The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Levels of responsibility: Level 5 - Ensure, advise

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

SFIA 9 is in development

  • SFIA 9 beta due in early July 2024
  • SFIA 9 planned for publication October 2024

This is a prototype for SFIA 9. It is subject to change before publication.

Guidance notes


The SFIA Levels are levels of responsibility. As they progress, the levels describe increasing impact, responsibility and accountability in the workplace.

  • the generic attributes of autonomy, influence and complexity indicate the level of responsibility
  • the business skills/behavioural factors describe the behaviours required to be effective at the level of responsibility
  • the knowledge attributes describe what you need to know to meet your level of responsibility.

Understanding these attributes will guide you in getting the most out of SFIA and are also critical to understanding and applying the levels described in the SFIA skill descriptions.


Works under broad direction. Work is self-initiated, consistent with agreed operational and budgetary requirements for meeting allocated technical and/or group objectives. Defines tasks and delegates work to teams and individuals within area of responsibility.


Influences critical decisions in their domain.  Has operational level contact impacting execution and implementation with internal colleagues and external contacts. Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources required to deliver projects.


Performs an extensive range of complex technical and/or professional work activities, requiring the application of fundamental principles in a range of unpredictable contexts.


Has the knowledge to interpret complex situations and offer authoritative advice. Holds in-depth expertise in specific fields, with a broader understanding across industry/business.

Business skills / Behavioural factors

Decision making

  • Makes decisions on actions to achieve organisational outcomes such as meeting targets, deadlines, and budget.
  • Raises issues when objectives are at risk.

  • Analyses, designs, plans, establishes milestones, and executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. 

  • Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives.
  • Ensures collaborative ways of working throughout all stages of work to meet user/customer needs.
  • Builds effective relationships across the organisation and with customers, suppliers and partners. 
Problem solving

  • Investigates complex issues to identify the root causes and impacts, assesses a range of solutions, and makes informed decisions on the best course of action; often in collaboration with other experts. 

  • Creatively applies innovative thinking and design practices in identifying solutions that will deliver value for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder.

  • Communicates clearly with impact, articulating complex information and ideas to broad audiences with different viewpoints. Leads and encourages conversations to share ideas and build consensus on actions to be taken. 

  • Provides leadership at an operational level.
  • Implements and executes policies aligned to strategic plans.
  • Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous improvement.
  • Assesses and evaluates risk.  
  • Takes all requirements into account when considering proposals.
Adaptability and resilience

  • Leads adaptations to changing business environments. Guides teams through transitions, maintaining focus on organisational objectives.
Learning and professional development

  • Uses their skills and knowledge to help establish the standards that others in the organisation will apply.
  • Takes the initiative to develop a wider breadth of knowledge across industry and/or business and identify and manage development opportunities in area of responsibility.
Digital mindset

  • Recognises and evaluates the organisational impact of new technologies and digital services.
  • Implements new and effective practices. Advises on available standards, methods, tools, applications and processes relevant to group specialism(s) and can make appropriate choices from alternatives. 
Security, privacy and ethics

  • Proactively contributes to the implementation of professional working practices and culture.