SFIA defines the skills and competencies required by professionals who design, develop, implement, manage and protect the data and technology that power the digital world.
SFIA was formally launched in 2000. Its origin can be traced back to collaborative skills initiatives from the 1980s. The SFIA Foundation was formed as an international not-for-profit foundation that brings together the global community to develop and maintain the SFIA Framework for the benefit of all.
SFIA has become the globally accepted common language for the skills and competencies for the digital world. Within its scope are many of the world’s most in-demand occupations, encompassing professionals working in areas such as (but not limited to):
- information and communications technology
- business change
- digital transformation
- data science and analytics
- software engineering
- information and cyber security
- learning and education
- applied computing and computational science
- user centred design
- digital product development, sales and marketing
- human resource and workforce management.
SFIA remains a collaboration: it has been regularly updated through a global open consultation process. People with real practical experience of developing and managing skills and competencies in corporate, public sector and educational environments from all around the world, contribute to ensuring SFIA remains relevant and true. It is built by industry and business for industry and business. Many have copied SFIA, been inspired by it or simply choose to map to it so as to promote their own frameworks and products.
It is these features that set SFIA apart from other frameworks and has resulted in its adoption by governments, corporates and individuals in almost 200 countries. Its unique and ongoing success can also be attributed to:
- Built and owned by the global user community
- Global collaborative development
- Global governance and steering boards
- A 20+ year track record of successful use
- Proven sustainability with an established ecosystem and trusted infrastructure
- A neutral approach – it is not aligned to any specific technologies, vendors or professional bodies
SFIA remains free of charge for most non-commercial use
- The SFIA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation
- There is a modest licence fee for large organisations using SFIA and for organisations that use SFIA for commercial purposes
- The licence fee supports the continued development of the framework and ecosystem support
- Organisations and individuals who contribute a licence fee can be proud that they are helping the continued development of the industry
Updates to SFIA
SFIA is kept relevant through open consultation. It has been updated every few years to address the changing needs of industry and business. SFIA reflects the evolving reality of skills and competencies practiced in the real-world working environment. The architecture and underlying design principles of SFIA have remained unchanged - this is testament to its usefulness and value. It continues to deliver what industry and business need in order to manage and develop skills and competencies. SFIA has adopted a continuous approach to consultation in order to remain responsive to new and changing needs. This process is facilitated via the SFIA Foundation website. In order to ensure continuity of usefulness, SFIA must reflect changing needs and perceptions of the significance of some items, and occasional changes in accepted terminology. The maintenance of SFIA is carried out with the aim of making sure that SFIA remains relevant to the needs of industry, employers and individuals. It is part of an evolution that balances stability with the need to remain up to date. Requests to update and extend SFIA skill definitions are welcome and are a visible sign of a healthy and well-used resource.