How SFIA works
At the core of SFIA are the descriptions of professional skills and generic attributes each using the same 7-level structure. These form SFIA’s most valuable resource. The generic attributes describe both behavioural factors and the knowledge component of competence. This section describes how it all fits together to form a simple, yet powerful, and proven approach.
Even with over 120 skills, the SFIA Framework is a straightforward framework to use. This simplicity is achieved by a consistent use of a rigorous structure - once you know the structure you can navigate all skills easily. Each SFIA skill is presented consistently, with a brief description of the skill, supplemented with guidance notes to illustrate the application of the skill. These are followed by more detailed descriptions of what it means to practice the skill at each relevant level of responsibility.
Structure of the SFIA professional skills
Skills are constructed with the following reference details:
|Skill name:||The name used for reference purposes.|
|Skill code:||A unique code used as a short reference for the skill.|
|Skill description:||A brief definition of the skill, without any reference to the levels at which it might be practiced.|
|Guidance notes:||A broader description and examples to clarify application of the skill along with context for interpreting level descriptions. Examples are descriptive, not prescriptive.|
|Level description:||Definitions of the skill for each of the levels at which it is practised. The phrasing facilitates their use as professional competencies.|
Example of a skill structure – illustrated by 'Digital forensics'
|Skill name:||Digital forensics|
Recovering and investigating material found in digital devices.
Activities may include - but not limited to:
- collecting, processing, preserving and analysing material
- presenting forensic evidence based on the totality of findings
|Guidance notes:||The scope of digital forensics includes finding evidence on computers and any device capable of storing digital data. The evidence may be used in support of security vulnerability migration, criminal, fraud, counterintelligence, or law enforcement investigations.|
Level 6: Plans and leads the organisation's approach to digital forensics. Sets policies, standards and guidelines for how the organisation conducts digital forensic investigations. Leads and manages high-risk, large or wide-ranging digital forensics investigations engaging additional specialists if required. Authorises the release of formal forensics reports.
Level 5: Conducts investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present findings, including digital evidence, to both business and legal audiences. Collates conclusions and recommendations and presents forensics findings to stakeholders. Plans and manages digital forensics activities within the organisation. Provides expert advice on digital forensics. Contributes to the development of digital forensics policies, standards and guidelines. Evaluates and selects digital forensics tools and techniques.
Level 4: Designs and executes complex digital forensic investigations on devices. Specifies requirements for resources and tools to perform investigations. Processes and analyses evidence in line with policy, standards and guidelines and supports production of forensics findings and reports.
Level 3: Supports digital forensic investigations by applying standard tools and techniques to investigate devices. Recovers damaged, deleted or hidden data from devices. Maintains integrity of records and collects information and evidence in a legally admissible way.