What is ITIL Certification?
ITIL is an abbreviation that represents IT Infrastructure Library. ITIL is really a framework of best IT practices. ITIL was originally developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). ITIL practices was created due to a lack of standard operating procedures and standard documentation for IT integration and projects. CCTA was later named as Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and is the current custodian of all the documentation and procedures that are a part of the ITIL library.
In the early 1980s, the U.K.’s Government’s Central Communications and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) formulated a set of recommendations that was designed to provide a “practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services to the business.”
ITIL initially began with the above stated vision and formulated into a library of books that discussed specific topics relating to IT service management. All books were recommended by CCTA.
ITIL has gone through multiple versions. The first version 1 consisted of more than 30 books. This lasted till late 2001. In 2001, ITIL version 2 was introduced. This time, this particular version consisted of 8 books that were now labelled as guidelines for IT service management. In April of 2001, the CCTA was merged into the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
As the documentation and quality adapted to proper standards, a board was set up to accredit this as a professional course. Hence, ITIL became an accredited course led by the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB). ISEB ensures the examinations covers all the relevant requirements and the candidates are up to date regarding the best IT practices.
ISEB is not the only organization that conducts ITIL examinations. EXIN is an independent organization that does something similar. EXIN establishes educational requirements, develops and organize examinations in the field of Information Technology. The primal objective of EXIN is to promote the quality of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector and the ICT professionals working in this sector by means of independent testing and certification.
Different organizations are now working closely to develop and improve IT standards due the need of the market. Also with the influx of IT professionals, it becomes even more detrimental to ensure a standard and certification program.
ITIL is a growing international certification all across the world. Many employers are paying top dollar for employees with ITIL certifications.
Like many other examinations, ITIL is based upon certain course work and pre-requisites. The organization that runs and conducts the ITIL examination believes in a certain level of IT professional excellence and hence ensures that people who pass the ITIL examination can effectively run the IT wing and provide the benefits of ITIL to any organization. For example, ITIL practices can be used to reduce helpdesk and remote assistance centers by implementing online help sections or proactively providing information and technical assistance before it happens.
In order to better understand what is ITIL let us share with you a brief history of ITIL.
Current ITIL Status- ITIL life Cycle Management
The OGC announced ITIL Version 3–now known as the ITIL 2007 Edition–in May of 2007. It consisted of 26 processes and functions and contained in five core publications:
Continual Service Improvement
- Service Strategy: This is the initial phase of the ITIL framework. The objective of this phase is to outline and focus on services as a core strategic asset. Under the banner of service strategy, the students are required to understand the core corporate governance, compliance, policies, and procedures associated with implementing a proper service strategy.
- Service Design: Once the service strategy is agreed upon and signed off, the service design phase begins. In this particular phase, proper understanding of business gaps and solution development is required. complete understanding of capacity, availability etc is required to properly design the solution and service.
- Service Transition: This phase covers the transition from development to production operations, including testing and quality control.
- Service Operation: service operations is a critical component since this is the phase where the operational management skill set is required. You are responsible to know processes to mitigate and reduce risks. It addresses service operation processes, such as event management, control management, incident response, the application life cycle and helpdesk support.
- Continuous Service Improvement: Quality is a never-ending perspective nad this holds true for the IT segment as well. Continuous Service Improvement is a guideline to keep on improving all types of processes and procedures to adapt better and stable processes.
Other versions of ITIL certification have been created. However, they revolve around the above stated IT service management framework. The objective was to give a brief understanding and history of ITIL so that it becomes clear. Knowing the reasoning and importance of ITIL remains a valid point of understanding.
In July 2013, ownership of ITIL was transferred to AXELOS, which maintains the ITIL framework and accredit training and examination institutes.
ITIL Qualification Scheme and Credit System
ITIL Certification is based upon a credit scoring. There are multiple levels of expertise in the ITIL framework. You need to choose what level of expertise you require and follow that particular path accordingly. Multiple examinations are required for anyone to pass into expert or professional stage. Each examination has a value and credit hours and credits. Hence, in order to become certified, you need to add up the credits and will be certified accordingly.
Since IT is a core framework, there are different skill sets that are required. Hence, ITIL organizations have developed different layers and expert levels. This is a typical model of any IT related certification.
ITIL offers five different certification levels:
This is an extensive credited program level certification. In order to become ITL Expert, you will need to have accumulated 22 credit hours. The important part to know is that there are different paths once can take to achieve the Expert of the Master level.
Don’t let the scope of ITIL scare you away from the overall value afforded by this comprehensive lifecycle for IT services. The ITIL framework gives companies the structure and discipline required to design, develop, deliver and manage new or improved services in a timely manner and, most importantly, on budget. Before ITIL, a lack of service management discipline and expertise led many IT projects to suffer budget overruns, veer off course or fail outright due to scope-creep, mismanagement and a lack of repeatable results. ITIL solves these problems quite nicely and is considered to be the standard for IT service management frameworks.
Also we recommend that you read more about how to choice the best type of ITIL certification you require. This can be based upon your skill set, choice and job requirements.
ITIL V 3 Foundation Certification
As the name concludes, the ITIL V3 is a simply foundation certification examination. As a foundation examination, it will focus on providing knowledge on the basic life cycle processes and the main procedures associating with adapting and implementing a robust ITIL system.
There is no particular pre requisite to take and learn the ITIL V3 foundation examination. However, it is recommended tat you have at least a basic understanding of IT processes and governance. A basic level will help you in understanding and appreciating the certification. The ITIL V3 foundation certification level covers the above stated life cycle processes. Be ready and prepared to know what resides in them and when will each phase be triggered.
After qualifying for the ITIL foundation examination, the next step is to work hard on obtaining the next level.
The Foundation exam has 40 multiple-choice questions and lasts for up to one hour. Although the cost of ITIL exams can vary between EIs and ATOs, the ITIL Foundation exam is generally in the range of $220 to $250 USD.
ITIL Practioner is the latest level of certification in ITIL framework. It began in 2016 and focuses on skill sets and technical delivery of ITIL values to support business objectives. An ITIL practitioner will focus on change management, communication and measured metrics.
The pre requisite for this level is the ITIL V3 Foundation accreditation.
ITIL intermediate is another stepping stone in the ITIL framework. However, in this part, the course work changes and it provides the candidates with options. THere are a total of 8 total course works that fall under Intermediate status. You have the option of choosing between any of these two categories.
Service life-cycle modules:
- Service Strategy (SS)
- Service Design (SD)
- Service Transition (ST)
- Service Operation (SO)
- Continual Service Improvement (CSI)
Service Capability modules:
- Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)
- Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)
- Release, Control and Validation (RCV)
- Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)
AXELOS recommends that you have at least two years of IT service management experience, and accredited training is required. Each ITIL Intermediate module exam is typically $350 USD.
Here is when you define what your career goals are. What kind of technical expertise you want to become.
The ITIL expert is a prize coveted certification. If you have come this far, then you are a professional in the true sense. THe ITIL Expert level is to validate your expertise level .ITIL Expert certification is a prerequisite for the ITIL Master certification.
To qualify for the ITIL Expert, you must obtain at least 17 credits from the Foundation, Practitioner and Intermediate modules, and pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam, earning a total of 22 credits. The MALC exam typically costs $350 USD.
THe top most and most coveted certification that exists is the ITIL Master and with this degree, you certify yourself as the master of all the core processes from strategy management to delivery management and continuity management. As an ITIL Master, you will be come the go to person in all cases of IT deployment, troubleshooting and service improvements.
The cost of the ITIL Master runs about $4,000 USD, which you pay after an EI accepts your initial application. Given the expense of this certification and stringent requirements, only serious candidates pursue an ITIL Master, but earning the certification indicates you’ve reached the highest level of achievement in your field.