Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Reference and guide to SFIA version 7. Framework status: Current standard.

#11 DESN - Improvements to address needs of Software Engineering: change request accepted

Some changes in emphasis and wording across the Skill description and skill level descriptions to ensure Software Engineering is addressed.

Areas to review:

  1. Ensure the skill descriptions are not perceived to be focused only on “business solutions" 
  2. Avoid confusion between software, systems, software engineering and systems engineering 
  3. Consider best way to address engineering skills related to verification and validation - is it standalone or part of each engineering skill?


This change request is one of a number which are proposing revisions to SFIA to ensure it fully supports Software Engineering while retaining overall industry wide applicability and integrity.
The updates will support:
  • The Software Engineering & Technology industry, it's employers and professionals to close skill gaps, attract and retain talent and improve the performance and productivity of engineers
  • Alignment of Software Engineering training / accreditation
  • Professional development through the IEEE-CS and other professional bodies representing software engineers
  • Universities, technical institutes, and other higher education organisations to support professional education and accreditation and enhance the employability of their students
Skill requirements for Software Engineering have been cross checked against the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge  (SWEBOK) Chapter 2: Software Design
Also need to consider the relationship (e.g. unique skills and overlapping skills) between Software Engineering and IT.

Attached to Systems design


What we decided


Consider whether Software design should be a standalone skill. Check for current usage of System design (DESN) and Solution architecture (ARCH) skills.

What we changed


  • the lower level Systems design (DESN) skill descriptions are describing application/software design
  • anhe lowere level overlapped at its lower levels with Software design.
  • At the higher levels it referred to Information systems and solution and enterprise architectures.
  • Consideration was given to renaming and re-writing Systems design.
  • We concluded that a better solution was to create an additional SFIA skill for Software design and rewrite Systems design to ensure it is applicable to the broad concept of Systems – i.e. not just information systems, or business solutions
  • Levels 2 & 3 have been moved to software design
  • Levels 4,5,& 6 and the overall skill description have been re-written
Julian Bass says:
Sep 17, 2017 08:46 PM

These would be useful enhancements

Sfia Updates Manager says:
Mar 30, 2018 08:31 AM

also consider broader "service design" - which can be considered as a systems made up of technologies, software, hardware, people, facilities etc