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

#30 Reference Guide Format - Needs to be significantly improved: change request accepted

The reference guide is a vital tool, many still like to work off a book but it is difficult to navigate and some areas need to be enhanced.


What we decided


What we changed

Major redesign for the SFIA7 reference guide to enhance usability and presentational appearance.

Sfia Updates Manager says:
Sep 06, 2017 01:57 PM

The SFIA Council survey highlghted a number of issues / potential improvements.

Over 1/ Table on pages 19-21could be a 2 page centrefold to have a single view. 2/ Page edges could be coloured by skill family for ease of navigation 3/ Skill descriptions etc should not have orphan lines across pages (end of page 23, 24, beginning of page 26, etc.

Some key and valuable wording and diagrams have been removed e.g. the diagram explaining the concept of generic and specific and the explanation of the level of detail required, diagnostic v prescriptive. (p7 and p8 of SFIA v5 ref).

One skill per page on the Guidelines document would be preferred. SFIA 7 :) ?

Recommend consideration be made to the formatting and page breaks contained within SFIA 6. For example: - Page 16 - move Levels of responsibility : Level 4 to page 17, and Level of responsibility: Level 2 to page 18 - Page 21 - the Title "Layout" should be moved to following page - Page 23 - IRMG Level 7 subtitle noted on this page with descriptor on page 24 - Page 24 - SCTY Title should be moved to page 25 The alignment and page breaks are consistent throughout the current SFIA 6 2015. This isn't limited to Skills Levels, but also subcategories titles (e.g., Page 35 Change and Transformation).

All presentation and general information could be in contiguous chapters either at the beginning or end of the book (SFIA and skill management at the end?)

The printed doc is poorly paginated – with a number of orphaned paragraphs / headers

Formatting of the SFIA 6 Reference booklet requires further work. There are a number of visible formatting errors throughout the document. For example, SFIA Category title on one page with the category and skills commencing on the following pages. The title Layout at the being of the doc has the body of content on the subsequent page. I would be more than happy to provide more specific examples.

The A3 chart was much better for SFIA v5 .

The Framework on pp19-21 of the Complete Reference Guide would be a really helpful table if it included the page numbers for each Skill descriptor . Closer editing attention would help with making sure the name and first para (at least) of a descriptor are kept together.
Spreadsheet structure changed to a database type – not as end-user
friendly as the old style.

Okay overall, however the Levels of Responsibility needs to be more prominent. People tend to head to the individual skills and assess their skill level from those in isolation from the overarching Levels of Responsibility.

The only area that can be a source of confusion is Levels of Responsibility. My experience is that Managers introduced to the framework tend to overlook the importance of LORs and focus on more of specific skills within a job/role.

The SFIA 6 Reference guide can be improved by: - including an index to show the page number of the skill; - improved formatting to remove the orphan skill titles, where the text follows on the next page.

I'm satisfied because it is there and is usable. Of course it could be improved and this should be done.

When you are a looking a specific skill it easy to confuse with another skill in the body, there is not a separation between skills.

Spanish translation has lot of errors and nonsense phrases that are very difficult to explain to clients (use of google translate is too obvious, that is a shame). From this point SFIA is not so credible – if SFIA is really worldwide accepted competency model translation must be perfect. My response are for English version. For Spanish version is very unsatisfied. Repeated answer, because translation is very important for usability.

Matthew Burrows says:
Oct 18, 2017 06:32 PM

Couldn’t agree with you more - it’s a constant annoyance. Hopefully the Textmatters tool and process has been improved so that the answer I was given for V6, where the tool wouldn’t allow simple edits like this, is different now. If the tool still can’t accommodate this, we should take a dump of the data and produce the final PDF and printed versions a different way - something I was prevented from doing with SFIA6.

Kate Mckenzie says:
Nov 01, 2017 10:46 PM

Support this and also if you could separate Strategy and Architecture, Change and transformation, Development and implementation, Delivery and operation, Skills and quality and relationships and engagement with a page break between would assist.

I have printed off the guide and inserted colour tabs to indicate each section which I use whilst conducting the validation interview.

I have copy for me and give a copy to the person being assessed for them to read along. To have the delineation between sections would make this appear more professional. Also support the grouping of items together rather than heading on bottom of page and details over the page.