The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Content design and authoring INCA


Planning, designing, and creating content that meets user-centred and organisational needs, encompassing textual information, graphical content, and multimedia elements.

SFIA 9 is in development

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

Moving to SFIA 9

  • The skill has been renamed to Content design and authoring
  • Content design tasks and responsibilities were already present in SFIA 8 so the name change is to clarify the scope
  • The guidance notes have been updated including listing a range of content types
  • SFIA 8 skill descriptions will remain available for you to use
  • Previous SFIA assessments are not impacted by this change

Guidance notes


Content design and authoring encompasses a wide range of content types to meet user-centred and organisational needs. This includes textual information, graphical content, and multimedia elements. Specific content types, include but are not limited to , website and mobile app content, user interface text, chatbot scripts, interactive content, social media content, email marketing, blog posts, online advertising copy, and video scripts.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • understanding the requirements of the intended audience in collaboration with stakeholders and representatives of the intended audience
  • applying tools and technologies to enhance content creation, ensuring efficiency and maintaining quality standards
  • applying the principles of user-centred content design, authoring, designing, controlling, and presenting information
  • considering how information may be presented, identified, and searched for
  • managing the content design and authoring process and the interaction with editorial and publication processes
  • gathering source information and creating draft content
  • identifying appropriate illustrations, graphics, and multimedia elements
  • understanding and applying copyright rules and related legal issues
  • creating and using guidelines to present information clearly, concisely, and accurately
  • designing collections of artefacts spread across multiple media, including digital services and marketing content.

Understanding the responsibility levels of this skill

Where lower levels are not defined...

  • Specific tasks and responsibilities are not defined because the skill requires a higher level of autonomy, influence, and complexity in decision-making than is typically expected at these levels. You can use the essence statements to understand the generic responsibilities associated with these levels.

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • Responsibilities and accountabilities are not defined because these higher levels involve strategic leadership and broader organisational influence that goes beyond the scope of this specific skill. See the essence statements.

Developing skills and demonstrating responsibilities related to this skill

The defined levels show the incremental progression in skills and reponsibilities.

Where lower levels are not defined...

You can develop your knowledge and support others who do have responsibility in this area by:

  • Learning key concepts and principles related to this skill and its impact on your role
  • Performing related skills (see the related SFIA skills)
  • Supporting others with tasks (generic examples are provided by the essence statements for each level)

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • You can progress by developing related skills which are better suited to higher levels of organisational leadership.


Defined at these levels: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Show/hide extra descriptions and levels.

Content design and authoring: Level 1

Level 1 - Follow: 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.


Contributes, under instruction, to the generation of content, and the configuration of content items and files.

Executes pre-planned testing activities under supervision and records findings.

Content design and authoring: Level 2

Level 2 - Assist: 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.


Works with colleagues and stakeholders to understand audience needs and to assimilate source material.

Creates draft content to meet the requirements of the audience as clearly, simply and quickly as possible.

Applies guidelines and standards to moderate content from others, escalating where appropriate.

Content design and authoring: Level 3

Level 3 - Apply: 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.


Produces information artefacts that are accurate, current, relevant and easily understood by the intended audience.

Clarifies detailed content requirements with clients and representatives of the intended audience.

Designs, creates, controls and evaluates moderately complex subject matter.

Makes informed decisions about the best way to present information to an audience. Applies moderation and editing processes to content supplied by others.

Content design and authoring: Level 4

Level 4 - Enable: Essence of the level: Performs diverse complex activities, supports and supervises others, works autonomously under general direction, and contributes expertise to deliver team objectives.


Designs the content and appearance of complex information deliverables.

Controls, monitors, and evaluates content to ensure quality, consistency and accessibility of messages and optimal use of chosen media. Understands and manages risks associated with publishing content.

Moderates content and ensures content can be re-purposed appropriately.

Reviews work of others and takes responsibility for ensuring appropriate publication.

Content design and authoring: Level 5

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.


Provides overall editorial control across the team or teams of content designers and authors.

Advises on appropriate content formats and mediums.

Develops and maintains content plans showing how the identified audience needs will be met.

Oversees the review and approval of materials to enable requirements to be satisfied.

Content design and authoring: Level 6

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.


Obtains organisational commitment to policies, standards, and strategies to create required content.

Specifies design standards and methods to meet organisational objectives for content creation.

Plans and leads content creation for strategic, large and complex programmes.

Level 7

Level 7 - Set strategy, inspire, mobilise: Essence of the level: Operates at the highest organisational level, determines overall organisational vision and strategy, and assumes accountability for overall success.