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

Guidance notes


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

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. 


  • Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers in operational business decisions.
  • 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 necessary 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 to ensure organisational outcomes are achieved i.e. results, deadlines and budget.
  • Escalates when financial delegation or strategic objectives are impacted.  

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

  • Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives.
  • Builds effective business relationships across the organisation and with customers, suppliers and partners. 
Problem solving

  • Investigates the cause and impact, evaluates options to resolve complex issues as they relate to customer/organisational requirements.
  • May engage with subject matter 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 (oral, written and presentation) in both formal and informal settings, articulating complex ideas to broad audiences. 

  • Leads operational management.
  • Implements and executes policies aligned to strategic plans.
Learning and professional development

  • Imparts their knowledge to help to define the standards which others 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.
Security, privacy and ethics

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