The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Radio frequency engineering RFEN


Designing, installing and maintaining radio frequency based devices and software.

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:

  • evaluating and selecting devices and software
  • integrating radio frequency (RF) sub-systems into larger systems
  • calibrating, tuning and maintaining devices and software
  • receiving, transmitting and converting data between analogue and digital devices, in accordance with industry and regulatory standards
  • developing, integrating and configuring antennas, readers and transmitters in hardware or software forms, including software-defined radio (SDR), radio frequency identification (RFID), near field communication (NFC), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • adhering to established safety, security and quality standards.

Applications of this skill include, but are not limited to:

  • wireless local area networks
  • wireless communication systems for voice, data and image, cellular radio systems, global positioning systems and military communications networks
  • navigation and sensor systems.

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: 2 3 4 5 6

Show/hide extra descriptions and levels.

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.

Radio frequency engineering: 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.


Assists with setting up, tuning and functional checks of radio frequency devices and software.

Resolves faults down to line replaceable unit level or escalates according to given procedures.

Carries out user confidence checks and escalates faults according to given procedures.

Integrates RF devices with software applications using static configurations.

Radio frequency engineering: 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.


Deploys, sets up, tunes and calibrates RF devices and software following maintenance schedules and using appropriate tools and test equipment.

Incorporates hardware/firmware modifications. Interprets automatic fault/performance indications and resolves faults down to discrete component level or escalates according to given procedures.

Implements communication protocols between system elements in accordance with defined standards.

Integrates RF devices with software applications, incorporating dynamic reconfiguration of elements under software control to optimise their operational performance.

Radio frequency engineering: 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.


Investigates and resolves system-wide fault conditions using a wide range of diagnostic tools and techniques.

Reconfigures equipment to circumvent temporary outages. Specifies, selects and integrates RF devices in a system.

Defines internal communication protocols for transmission over the available frequencies.

Reconfigures devices and software to optimise performance.

Radio frequency engineering: 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.


Monitors system performance, recommends equipment modifications and changes to operating procedures, servicing methods and schedules.

Develops maintenance schedules and procedures. Approves equipment upgrades and modifications.

Reviews industry and national standards on relevant RF protocols and regulations.

Measures and evaluates the effectiveness of RF devices and software.

Radio frequency engineering: 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.


Provides overall direction and leadership for the use of RF based devices and software.

Specifies requirements for radio frequency equipment performance and sets maintenance policy.

Identifies opportunities to exploit new technologies and improve existing technologies and practices.

Develops effective implementation and procurement strategies.

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.