conformance

Quality management QUMG Quality assurance QUAS Quality standards QUST Conformance review CORE Safety assessment SFAS Digital forensics DGFS

Relationships and engagement

Stakeholder management

Sourcing SORC Contract management ITCM Relationship management RLMT Customer service support CSMG

Sales and marketing

Digital marketing MKTG Selling SALE Sales support SSUP Product management PROD

The SFIA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are: BCS, The IET, IMIS, The Tech Partnership and itSMF UK. SFIAÂŽ is a registered trademark of the SFIA Foundation.

Š copyright SFIA Foundation 2015

SFIA Version 6 - A Quick Update & Tour of the New Version  

Find out what changes were released in Version 6 of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

SFIA Version 6 - A Quick Update & Tour of the New Version  

Find out what changes were released in Version 6 of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).