SFIA Digital Badge Assessment

SFIA, the global skills and competency framework for the digital world, enables assessment and certification. Its approach is designed to be in line with ISO standards for the certification of software and systems engineering professionals (ISO/IEC 24773) and conformity assessment for certification schemes (ISO/IEC 17024). The SFIA Foundation does not assess or certify individuals but a number of SFIA Partners may offer these services.

SFIA is a very powerful tool for human capital development including the assessment of individuals. Informal self assessment using SFIA and informal internal assessment carried out by an organisation are themselves very beneficial for staff development - they are to be encouraged. General guidance for both formal and informal assessments is provided here.


This page introduces SFIA assessment for digital badges. The SFIA logo should not be used in any assessments unless carried out by a licensed SFIA Partner and must not be used in a digital credential unless under a SFIA Foundation approved assessment scheme.

SFIA is an industry framework, it is build by industry for industry so that industry can establish and develop the workforce it needs to operate in the global economy. SFIA therefore has experience at its core (rather than knowledge alone). What industry values is experience of performing skills at particular levels of responsibility in a real-world environment.

SFIA is both a skills framework and a competency framework but it does not define in detail specific knowledge requirements, preferring to have individual subject matter experts define the knowledge requirements. SFIA can be used to determine the following:

  • Knowledge
  • Skill
  • Competency

Further details about using SFIA and how it works to enable skills and competency development can be found here.

Further details about SFIA assessment including formal and informal assessments can be found here.

Knowledge, skill and competency

By using ISO/IEC 24773 SFIA has adopted the following approach with regards to knowledge, skill and competency.

  • Knowledge describes facts and information typically acquired through experience or education. An individual can acquire knowledge without applying that knowledge.
  • Skill is applying knowledge and developing proficiency – which could be done in a controlled environment such as an educational institution through, for example, simulation or substantial project work.
  • Competency is applying the necessary knowledge and skill in a real-world environment with full professional responsibility and accountability for one's own actions. Experience in a professional working environment represents the difference between demonstrated skill and demonstrated competency.


Assessment under a SFIA Foundation approved assessment scheme would determine on the basis of evidence provided as below:

  • Knowledge:
    An individual should provide sufficient evidence that they possess the relevant knowledge appropriate to a particular SFIA element. A minimum cognitive level of “can explain” should be demonstrated.
  • Skill:
    An individual should provide sufficient evidence that they have applied the relevant knowledge and performed the activity at the performance level of “proficient in the skill” i.e. they can do what SFIA describes on their own without instruction, possibly in a controlled environment.
  • Competency:
    An individual should provide sufficient evidence that they have applied the relevant knowledge and skills, and have significant professional experience of performing the activities described by SFIA in a professional working environment through the performance of a role, job or function. They must consistently achieve expected objectives and a successful outcome on an ongoing basis, reliably at a professional level.

Knowledge (or learning) should be determined through a test of that knowledge and show their understanding rather than simply by attending a training course.

Skill should be determined through an assessment of an individual's application of the knowledge to achieve some outcome, typically in a controlled environment.

Competency should be determined an assessment of an individual's application of the knowledge to achieve some outcome within a professional working environment. In general for competency two pieces of evidence would be necessary..

An assessment of skill or competence must include both the requirements of the SFIA Professional Skill at level and also the SFIA Generic Attributes for that level.