The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Levels of responsibility: Level 6 - Initiate, influence

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.

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.


Guides high level decisions and strategies within the organisation’s overall policies and objectives. Has defined authority and accountability for actions and decisions within a significant area of work, including technical, financial and quality aspects. Delegates responsibility for operational objectives.


Influences the formation of strategy and the execution of business plans. Has a significant management level of contact with internal colleagues and external contacts. Has organisational leadership and influence over the appointment and management of resources related to the implementation of strategic initiatives.


Performs highly complex work activities covering technical, financial and quality aspects.


Has broad business knowledge enabling strategic leadership and decision-making across various domains.

Business skills / Behavioural factors

Decision making

  • Makes decisions to initiate the achievement of agreed strategic objectives including financial performance.
  • Escalates when broader strategic direction is impacted.

  • Initiates and influences strategic objectives and assigns responsibilities.

  • Leads collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders across competing objectives within the organisation.
  • Builds strong, influential connections with key internal and external contacts at senior management/technical leader level
Problem solving

  • Anticipates and leads in addressing problems and opportunities that may impact organisational objectives, establishing a strategic approach and allocating resources. 

  • Creatively applies a wide range of new ideas and effective management techniques to achieve results that align with organisational strategy.

  • Communicates with credibility at all levels across the organisation to broad audiences with divergent objectives. Explains complex information and ideas clearly, influencing the strategic direction. Promotes information sharing across the organisation. 

  • Provides leadership at an organisational level.
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of policy and strategy.
  • Understands and communicates industry developments, and the role and impact of technology. 
  • Manages and mitigates organisational risk.  
  • Balances the requirements of proposals with the broader needs of the organisation.
Adaptability and resilience

  • Drives organisational adaptability by initiating and leading significant changes. Influences change management strategies at an organisational level.
Learning and professional development

  • Promotes the application of knowledge to support strategic imperatives.
  • Actively develops their strategic and technical leadership skills and leads the development of skills in their area of accountability.
Digital mindset

  • Leads the enhancement of the organisation’s digital capabilities. Identifies and endorses opportunities to adopt new technologies and digital services.
  • Leads digital governance and compliance with relevant legislation and the need for products and services.
Security, privacy and ethics

  • Takes a leading role in promoting and ensuring appropriate culture and working practices, including the provision of equal access and opportunity to people with diverse abilities.