When you want to assess the skills, knowledge and competence of your IT professional employees or potential recruits, what is the best solution?

There are plenty of SFIA Self-Assessment tools around and we provide one of them.  But there’s only one SFIA Skills Test tool for objective assessment – and we are the provider!

But what are the differences between the two?

Self-Assessments ask a person questions about their job from their perspective. So they are subjective.  There are no right or wrong answers. The purpose is not to test individuals, but to find out what their job entails and to come to conclusions about the skills that are needed and at what level.  Therefore they are ideal if a person’s job description needs updating, or needs creating from scratch.  But will it test the person’s competence for the role?  The answer is an emphatic ‘no’.

Skills Tests, on the other hand, will test knowledge and skills.  So they are objective.  There are right and wrong answers.  The score at the end will reflect a person’s current level of competence and will highlight areas where development may be necessary.  Experienced subject matter experts penned the questions which are in line with the SFIA Framework.  When you use them for a recruitment exercise, they will help you to identify which candidates are worth interviewing and which don’t have the knowledge and skills the job role demands.

The definition of ‘subjective’ is “information based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment”, whilst ‘objective’ is “fact-based, measurable and observable”. Take a look at the following table for comparisons:-

Subjective (e.g., self-assessments) Objective (e.g., Skill Tests)
Based on opinions Based on facts
No right or wrong answers Answers are right or wrong
Result is indicative not measurable Produces a clear and measurable score
Asks questions about a person’s job Tests a person’s competence for a job
Identifies the skills a person might need Identifies whether the person has the skills
Useful for updating a job description Useful for identifying training needs
Not generally suitable for recruitment Ideal for recruitment exercises
Like a questionnaire Like an exam

If you would like to take a look at either or both of our SFIA assessments – the Self-Assessments or the Skills Tests – so that you can experience them for yourself, please complete and submit our enquiry form.