The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Subject formation SUBF


Specifying, designing and developing curricula within a structured and systematic education environment.

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


Subject formation focuses on:

  • developing curricula to support the development of understanding of the principles, approaches and practices that underpin specific topics and knowledge areas 
  • incorporating significant emerging technologies and techniques for which current students need to be prepared. 

The scope may include curricula for formal education or for independent examination bodies.

This skill is generic and can be applied to curriculum design and development for any topic or knowledge area. In the context of the SFIA framework — this includes:

  • the topics and knowledge areas that support any skills described in the SFIA framework
  • and the application of these topics and knowledge areas to other disciplines and practices.

In the context of computing and IT curricula — the topics addressed are typically:

  • common digital skills needed to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world for everyday life and for work
  • fundamental and more advanced aspects of specific topics and knowledge areas including emerging technologies and new applications for existing technologies
  • the ideas of computational thinking and the application of computational concepts to everyday life and professional working practices.


Defined at these levels: 4 5 6 7

Subject formation: Level 1

Subject formation: Level 2

Subject formation: Level 3

Subject formation: Level 4


Contributes to curriculum development by selecting or specifying curriculum content or assessment approaches for one or more specialist areas.

Subject formation: Level 5


Contributes to the specification and development of curricula and assessment in an educational context or for an independent examination body.

Subject formation: Level 6


Leads the specification and development of curricula and assessment in an educational context or for an independent examination body.

Contributes to the development of a strategy for curriculum evolution.

Ensures that relevant current domain research is represented in the curricula.

Subject formation: Level 7


Authorises the curriculum and assessment strategies for a broad range of curricula or learning pathways.

Directs the definition, implementation, and monitoring of curricula to satisfy relevant statutory and professional benchmarks and frameworks.

Develops strategies for the evolution of curricula over time. Incorporates emerging domain and pedagogical themes into plans for future curricula.