ITIL Certifications

Learn what ITIL certifications mean to individuals, service desks & IT organizations. We answer: What is ITIL certification? How do you get it?

What are ITIL certifications?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) certification is an internationally acknowledged credential that underscores an individual's expertise in the effective management of IT services. In an era of digital transformation, understanding and managing the interplay of IT systems and services has become more standardized and organized (you can read our history of ITIL here). ITIL certification offers a structured approach to these challenges and equips professionals with a best-practice framework to streamline IT Service Management (ITSM).
Aligning IT services with the needs of business using standard procedures designed to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery are the goals of the ITIL framework. An ITIL-certified professional is one who can confidently navigate this framework, understanding its lifecycle stages: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement.
ITIL certifications are globally recognized credentials that validate an individual's knowledge and expertise in IT service management based on the ITIL 4 framework. ITIL 4 emphasizes a holistic approach to IT service management, focusing on the integration of IT practices with business objectives and digital transformation initiatives. The certifications are designed to equip professionals with the skills and competencies necessary to drive organizational success through effective IT service management.
To properly place ITIL certifications in the world order, it is essential to link ITIL to the international best practice standard known as ISO 20000. ISO 20000 is a globally recognized standard and code of practice for IT service management. While ITIL is a best-practice framework, ISO 20000 provides a structured set of requirements for an organization to establish, implement, and improve its IT service management system. ITIL certifications validate an individual's proficiency in the ITIL framework, which aligns with the principles and practices outlined in ISO 20000. When organizations decide to adopt best practices in support of their business objectives, they can develop a strategy based on ISO 20000 and utilize the ITIL framework as a practical implementation guide. By adhering to the principles of ISO 20000 and leveraging ITIL practices, organizations can work towards achieving ISO 20000 certification, showcasing their commitment to delivering high-quality IT services that meet international standards.

Who issues ITIL certifications?

ITIL certifications are issued by AXELOS, the official governing body responsible for managing the ITIL framework. AXELOS oversees the development, maintenance, and updates of ITIL practices, ensuring they align with the latest industry trends and best practices. They offer certifications at different levels, enabling professionals to progress in their IT service management careers and demonstrate their proficiency in ITIL 4 principles and practices.

Should you get ITIL certified?

Should you get an ITIL certification? The value of an ITIL certification is twofold, benefiting both individuals and organizations.

The meaning of ITIL certification to the individual

For professionals, obtaining this certification means gaining a competitive edge in the job market. It validates your skills in IT service management, making you an attractive prospect for employers looking to enhance the efficiency and reliability of their IT services. As a certified professional, you can provide your organization with a clear vision and a structured approach to minimize risks, enhance productivity, and ensure that IT aligns with the business's needs.
ITIL certification, in its essence, is a testament to a professional's commitment to enhancing their expertise and staying relevant in an ever-evolving field. It proves a comprehensive understanding of the standardized process-oriented approach to effective IT service management. An ITIL certification on your professional profile indicates a deep understanding of the ITIL framework, demonstrating your dedication to the development of your ITSM skills.
Lastly, obtaining an ITIL certification can significantly boost your IT career, enhancing your prospects, and paving the way for exciting opportunities. Whether you are an IT professional seeking to validate your skills or an organization looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your IT services, the ITIL certification provides the tools and best practices necessary to achieve these goals.
As noted, earning an ITIL certification is highly beneficial for professionals seeking to excel in IT service management. However, considering the ITIL 4 framework, it is important to assess which certifications are currently available and relevant. The certification paths now revolve around becoming an ITIL Managing Professional (MP) or an ITIL Strategic Leader (SL) on the journey towards achieving the prestigious ITIL Master designation. These certifications provide individuals with the knowledge, skills, and recognition necessary to excel in IT service management roles, contribute to organizational success, and drive digital transformation initiatives.

ITIL certification meaning for the organization

For organizations, having ITIL-certified employees translates into improved IT services that align more effectively with their business objectives. The ITIL framework allows organizations to establish a service lifecycle that includes strategy, design, transition, operation, and improvement, leading to improved customer satisfaction, enhanced competitiveness, and increased productivity.
It is worth mentioning that the ITIL framework is not static. It has evolved over time to incorporate emerging trends and best practices in ITSM. Therefore, ITIL certification also implies staying up-to-date with these changes, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning in the IT profession, to the ITIL service desk, and to an organization as a whole.

Benefits of ITIL certifications

ITIL certifications provide numerous benefits for individuals and organizations. By obtaining an ITIL certification, you can:
  1. Enhance career prospects: ITIL certifications are highly regarded in the IT industry and demonstrate your expertise in IT service management based on ITIL 4 principles. They open doors to a wide range of job opportunities and improve your chances of career advancement.
  2. Enhanced credibility and recognition in the industry: ITIL certifications are internationally recognized and respected. They validate your expertise and showcase your commitment to following industry best practices. Having an ITIL certification adds credibility to your professional profile and can pave the way to new opportunities.
  3. Stay relevant with ITIL 4: ITIL 4 is the current version of the framework, focusing on a holistic approach to IT service management. ITIL certifications ensure you stay updated with the latest ITIL practices and remain knowledgeable about the ITIL 4 framework.
  4. Develop comprehensive IT service management skills: ITIL certifications provide a structured approach to IT service management and equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to align IT services with business objectives, improve service delivery, and optimize processes.
  5. Contribute to organizational success: ITIL certifications enable you to drive organizational growth and success by implementing ITIL 4 practices. You can help organizations enhance customer satisfaction, increase productivity, and gain a competitive advantage by aligning IT services with business needs.

Different levels of ITIL certifications

ITIL certifications follow a pathway that leads to the ultimate goal of becoming an ITIL Master. The current path for ITIL certifications under ITIL 4 includes:
  1. ITIL Foundation: The ITIL Foundation certification serves as the entry-level qualification for ITIL 4. It provides a fundamental understanding of the key concepts and principles of ITIL 4 and lays the groundwork for advanced ITIL certifications.
  2. ITIL Managing Professional (MP): The ITIL Managing Professional certification is the next step after the ITIL Foundation. It focuses on practical application and implementation of ITIL 4 practices across the service value chain. It covers areas such as creating, delivering, and supporting IT-enabled services.
  3. ITIL Strategic Leader (SL): The ITIL Strategic Leader certification complements the ITIL Managing Professional certification. It focuses on how ITIL 4 strategies can be used to drive business success, shape organizational culture, and lead digital transformation initiatives.
  4. ITIL Master: The ITIL Master certification is the ultimate achievement in ITIL 4. It validates your ability to apply ITIL principles and practices in complex, real-world scenarios. Becoming an ITIL Master requires a deep understanding of the ITIL 4 framework and the capability to integrate and adapt ITIL practices to diverse situations.
The path to becoming an ITIL Master involves choosing between the ITIL Managing Professional (MP) or ITIL Strategic Leader (SL) designation and completing the respective certifications. The ITIL Master certification demonstrates your comprehensive knowledge and expertise in ITIL 4 and showcases your ability to lead and drive IT service management initiatives.
ITIL Certification Scheme

Achieving the Goal of ITIL Master

Becoming an ITIL Master is the ultimate goal for ITIL professionals seeking to showcase their mastery of ITIL 4 principles and practices. To achieve this goal, you need to follow one of the two main paths:
  1. Path 1: ITIL Managing Professional (MP) Path: This path involves earning the ITIL Foundation certification, followed by the ITIL Managing Professional modules: Create, Deliver, and Support (CDS); Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV); High-Velocity IT (HVIT); and Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI). After completing these modules, you can proceed to the ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI) module.
  2. Path 2: ITIL Strategic Leader (SL) Path: This path involves earning the ITIL Foundation certification, followed by the ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI) module. After completing DPI, you can proceed to the ITIL Leader: Digital and IT Strategy (DITS) module.
Finally, you need to apply your ITIL knowledge and experience to complete the ITIL Master certification assessment.
Both paths require a combination of training, practical experience, and successful completion of the designated modules and assessments. Achieving the ITIL Master certification demonstrates your exceptional understanding of ITIL 4 concepts and the ability to apply them effectively.

ITIL certification training and preparation

To prepare for ITIL certifications, there are various training options and resources available:
  1. Self-Study: Self-study is an option for individuals who prefer to learn at their own pace. You can access ITIL study guides, books, and online resources that cover the required syllabus. Make sure to choose reputable sources and study materials that align with the specific ITIL certification you are pursuing.
  2. Instructor-Led Courses: Many training providers offer instructor-led ITIL courses. These courses are led by experienced instructors who guide you through the ITIL concepts, provide real-world examples, and help you understand the practical application of ITIL practices. Instructor-led courses often include interactive discussions, case studies, and hands-on exercises.
  3. Online Resources: Numerous online platforms provide ITIL training materials, practice exams, and study guides. These resources can be accessed at any time, allowing you to learn at your own convenience. Online forums and discussion groups can also be valuable for connecting with other ITIL certification aspirants, sharing knowledge, and seeking clarification on challenging topics.
  4. Mock Exams and Practice Tests: Taking mock exams and practice tests is an effective way to assess your knowledge and readiness for the ITIL certification exams. Many training providers and online platforms offer sample questions and practice exams that simulate the actual exam environment. Engaging in mock exams helps you identify areas where you need to focus your study efforts and build confidence for the real exam.
When preparing for ITIL certifications, it's crucial to create a study plan, allocate dedicated study time, and revise regularly. Understanding the exam format, reviewing key concepts, and practicing with sample questions are essential steps for success.

ITIL certification renewal and maintenance

ITIL certifications typically require renewal to ensure professionals stay updated with the latest ITIL practices and frameworks. Here are some aspects to consider regarding ITIL certification renewal and maintenance:
  1. Renewal Requirements: ITIL certifications have specific renewal requirements that professionals must fulfill within a designated timeframe. These requirements may include earning a certain number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits, completing refresher courses, or passing renewal exams. It is important to familiarize yourself with the renewal criteria for your specific ITIL certification level.
  2. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities and Credits: CPD activities help you earn credits to maintain your ITIL certification. These activities can include attending ITIL-related conferences, webinars, workshops, or participating in relevant industry events. Additionally, publishing articles, presenting at conferences, or contributing to IT service management research can also earn you CPD credits. Keeping track of your CPD activities ensures that you meet the renewal requirements.
  3. Importance of Staying Updated: ITIL is a dynamic framework that evolves over time to incorporate emerging trends and best practices in IT service management. Staying updated with the latest ITIL guidance, case studies, and industry developments is crucial for maintaining the relevance and value of your ITIL certification. Engaging in continuous learning through reading ITIL publications, joining professional networks, and participating in ITIL communities can help you stay informed.
By actively pursuing ongoing professional development and renewing your ITIL certification, you demonstrate your commitment to staying current in the field and upholding the high standards set by the ITIL framework.

ITIL certification exam format and assessment

ITIL certification exams have specific formats and assessment criteria that you should be aware of. Here's an overview of what to expect:
  1. Exam Structure: ITIL certification exams generally consist of multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge and understanding of ITIL concepts, principles, and processes. Some exams may also include scenario-based questions that assess your ability to apply ITIL practices in practical situations.
  2. Exam Duration and Passing Criteria: The duration of ITIL certification exams varies depending on the level of certification. Foundation-level exams typically have a shorter duration compared to higher-level exams. To pass the exam, you need to achieve a minimum score, which is determined by the certification body. Acquaint yourself with the passing criteria and allocate sufficient time to answer all the questions within the given timeframe.
  3. Tips for Exam Preparation and Test-Taking Strategies: Effective preparation strategies can help you succeed in ITIL certification exams. Some tips include:
    • Thoroughly review the ITIL syllabus and exam blueprint to understand the topics and concepts that will be covered.
    • Practice with sample questions and mock exams to become accustomed to the exam style and gauge your readiness.
    • Understand the context of the questions and carefully read each question before selecting an answer.
    • Manage your time during the exam by allocating appropriate time for each question. If you encounter difficult questions, it's advisable to mark them for review and proceed with others.
    • Eliminate obviously incorrect answer options to improve your chances of selecting the correct answer.
    • Remain calm and focused during the exam, and avoid rushing through the questions.
By following these exam preparation strategies and employing effective test-taking techniques, you can increase your chances of success in ITIL certification exams.

ITIL certification: where to start

If you are interested in pursuing ITIL certification, the first step is to find a certified Authorized Training Organization (ATO) listed on AXELOS' website. The ATOs are authorized by AXELOS to deliver ITIL training and conduct certification exams. When selecting an ATO, it's important to consider factors such as cost, pass-rate, and certification guarantee to find the one that best matches your requirements.
Begin by researching the available ATOs and their offerings. Look for ATOs that are certified by AXELOS, as this ensures that the training content and delivery meet the required standards. You can find a list of certified ATOs on the AXELOS website, which provides comprehensive information about their training programs.
Consider your budget and compare the costs associated with different ATOs. Keep in mind that the cost may vary based on the training format (in-person or online), study materials provided, and additional support offered by the ATO.
Additionally, it's advisable to assess the ATOs' pass-rates, which reflect the percentage of candidates who successfully complete the ITIL certification exam after completing the training. A higher pass-rate indicates the ATO's effectiveness in preparing candidates for the exam.
Some ATOs may offer a certification guarantee, which means that if you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, they provide additional support or allow you to retake the training or exam without additional charges. This can provide added assurance and support in your journey towards ITIL certification.
By carefully evaluating the certified ATOs based on factors such as cost, pass-rate, and certification guarantee, you can make an informed decision and choose the ATO that best suits your needs and preferences. Taking this step will set you on the right path towards obtaining your ITIL certification.

The value of Information Technology Infrastructure Library certification

ITIL certifications based on the ITIL 4 framework offer professionals the opportunity to enhance their career prospects, stay updated with the latest ITIL practices, and develop comprehensive IT service management skills. The current ITIL certification path includes the ITIL Foundation, ITIL Managing Professional (MP), ITIL Strategic Leader (SL), and ultimately, the ITIL Master certification. By pursuing the ITIL Master certification, professionals can demonstrate their expertise and ability to apply ITIL principles in complex environments, positioning themselves as leaders in IT service management.
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