SFIA and e-CF

A detailed comparison and mapping of the e-CF Framework (v3) and SFIA (v6). This may be updated to reflect the most recent release of SFIA (v8) and eCF (v4).

In 2016, the eCF team approached the SFIA Foundation to learn how SFIA had managed to achieve its global user base and how it had managed to establish a sustainable update and support ecosystem without the benefits of the EU funding that eCF enjoyed.

At the end of this workshop, the eCF team unanimously requested to establish a joint programme to merge the two frameworks. The SFIA Foundation agreed that this should be progressed and agreed to begin some preliminary assessment and planning to progress this.

Background

SFIA is very open and willing to collaborate on many activities to enhance the skills of the digital professions - it was very happy to help the eCF team.

The SFIA Foundation has developed and maintained the global IT skills framework since 2000.  It has global reach with users in over 180 countries and many thousands or corporates and individuals registered for licences.  The EU has been working on the e-CF since around 2005.  Both frameworks have similar aims and indeed many similarities, and of course some differences.

In March 2016, many representatives from e-CF met with the SFIA Foundation to discuss addressing major skills issues.  In particular, the e-CF team wanted to know, given the very high costs of maintaining skills frameworks and the challenges to gaining use of such frameworks, how the SFIA Foundation had managed to undertake several major updates since 2000 and generate a global user base.

At the end of that meeting, unanimously, the e-CF team decided that there should be a programme of work towards merging the two frameworks and the SFIA Foundation agreed. This made sense for the global community and especially so as both frameworks were about to go into their update cycles.  BCS commissioned a report to look at the two frameworks in the spirit of collaboration and leading to merge actions:

  • compare the frameworks
  • provide a detailled mapping
  • note similarities and differences
  • discuss possible merging actions

It should be noted that this review of the frameworks and merge planning was developed in the spirit of collaboration and for the purposes of merging. It was not intended to provide a definitive equivalence mapping - as there are some significant differences between the two framework which could only be overcome by merging.

In a follow up workshop to discuss the major points of this report, merging was again discussed and it was noted that as both frameworks were due to begin their update process. Not only was this an ideal time to make the first steps towards such a merge it would have been an opportunity to share development costs.

Unfortunately for the industry as a whole, the eCF team chose not to progress towards merging and took the recommendations for what needed to be addressed in the eCF as input to their update programme.

Note: This comparison is based on SFIA 6 and e-CF (V3). It is important to keep in mind that this comparison was written from the perspective of merging the two frameworks. It also proposed a merging plan, as requested by the March 2016 joint workshop, and identified some of the issues that needed to be addressed in such a merge activity. 

Despite the logic in merging, no further action was taken and the SFIA Community could not hold up their update any longer so initiatied the SFIA 7 update development and this report provided input to that. As all proposed changes to SFIA and all discussions are public domain and readily available, this report and all SFIA change discussions have been available to the e-CF update activity. Moving closer together is still possible but currently not in a controlled or coordinated manner. SFIA 7 was published June 2018, e-CF V4 is eagerly anticipated. When e-CF V4 is finally published then this report will be updated to reflect this.

This report, carried out by  on behalf of BCS, is now made available to the SFIA community.  For more information on this collaboration, or indeed on mapping other frameworks to SFIA, contact .

SFIA - e-CF Comparison & Mapping Report