The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Database design DBDS


Specifying, designing and maintaining mechanisms for storing and accessing data.

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


Activities may include — but are not limited to:

  • designing operational databases, data warehouses, data lakes, or data stores for on-premise, cloud-based, or hybrid environments
  • defining physical or virtual structures required to support applications, analytics, machine learning, business intelligence or other data-driven services
  • designing data models, flows, pipelines, and integration processes for efficient and secure data handling
  • aligning designs with data architectures, enterprise architectures, standards, policies, and regulations
  • considering scalability, performance, availability, recovery, and other operational requirements.


Defined at these levels: 2 3 4 5

Database design: Level 1

Database design: Level 2


Assists in the creation and documentation of detailed database designs under close guidance and supervision.

Follows established procedures and guidelines.

Helps create and maintain documentation.

Database design: Level 3


Interprets installation standards to meet project needs and produces database or data warehouse component specifications.

Develops appropriate physical database or data warehouse design elements, within set policies, to meet data requirements.

Database design: Level 4


Implements physical database designs to support transactional data requirements for performance and availability.

Develops and maintains specialist knowledge of database and data warehouse concepts, design principles, architectures, software and facilities.

Assesses proposed changes to object/data structures and evaluates alternative options.

Implements data warehouse designs that support demands for business intelligence and data analytics.

Database design: Level 5


Provides specialist expertise in the design characteristics of database management systems or data warehouse products/services.

Provides expert guidance in the selection, provision and use of database and data warehouse architectures, software and facilities.

Ensures that physical database design policy supports transactional data requirements for performance and availability.

Ensures that data warehouse design policy supports demands for business intelligence and data analytics.

Database design: Level 6

Database design: Level 7