The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

SFIAv9 Levels of responsibility and generic attributes

This section describes the generic attributes that characterise SFIA’s seven levels of responsibility and accountability. The underlying structure of the framework ensures that the definitions of professional skills are defined in a way that makes their different levels recognisably distinct and aligned to the levels of responsibility.

The power of the levels of responsibility

The SFIA seven Levels of Responsibility not only enable recognition of career progression but also provides a means by which other frameworks and corporate structures may map to the SFIA Framework. The nature of the generic attributes makes them suitable for use as the basis of core competencies, mappings and stages within a career path.

  • An organisation that already has a set of core competencies or values can use them in combination with SFIA’s professional skills and benefit from the spacing that the SFIA levels provide.
  • An organisation, or a professional body or trade association for instance, that wishes to map its own established structure to SFIA can do so using the levels of responsibility characterised by the generic attributes as the basis of such a mapping.

Universal applicability

SFIA is intended as a framework for the digital, IT and software engineering community – the professional skills reflect this, although many are directly relevant outside of this area. Its universal applicability means that SFIA can be extended beyond these broad areas into a range of knowledge-intensive/technical professions. These levels of responsibility allow for an integration of different professional work using the levels of responsibility as the foundation whether that be framework to framework or an organisation’s structure to the SFIA Framework.

Prototype - generic attributes and behavioural factors

The generic attributes of autonomy, influence, and complexity, along with the knowledge required and business skills/behavioural factors, collectively define the level of responsibility, detailing both the behaviours necessary for effectiveness and the specific knowledge needed at each level of responsibility.

Level 1 - Follow [prototype]

Essence of the level: Performs routine tasks under close supervision, follows instructions, and requires guidance to complete their work. Learns and applies basic skills and knowledge.

Level 2 - Assist [prototype]

Essence of the level: Provides assistance to others, works under routine supervision, and uses their discretion to address routine problems. Actively learns through training and on-the-job experiences.

Level 3 - Apply [prototype]

Essence of the level: Performs varied tasks, sometimes complex and non-routine, using standard methods and procedures. Works under general direction, exercises discretion, and manages own work within deadlines. Proactively enhances skills and impact in the workplace

Level 4 - Enable [prototype]

Essence of the level: Performs diverse complex activities, supports and supervises others, works autonomously under general direction, and contributes expertise to deliver team objectives

Level 5 - Ensure, advise [prototype]

Essence of the level: Provides authoritative guidance in their field and works under broad direction. Accountable for achieving workgroup objectives and managing work from analysis to execution and evaluation

Level 6 - Initiate, influence [prototype]

Essence of the level: Has significant organisational influence, makes high-level decisions, shapes policies, demonstrates leadership, fosters organizational collaboration, and accepts accountability in key areas.