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

#48 Architecture skills should start at lower level: change request accepted

Users have requested that the architecture skills start at a lower level to reflect 'size' and the difficulty of getting architect skills at L5 so this would reflect a more junior level on an architecture career path - particularly for Solution Architect

This was raised bk UK Publilc sector (entered by Ian S):

The FW recognises that the entry level for Architects is 5 (both Solution and Enterprise and Business) – as it is deemed that to be an Architect one needs to be operating at a senior level and in an appropriate position in the organisation to Influence and have the correct level of Autonomy. Additionally to have the appropriate level of Complexity to their workload and the experience to have excellent Business Knowledge - in essence the correct level of responsibility.

Accepting this as an Architect who is at the top of their game in a large organisation, however, we in HMRC are struggling to recruit Architects so we need to “grow our own” so Career Pathing  is immensely important to us in managing our Architectural pipeline. There must be Architects in small organisations who simply do not satisfy the level 5 complexity element.

So, my request is that for particularly the Solution Architect that V7 will contain Level 4 criteria designed to support the development into the Architecture role. I believe this is an opportunity for the Foundation to add in a” Career” dimension to the FW.

Attached to Solution architecture


What we decided


What we changed

Level 4 skill definition added.

Ian Seward says:
Oct 18, 2017 11:11 AM

This is and interesting comment as raises questions around what should go in the Framework and and what in Implementation Guidance. It could also initiate a more far-reaching discussion.
Questions for discussion:
- Is the skill appropriate at the lower level?
- Do all skills have a 'lower-level career position'?
- Should this be addressed in the Framework or in Implementation Guidance

Matthew Burrows says:
Oct 18, 2017 06:28 PM

Almost all professionals should have a development plan, so nothing wrong with saying a role requires a skill at level 5 and someone performing a role hasn’t yet mastered it. If you could show that the skill is practiced at a lower level, and that level description would also represent an appropriate end-point for some professionals, then that’s a good case for adding a lower level description - but not if it is purely a development staging post which wouldn’t be acceptable as a professionally mastered skill on its own.

Andy Thomson says:
Nov 08, 2017 01:44 PM

A common career path for Solution Architects is to an Enterprise Architect role. It seems logical therefore that ARCH should have a level 4 description, given that Enterprise & Business Architecture (STPL) starts at level 5.
It has also been the case that anyone specialising in "system design" (DESN) years ago, would now be in a Solution Architect role. Perhaps the answer is to look at merging these two skills, to provide a clear incremental path?