SFIA 8 beta launch webinars

Links to recordings of the webinars and the questions and answers from each session.

We held 3 webinars on June 29th/30th to support the release of SFIA 8 beta. As a follow up here are...

  • the consolidated questions and answers from the 3 webinars
  • the recordings of the 3 webinars
  • the slides used in the 3 webinars

The 3 webinars have identical content- but were delivered to provide convenient times for SFIA's global users base. 

Recordings of the webinars...

These are available on the SFIA Foundation YouTube channel...

Slides from the webinars...

SFIA 8 beta release...

  • All SFIA 8 beta content is available here SFIA 8 beta release with details on how to provide feedback

List of webinar questions and answers...

Below is the consolidated set of questions and answers (Q&A) from the 3 webinars.

Initial impressions from the questions...

  • The readability enhancements are well received
    • and one aspect to make clear - guidance notes do not change the intent of the skill so no need to re-assess a skill just because guidance notes have been added
  • The scope of enhancements / additional skills were mentioned positively
  • Lot of interest in the using SFIA's generic attributes to highlight behavioural factors (or soft skills)
  • Interest in additional translations to add to the 11 + 2 languages 
  • Many offers of help – to follow up

Please take time to review your areas of interest in SFIA and provide feedback.

 We’ve removed the many ‘thanks’ statements to ease readability.

Questions and answers

Q.

Will you share the slides?

Answer...

  • Yes, the slides and recording will be made available - relevant links/contents will be posted on the SFIA website. . .

Q.

What are the extra 2 languages? We have a tentative offer from a client for Bahasa (Indonesian) translation

Answer...

  • #Dutch and Brazilian Portuguese. Paul … we’re always happy to discuss more languages. We’ve also been asked for the Nordic languages.

Q.

Does SFIA provide definitions for information security versus cyber security? Or are they the same thing? Thank you.

Answer...

  • live answered. SFIA provides descriptions for several skills used across information security and cyber security. It doesn't define the terms themselves, as SFIA focusses on the activity that happens rather than definition of terms. And don’t forget that people in Cyber Security roles need other skills too – so having this all in SFIA is key for them.

Q.

My people are all IT based and are focusing on soft skills as well as technical skills and competencies. Will there be more soft skills added? In particular those encompassing leadership, emotional intelligence, etc.

Answer...

  • We've performed some analysis of where SFIA (particularly the generic levels of responsibility) overlap with "soft skills" and behavioural expectations but we haven't added new skills specifically for "soft skills". SFIA 8 behavioural factors
    It is clear that many of the aspects described as soft skills or behaviours have been in the SFIA Generic Attributes for many versions ... we are looking at showing this more clearly in SFIA 8.

Q.

Will the whole framework be downloadable as a single document to facilitate proofing feedback?

Answer...

  • Yes. Documents will be available for download during the beta. The skills are available in one large document or as individual Word docs. Some download documents already on the website, including a Word version https://sfia-online.org/en/sfia-8. .

Q.

Good move on adding the guidance notes.

Answer...

  • Thanks - glad you like it.

Q.

Will the Research be pulled out similar to what you initially mentioned on the first slide with Privacy?

Answer...

  • Hi Julie - could I ask you to expand on that please? We have an existing skill for research (and a few  that leverage research) ... Personal data protection and privacy itself was a new addition as the existing security skills didn't cover the privacy domain fully. Please let us know if there are elements of the research skill that you think should be updated or added to.

Q.

Research skill in relation to the New Computerisation and the Ethics is another example. 

Answer...

Q.

Let me think more on how best to explain what I mean. I will get back to Grant and discuss further. 

Maybe the Mapping is what will link the specific skills to the new skills Research into the new added skills for the purpose of Academia as an example being different to Research for Design purposes. If that makes sense?

Answer...

  • Julie, it would be great to have your review and input to this. Mappings and views can be a great way to help people navigate the framework and recognise the SFIA skills that align to their work. 
  • Look forward to it Julie. Brilliant - via Grant is also another good route ....

Q.

People & Skills and Workforce Planning - Retention of skills. That is really good to see!

Answer...

  • Thanks Julie. . .

Q.

Is there any room to be involved in the People and skills working group?

Answer...

  • live answered. Yes there is.

Q.

Does ‘Certification scheme operation’ follow ISO17024?

Answer...

  • Yes, it has been built around various aspects including ISO 17024. We are keen to have your feedback once you've had a chance to look at the detail of the proposed skill.

Q.

I agree - happy to be part of the People & Skills deep dive

  • Answer...
  • live answered. . .

Q.

Along with digital badging, will there be a complimentary suite of skills Micro-credential design and deployment / designing online content (from which digital badges can be assigned)

Answer...

  • Yes, we've tried to cover this in the new skill too Please take a look and provide feedback.

Q.

Where do we find the stuff to comment on?

Answer...

Q.

Really exciting changes. The readability/shorter descriptions in particular will be particularly valuable for ESL (English as a Second Language) users

Answer...

  • Thanks Jim. It is a massive challenge for us with a vast global footprint but we hear that people like it and – the footprint is growing rapidly so keep telling us how it can be improved.

Q.

My doctoral research is in IT governance competencies for senior leaders. Happy to contribute if that's of value.

Answer...

Q.

A stunning piece of work. Really like the readability and guidance notes. We'll be introduce into our user community for feedback/comment

Answer...

  • Thanks. Everybody seems to like this and so all the effort has been worthwhile.

Q.

Hi Team - really like the readability outcomes - it will be great for new users and even us existing users with the new skills/content.

Answer...

  • Thanks. Yes we have worked hard on this. Our known user base is huge but our unknown user base is probably many times that and they generally don’t seek help – so I think you are right, really helpful for them.

Q.

Sorry if I missed this, but is there a specific deadline for providing feedback? Mid-August?

Answer...

  • Yes, mid August.. . .

Q.

Where would you find additional information if a person wanted to get further skills and/or accreditation in SFIA?

Answer...

Q.

Has ISO 30401:2018 - Knowledge management systems been reviewed as part of the KM section?

Answer...

Q.

Thanks for all the hard work. Beyond the release is there an intent to run a conference like the one run a few years ago

Answer...

  • Hi Lee - you can expect an online launch from the SFIA foundation. Local 'in person' events are organised by local partners. It would be nice to do the conference again but I think we might have to wait a while to see how things go.

Q.

Great session! Thankyou very much to everyone who has contributed to this! Great to see SFIA evolving!

Answer...

  • Thanks. It has been hard work pulling it together but thanks should also go to the global community it is that community that drives SFIA.

Q.

Can you share any partnerships you might have? It would be useful to know if commercial software companies are using SFIA roles.

Answer...

Q.

Looking forward to reviewing the readability updates, it is very exciting

Answer...

  • Thanks. . .

Q.

Are there any tools available to help SFIA users diagnose their capability against the framework/?

Answer...

  • Several SFIA Partner organisations provide tools to do this. Use this link and tick the "Product" box - SFIA partners 
  • We also have guidance available here: SFIA assessment guidelines. Of course there is much to your question by all means contact the Foundation and we can point you in the direction of who can help.

Q.

The guidance notes are very helpful - already using them in practice.

Answer...

  • Excellent - glad to hear you're finding them useful already.

Q.

Like that change to the shorter description

Answer...

  • Thanks.

Q.

so general comments about the changes should go to updates@sfia-online.org?

Answer...

  • Yes please, thanks Kevin.. . .

Q.

Nice change on teaching

Answer...

Q.

Is there a simple 'translation' between DDAT (Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework) and SFIA?

Answer...

  • see SFIA skills profiles for UK DDAT roles and Excel mapping of UK DDAT roles and SFIA 7.
  • There has been a draft mapping of SFIA skills to DDaT roles, which is being reviewed as DDaT evolves.
  • This effectively creates a "SFIA Profile" for each DDaT role (as DDaT have defined them).
  • However, it is not a "simple translation", as the DDaT framework levels are not easily mapped to SFIA levels (there is no suitable equivalent to the SFIA Generic Attributes); The DDaT skills are not so clearly defined as the SFIA skills, and a number of other issues too. The DDaT role profiles will be updated to SFIA 8 in due course and of course the DDaT Skills are being rewritten too ... which we will have to look at when they are published so this might take a while. Happy to discuss offline..

Q.

What are the additional languages that you are translating SFIA into?

Answer...

  • Dutch and Brazilian Portuguese. Nick … I know you have some other interests … we are happy to discuss further languages if required. Translations are a big piece of work, but we have built the infrastructure to enable us to do this – so it is straightforward to add new languages if there is strong interest.

Q.

How and when we will know about the final new skills added to SFIA version 8

Answer...

  • The full release will be in September 2021. You can see the current Beta online now and contribute to comments and potential changes which will be reflected in the full release version. Keep an eye on the SFIA 8 beta site and then on launch day the final version of SFIA will be published. There should be few surprises by then. 

Q.

Is any consideration given to to other skills frameworks (e.g. the Association of Project Management (APM) Competence Framework

Answer...

  • We are always happy to discuss collaboration. Many other frameworks have been influenced by, or are based on, SFIA – we been doing this a long time and others have seen how successful SFIA has been. Of course they often have a particular agenda but we are very happy to collaborate. We know that the people developing the APM framework did look to SFIA while they were doing it.

Q.

Not a question but an observation, I am all for the improved readability and welcome it. However, I wouldn’t say that this is “Evolution” not “Revolution”. I would argue that amending the description to the degree indicated is significant. For organisations have used SFIA for assessment, they will likely want employees etc. to re-assess. This is significant.

Answer...

  • thanks for the observation. One way to reframe the change is to think of the SFIA8 description + guidance notes as being the equivalent as the SFIA7 guidance notes. As with other version changes if there's a more significant change in the content this has been flagged and priorities. We have a slide coming up that shows our analysis of the level of change from SFIA7 to SFIA8 for each skill.
  • As part of SFIA 8 release notes - we will flag which skills are candidates for a re-assessment e.g. new levels added, levels moved or the skill significantly re-scoped.
  • Re-writing the SFIA 7 skill description paragraph as SFIA 8 guidance notes will not require a re-assessment of skills.

Q.

May be just a matter of re-phrasing the messaging around the degree of change.

Answer...

  • Thanks Andy - we'll take this into consideration. In most cases the description and the guidance notes are just a splitting of the content previously in the description - so shouldn't be a major change.

Q.

Like the focus on improving readability as this helps those understand the skills without struggling with industry jargon

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

Useful - thank you. Our Role Profiles are all based on DDaT but alot of training companies align to SFIA so keeping the 2 'in sync' is really helpful - thank you.

Answer...

  • Thanks - the mapping should help with that. Some of the SFIA Partner tools also include the DDaT content, making it even easier. Mark in a related area we are having many discussions with some members of the DDaT team as part of a collaborative relationship - happy to discuss It is quite tricky to keep frameworks aligned as they often don’t share common underlying principles but we hope collaboration with DDaT will help with this going forward.

Q.

I will provide more detailed feedback - but Data Privacy should really be Data Protection - my rationale for this change is that this term not only covers Privacy, but in addition the need to protect sensitive data of a material non-public nature is also achieved using the same organisational and technical controls used within the discipline of Data Privacy.

Answer...

Q.

So Computational Science will cover activities sometimes described as eResearch?

Answer...

  • eResearch would be covered by the existing SFIA skill Research . The computational science skills are
    • Scientific modelling  SCMO - Applying computer simulation and other forms of  computation to solve real-world problems in scientific disciplines.

    • Numerical analysis  NUAN Creating, analysing, implementing, testing and improving algorithms for numerically solving mathematical problems.

    • High performance computing  HPCC Using advanced computer systems and special programming techniques to solve complex computational problems.

Q.

Good news regarding BA

Answer...

  • Thanks. . .

Q.

It is planned to integrate frameworks such as ITIL and BPM more inclusively?

Answer...

  • As far as possible we aim to be compatable with and aligned to the *activities* within well known frameworks and standards rather than being specifically aligned to one process framework.,
  • E.g. we consider ITSM more generally rather than just ITIL. We do have good mappings from well known frameworks to SFIA on the SFIA website to ease adoption..
  • Several of the changes for SFIA8 have been to align with ITIL and other frameworks.
  • Here are a couple of examples https://sfia-online.org/en/sfia-8/change-requests/add-a-new-sfia-service-design-skill-and-rename-the-current-itil-based-service-design-to-something-more-accurate
    https://sfia-online.org/en/sfia-8/change-requests/chmg-rename-to-change-control. .

Q.

Data protection is an enterprise security matter.  Data privacy is a distinctly different set of activities ensuring privacy principles are applied.  The CIISec framework calls these two out quite distinctly as do IAPP

Answer...

Q.

As well as the recording, will you be able to share the slide deck as well please?

Answer...

  • Yes, the slide deck will be shared on the SFIA website. . .

Q.

Business Admin, always coming across PA tasks, meetings, basic admin at lower levels.

Answer...

  • This will be a useful skill for those roles. Also Exec assistants, team-coordinators, etc.. But it will also be useful for higher levels too .

Q.

Hello!
Thank you for your informative presentation.
To recognize the changes from SFIA 7 to SFIA 8 you had an option on your website that specified the deleted word in red color and new words in green a few weeks ago but now I cannot find it on the SFIA website. This option helped me a lot to find out the changes from SFIA 7 to SFIA 8. Would you please add again this option to your website?

Would you also provide SFIA in Persian? If yes, how people can help you in translation?

Answer...

  • Yes, the function to show changes is already there for the SFIA8 content.
    We're happy to consider new translations for SFIA, based on demand, and would be very grateful for your support. Please email updates@sfia-online.org to offer your support.

Q.

I noticed some SFIA skill names were changed and the skill code no more relevant to the skill name. is there a possibility to change the skill code convention (not to user abbreviation) and use serial number such as A001, A002 etc. So it is easy to remember and if the skill name change it will not affect the code. just a suggestion for future.

Answer...

  • Our convention has been to keep the original skill code unless the nature of the skill is different (e.g. where we've split BUAN into several skills). Many organisations rely on this convention so we haven't changed it in SFIA8, however please do make a suggestion via the website for future consideration.

Q.

I agree with your decision on behaviours.  Our organisation has it's own framework

Answer...

  • Yes - the SFIA Generic Attributes are essential to the levels but some organisations do have their own and the flexibility of SFIA is there to enable organisations to use SFIA with their corporate framework and values … but if they don’t then there is elements in SFIA to help. But above all there is a level of equivalence with a global common language. . .

Q.

Some useful links and comments in here about mapping to DDaT. I'd be interested in finding more about the collaboration between DDaT and SFIA if possible?

Answer...

  • I have regular sessions with some of the DDaT team by all means email me to discuss ops@sfia-online.org. . .

Q.

Providing a Behavioural Factors ‘view’ as opposed to building out a separate behavioural competency frameworks is a good compromise.

Answer...

Q.

My question relates to the number of skills any single role would now include. With the adoption of DevOps in the engineering world most roles now require a broader level of skills. This means the number of skills we have to allocate is growing increasingly... Do you have  view on this?

Answer...

  • We have some observations and guidance, but not an absolute rule - as you need to include whichever skills are needed, and the number will depend on the organisation operating model and size. Some roles only require 1 or 2 skills, 5-7 skills is probably more typical, but I have seen several instances where it has been appropriate to include more (10-20 in some cases). Often people will make a distinction between 'required' and 'desirable' skills, to make it easier to prioritise development etc.. Within this page we suggest 5 to 7 is a pragmatic number SFIA 8 skills for role families and job titles. .

Q.

Is there/will there be APIs to enable links to career development/competence assessment in our member self-service platform?

Answer...

  • We have been looking at an API and a test version we have been using internally with SFIA 7 … we will look to update this for wider use.. . .

Q.

Will the xls be available ?

Answer...

Q.

Hi, has ITIL V4 being considered in version 8 of SFIA?

Answer...

  • Yes, lots of work has been done with ITIL to ensure continued alignment.. . .

Q.

The Excel extract doesn’t include categories - is this by design or just for the beta version?

Answer...

  • The introduction of SFIA views means a SFIA skill is not exclusively in a single category or sub-category
  • Categories work for some uses of SFIA but not for others

Q.

Not a question, but rather a comment. Many thanks for a great summary; very informative!

Answer...

  • Thanks. . .

Q.

thanks @matthew - i agree 5-7 is a pragmatic number, but it's increasingly not really feasible these days an average DevOps engineer in an agile world of CICD needs to have skills that stretch across security, data, infrastructure, test, agile ways of working, not to aspects like design, release and deployment etc etc - it goes on. We use Core, Contributing and Awareness but we are consistently having to select more than 12-15 skills per person - which is quite intimidating for the individual

Answer...

  • Happy to chat offline with some ideas which have helped others I've worked with in this area.. . .

Q.

Will the presentation be available for us to download?

Answer...

  • The slides will be made available on the SFIA foundation website, as well as a video of the webinar. SFIA News. Yes we are recording it and will make available. .

Q.

Will it be translated to other languages?

Answer...

  • Yes, we're planning on 13 languages at the moment, but if there is demand for others we are happy to consider those requests – what are you interested in ?

Q.

So, is SFIA8 ready for dealing with digital era skills?

Answer...

  • Yes, it is, as we've done lots of work on this theme over the last 3 releases. But we would welcome your input so we can improve it further if needed between now and the full launch of SFIA8 in September.

Q.

Will SFIA 8 cover also behaviour skills?

Answer...

  • Yes, we cover this area well in the Generic Level of Responsibility section of SFIA. There is a document on the site now which shows how we do this.  SFIA 8 behavioural factors. . We are currently looking at how best to present this.

Q.

Cool!

Answer...

  • Thanks. . .

Q.

Has there been any comparison between the skills in SFIA and the supposedly "complete list of skills and processes for any IT organisation" listed in TickITplus?

Answer...

  • no - I have not seen that list or compared to what is in SFIA. If anyone knows anything more about it please contact updates@sfia-online.org. . .

Q.

In Business Intelligence I can only see 4 levels, any comment on why ?

Answer...

  • A design feature of SFIA has always been that we only provide a description at the levels at which we find a skill practiced in the working world.
  • SFIA 7 had one skill called Analytics . Investigations and change requests for SFIA 8 consultation concluded that we separate out Data science, Business intelligence and Machine learning to give greater flexibility. Level 1 is too low level for Business intelligence. Higher levels (6 and 7) are describe in the Data science skill.
  • There are also other skills in SFIA which will be applicable and relevant to those in Business Intelligence.. .

Q.

Thanks, but I may be missing something

Answer...

  • Happy to receive your comments on this either by email to updates@sfia-online.org or through the change request page https://sfia-online.org/en/sfia-8/change-requests. . .

Q.

Do vendors have access to BETA test this as well?

Answer...

  • Yes everyone has access to SFIA Beta … we are very open in terms of visibility. Good question Chris - we've got it covered :) Happy to update you on our next call. Many vendors have taken out licences to exploit SFIA commercially and we are happy to discuss it with any that want to.

Q.

Sure, good idea, thanks

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

AWESOME!!

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

As the support moves from printed to online, is there consideration for smaller changes and corrections to be accepted and integrated into the standard more frequently, rather than waiting 3 years for a full release?

Answer...

  • live answered. Our infrastructure allows us to do this ... but we have to consider stability for users. Any framework that doesn’t update every 3 years is likely to be really stale dragging updates out 4, 5 or 6 years is more about their costs than being usable for industry. We have found that 3 years is about optimum - more frequently and some users may find it difficult to manage – but we could if the industry wants it.

Q.

not a question: I am volunteering for graphic design - to be discussed

Answer...

  • Thanks Peter

Q.

Is there a list of volunteer assistance is required?

Answer...

  • Not a list, but all offers of help appreciated. Best to email updates@sfia-online.org. . .

Q.

Thanks for the update.  Come a long way from SFIA 1 !

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

Hi, I’m relatively new to SFIA but I think it’s a great idea and hope to use it more in future.  I have a couple of questions:
Where does SFIA end?  It sounds like there is the potential to continually expand into many more industries and disciplines that are perhaps increasingly related to ‘information’ and ‘technology’.
Is SFIA collaborating in any way with the CIPD?  It seems that SFIA is very closely related to job design.  Do other industries have SFIA equivalents?

Answer...

  • We have seen lots of extension to the use of SFIA into other areas. Some are within SFIA itself, and others separate. The reply and full picture is probably something that is worth a separate discussion.
  • Hi Janine. I worked on the SFIA 8 update for "Performance Management" and the new "Employee experience" skill, and I referenced the CIPD Professional framework, to ensure we had consistent terminology and principles but without any formal collaboration.. .

Q.

Thank you

Answer...

  • We saw your offer of help .. we’ll be in touch. . .

Q.

Thank you very much. Splendid job

Answer...

  • Thanks Georges

Q.

Thank you. Very informative for use with Infrastructure apprentices

Answer...

  • Thanks. SFIA is the framework used by industry, so it is reasonable to expect it to be useful for those starting out in employment, or moving into employment or maintaining their employability. Happy to collaborate more in this area for those that want to join the SFIA community.

Q.

A suggestion: maybe for the next release the SFIA content will be easily available/presented in a app, next to the PDF-documentation.

Answer...

  • Thanks for the suggestion. There are some apps and tools provided by SFIA Partners.

Q.

Is there a way to get around the issue Peter Leeson brought by referencing to a working area where such updates or feedback is put without changing SFIA 8 itself,  This would allow the user to see the feedback.

Answer...

  • We already do this through the Change request area of the website - all requests and responses are visible to all. https://sfia-online.org/en/sfia-8/change-requests.
  • After SFIA 8 is published - then a new consultation site - for Future SFIA - will be opened up. We could create prototype skills in there as a sandbox area. 

Q.

thank you guys, very interesting. I'm in the way of study and use SFIA soon.

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

Thanks for your reply Matthew.  I probably need to learn more about SFIA from the information that's already available.

Answer...

  • Feel free to reach out if you need any help or more information.. . .

Q.

Thanks Mathew.  It was a fabulous presentation by all of you

Answer...

  • Thanks

Q.

Much appreciated, I will do.  Thank you for the presentation

Answer...

  • Thanks