Skills Assessment & Training Needs Analysis

QA helps Colt to map its IT professionals to the SFIA framework

When Colt wanted to align its learning and development plans to IT industry standards, it chose QA to map the roles of its IT professionals against the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

Meet our client: Colt

Colt is Europe’s information delivery platform, providing major organisations, mid-sized businesses and wholesale customers with a powerful resource that combines network and IT infrastructure with expertise in IT managed services, networking and communication solutions.

Colt operates a 21-country, 33,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 38 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 17,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres.

Read more about Colt on their website.

The challenge:

Colt’s IT division wanted to establish a more formal skills framework for its 450 employees, utilising the BCS Career Developer Tool.

To maximise the benefits of the project, Colt selected QA to carry out a profiling exercise using SFIA (an industry recognised classification of IT skills) to benchmark roles, skills and processes at every level. The outputs of this exercise were then used to identify skills gaps and development pathways for Colt’s IT professionals.

Read more about the SFIA framework here.

“By mapping the learning and development plan to our own role framework and to SFIA, we are developing our people not only to succeed in their role within Colt, but also in the wider IT industry.” – Nicki Talbot, Senior Learning and Development Manager, Colt ISU

The solution:

QA worked in conjunction with Colt IT managers to examine job roles and identify the SFIA skills required for each. Over a two week period, all the professional roles that made up Colt’s IT division were profiled.

Existing documentation such as a job descriptions, organisation charts, operating models, etc. were used to understand the function and purpose of each role within its business context.

Stakeholder interviews provided first-hand and up-to-date confirmation of the demands of each role. The result of this exercise was an accurate set of skills profiles for each job family, with graduated skills levels benchmarking each role.

Once the profiles were validated, the skills identified for each role were loaded into the Career Developer tool. From their web browsers, individuals could assess themselves against the skills for their roles, or review the skills for a role they would like to move into.

Lastly, QA mapped learning solutions to each of the SFIA skills, enabling Colt’s employees to view a shortlist of training courses that would contribute to developing the specific skills necessary for their current or future roles.

The outcome:

QA mapped 93 job roles to core SFIA skills and identified the learning solutions necessary to develop each of these skills. As a result, Colt’s employees are now able to:

  • identify the development they need to undertake to move to the next level in their current role (within the same job family), and
  • see the core skills and associated training required to move into alternative job families (e.g. a Business Analyst interested in moving into project management).

“IT is now part of a bigger business unit – called the Infrastructure Services Unit. We were able to build on the excellent work carried out by QA and are expanding this to all the job roles in the ISU. By having the job roles mapped to SFIA, we are creating a simple and transparent framework for development across all of our jobs – whether someone wishes to develop in their current role, or move into a new role within the business unit. We also plan to use this information for creating a learning and development plan for every job role in the ISU.” – Nicki Talbot, Senior Learning and Development Manager, Colt ISU

What can QA do for your organisation?

To find out more about QA's Skills Assessment & Training Needs Analysis offering, visit our Managed Learning Services page.