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What is ITIL?

ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT Service Management in the world. It helps individuals and businesses use their IT infrastructure to realise business change, transformation and growth. It is developed and governed by Axelos, and has evolved over the years to ensure it remains relevant in the ever changing IT and Service Management landscape.

What is ITIL Certification?

The ITIL certification scheme provides a modular approach to understanding and implementing the ITIL framework. It enables you to undertake training that not only gives you an appreciation of how ITIL works but also allows you to shape your learning to the specific needs and functions of your job role.

The ITIL training scheme comprises a series of certifications focusing on different aspects of ITIL best practice. The ITIL Foundation Certificate is the starting point on the certification track. The certification track also includes several routes to becoming an ITIL Expert, as well as the recently added ITIL Practitioner level qualification in the current version (known as v3).

However, the ITIL certification scheme is changing – with developments being released throughout 2019. In the remainder of this blog post we look in more detail at what is changing and how this will affect you.

The ITIL 4 Update

The update to ITIL is a result of an IT community and industry-led initiative. Axelos has worked with teams of industry experts around the globe and the wider ITIL community to steer the development of ITIL 4. The aim of the update is to include practical guidance on how to shape and tailor your IT management strategy in the increasingly complex modern environment.

ITIL 4 will evolve to provide an end-to-end IT/Digital Operating Model, covering the full delivery (and sustaining) of tech-enabled products and services, guiding how IT interfaces with, and even leads, the wider business strategy.

The ITIL 4 update will start with the release of the new Foundation level certificate, due in early 2019, and will also see the introduction of several new modules as well as a transitional module for those already part way through the ITIL journey.

A new structure is now formed of two different designation streams: ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) and ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL). To achieve either of these levels you are required to gain the Foundation level certificate before going on to complete a number of specialist modules applicable to your chosen stream.

To achieve ITIL Managing Professional you need to complete the:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation Certificate
  • ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver & Support
  • ITIL Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL Specialist: High Velocity IT
  • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve

To achieve ITIL Strategic Leader you will need to complete the:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation Certificate
  • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve
  • ITIL Leader: Digital & IT Strategy

You will note that ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve is common to both streams. There is also a transition module called Managing Professional (MP) Transition, to enable those already collecting ITIL v3 credits or for delegates who have previously achieved expert level.

For more information on the full ITIL 4 certification track, please visit the Axelos website.

Are ITIL v3 Certifications still relevant?

Don’t panic if you hold ITIL v3 qualifications and certification credits. These still count and there are transition modules for making the move to ITIL 4.

As ITIL is an evolution from v3, it retains many of the core features addressed within the v3 scheme. This ensures that all certifications for ITIL will remain valid following the update and will continue to be recognized as valuable certifications globally.

All credits gained under v3 can help you continue your ITIL journey in the new certification scheme. In the next section we look at some of the options available based on the recently released ‘ITIL 4 FAQs’ guidance from Axelos.

How will ITIL 4 affect me?

How the update affects you will depend on how far you have progressed along the ITIL journey so far. If you have yet to undertake any certifications then it is recommended to begin with the new ITIL 4 foundation as there are no plans for a transition unit from the v3 Foundation certificate.

If you have started to collect credits, you may find the below information useful:

  • I have achieved the v3 ITIL Foundation Certificate only

There is a significant amount of new material included in ITIL 4. It is therefore necessary for candidates to take the new single exam to assess the understanding of the new ITIL 4 guidance.

If you have only taken the v3 Foundation it is advisable to retake Foundation level under ITIL 4 as the starting point to provide a smooth transition.

  • I have achieved 3 or 4 Intermediate/Practitioner credits under the v3 scheme

You have a couple of options if you have only collected a few credits under the v3 certification track. You can either:

  • Take ITIL 4 Foundation and a further module in a preferred area of interest, becoming either an ITIL Specialist, Strategist or Leader.
  • Continue to gather the 17 credits under the v3 scheme. Following this you will be eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional Transition module. There is no need to take the v3 MALC course (Managing across the Lifecycle) if this is your chosen route.
  • I have achieved 6 or more Intermediate/Practitioner credits under the v3 scheme

You may want to continue to gain the remaining v3 credits. If you continue to gather the 17 credits under the v3 scheme you will be eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional Transition module. There is no need to take the v3 MALC course (Managing across the Lifecycle) if this is your chosen route.

  • I am an ITIL Expert under the v3 scheme

As soon as the transition module is available, you can take this to achieve the ITIL Managing Professional designation.

Once you have obtained ITIL Managing Professional designation you would only need to pass the ITIL Leader: Digital & IT Strategy module to also complete the ITIL Strategic Leader Stream. In turn, having completed both streams you will be eligible to move towards ITIL Master (full details yet to be released).

For further information please read the ITIL4 FAQs on the Axelos website.

View our ITIL 4 courses here

ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.