The global skills and competency framework for the digital world
January 2023 - SFIA update

January 2023 - SFIA update

Review of 2022 and direction for 2023


  1. Provide a global skills and competency framework for the digital world
    • roll out of SFIA 8, translations, start up Future SFIA consultations
  2. Increase adoption of the SFIA Framework
    • website usage, registered users
  3. Increase quality and consistency of use of the SFIA Framework
    • user webinars, user guidance, education/awareness material, behavioural skills, website developments

The SFIA Foundation 

  • The SFIA Foundation is a global not-for-profit organisation which oversees the production and use of SFIA.
  • As a not-for-profit foundation, all income is re-invested to continuously develop the SFIA Framework and to support the global SFIA Ecosystem
  • The SFIA Foundation is grateful for the ongoing support and contributions from its global user community – partners, consultants, users, employers, educational institutions, professional bodies and other interested parties 

SFIA Foundation strategic aims

  • Provide a global skills and competency framework for the digital world
  • Increase adoption of the SFIA Framework
  • Increase quality and consistency of use of the SFIA Framework
  • Source sufficient, reliable funding to deliver the other three aims

Provide a global skills and competency framework for the digital world

In 2022 - the main focus has been on supporting the roll out of SFIA 8

  • SFIA 8 was published in September 2021 and in 2022 we have seen significant uptake of the new version of the framework
  • SFIA 8 has been received very positively
    • both content (the new and revised skills) and the improvements to readability and structuring of content and documents


  • SFIA is a global framework and in 2022 SFIA 8 was translated into 11 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Chinese, Canadian French, Russian, Arabic
  • Partial translations are available in Dutch (SFIA 8 summary sheet only) and Portuguese (SFIA 7).
  • Many thanks to the members of the SFIA user community who have lead, contributed and reviewed these translations

SFIA 8 skills pages on the SFIA website have had c. 450,000 page views in total.
SFIA 8 pdf documents have been accessed over 20,000 times in 11 languages.
These numbers, of course, do not include end users who accessing to SFIA 8 through their organisation's own tools and documents.

Future SFIA / SFIA 9

  • 2022 - change requests are now open on the website for Future SFIA (SFIA 9)
  • the SFIA community in Australia hosted a workshop - with an open invitation to identify enhancements to the framework and ecosystem
  • 2023 - we will continue to talk to users and industry representatives to identify and prioritise enhancements for SFIA. You can suggest ideas on a short form here  
  • We typically operate a 3 year update cycle - so tentatively SFIA 9 would be published around Q3 2024 to Q1 2025

Increase adoption of the SFIA Framework

With easy access and global usage, organizations from over 180 countries have already adopted SFIA. And with our recent launch of SFIA 8, we're seeing even more growth and adoption. SFIA 8 has been particularly well-liked. 

Global Reach of SFIA

Tracking SFIA usage worldwide is not straightforward, because we've chosen to make the framework visible and easy to access, rather than collecting data on users or restricting access. Our best usage data comes from website usage and registered users, which give a good indication of the global spread of SFIA.

SFIA Website Usage

Our analytics data shows that SFIA users are based all over the world, with large increases in usage in 2021 and continued growth in 2022. North America, Oceania, Asia, and Europe make up the bulk of our website users, but we're seeing a growing take up from South America, the Middle East, Africa, and other regions as well.

The number of website users increased by 35 % in 2021 (driven by the launch of SFIA 8) and this was consolidated in 2022 with 18% growth.

Registered Users

By registering on the SFIA website, users can access and download PDF and Excel versions of the framework content and join our mailing list. Our registered users include both personal and corporate users, such as employees, students, employers, education providers, professional bodies, and government agencies.

We have more than 10,000 corporate and 46,000 individual /personal registered users

Since the launch of SFIA 8 – we have welcomed 1,225 additional corporate users from 71 different countries and 6,629 additional personal members from 148 different countries

Corporate users are often large (including multi-national) organisations employing a large number of people. So a single corporate is made up of a large number of individual users. The individual users are not visible to the SFIA Foundation which means the numbers above only reflect part of the real usage. However, they do give us a good indication of the spread of SFIA.

SFIA in Action

The SFIA framework is designed to support skills management in, and for, the workplace. This includes employers of all sizes, from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the technology services sector. SFIA is also used by a wide range of industries, including public and private sector organizations, as well as third-sector organizations such as charities.

Increase quality and consistency of use of the SFIA Framework

User guidance

  • We know that many of the SFIA users looking for help are new to SFIA. In 2022, the SFIA Foundation Board re-iterated the importance of providing support to end user organisations who are looking to adopt SFIA.
  • We ran workshops in March 2022 to understand the needs and priorities of SFIA users.

SFIA Partners and Consultants are an important part of the SFIA ecosystem.
They are a vital part of the global ecosystem as they provide guidance, tools, resources and real-world experience to help organisations implement SFIA.  

  • To increase adoption of the SFIA Framework and to increase the quality & consistency of use of the SFIA Framework we must also support SFIA users who (for whatever reason) need to adopt/implement SFIA using their own resources and internal teams

Conference and webinars

  • The community has expressed interest in running a conference as an effective way of sharing knowledge and experiences in using SFIA
  • We did some investigation and tested the idea with SFIA partners and users
  • We concluded that the risk and resources needed was too high and that we could save effort and get better outcomes by focusing on webinars
  • In 2022 we piloted user story webinars in 2022 to enable SFIA users to share their experiences 

2022 Webinars

  • 4 community webinars (users, consultants, partners) - were held in March 2022
  • 4 user story webinars were held in the 2nd half of the year. This has helped us to test and improve this approach. These webinars have proven to be very popular with a global appeal
    • 1,156 different people from 79 different countries registered for the events
  • We are very grateful to Charlotte, Grant and the APS team, Lani and Luke for putting the presentations together and sharing their knowledge and experience
  • The attendees at the webinars asked lots of questions and made the events engaging and useful

User guidance on the website

  • We followed up with many of the webinar attendees and have piloted SFIA user workshops to grow a community of SFIA users volunteers to help develop ideas and guidelines.
  • A lot of user guidance is available on the website. In 2023 we plan to develop more user guidance and more opportunities for SFIA users to share ideas and help each other.

SFIA awareness education

  • The aim is to help new SFIA users understand the principles of how the SFIA framework and it's components work together
  • This information is available on the website -  but we know that some people find it hard to find and use in the current format
  • In 2022 we asked for feedback and ideas from SFIA users and SFIA consultants on this topic
    • Employers' also need to run awareness sessions which combines their own approach to people and skills management with SFIA awareness
    • To do this users will copy and paste text and graphics into their own presentations
  • So we want to share education material in a format to support end users and trainers in this approach
  • This can be supported by a simple assessment of knowledge (with formative feedback) to reinforce learning. Our users want this to be hosted on an open platform and make it freely available to the SFIA community - we are investigating options.
  • We have drafted and tested learning outcomes, assessment approach, and some slides.

Behavioural factors

  • A focus on behavioural/soft skills is very important to industry. Because of this the behavioural factors described in SFIA are key for many SFIA users.
  • In 2022 we have created uses cases for the behavioural factors which have been reviewed by SFIA users
  • Many thanks to Penny Coulter and Phil Lovell for leading the work and to the SFIA user community who have reviewed and contributed
  • We will publish these shortly and aim to support this with webinars for SFIA users
  • We will explore how we build on this for SFIA 9

Foundational digital skills


  • In 2022 - the infrastructure has been upgraded to provide a stable platform for future development using an open source platform
  • We are now in a position to look at enhancements to our website and in 2023 - we want to make the information on the SFIA website easier to find and easier to use

If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch.   

Ian Seward

SFIA Foundation General Manager