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Explaining ITIL Certifications

Explaining ITIL Certifications

ITIL is a framework for IT service management. Fundamentally ITIL is a series of five books about how to select, plan, implement, maintain, and improve IT services.

A complicated framework, and a while ago people figured out they could make a lot of money by certifying people. To these ends there are three basic types of ITIL certificates:

Foundations certificate

Intermediate certificates (of which there are many)

Expert certificate

Certificates are awarded after you pass exams.

If someone says “ITIL certified” they typically mean “Foundation certified.” Only individuals can be certified. ISO 20000 exists to certify organizations in IT Service Management.

If someone is Expert certified, they have earned 22 credits’ worth of certifications according to the Credit Profiler. Essentially they have the Foundations certificate and 5 or 6 additional certificates.

Please see below for more information about both the ITIL Foundations exam and how to teach ITIL Foundations within your organization.

ITIL Foundations is a three-day class: roughly two and a half days of lecture with a little discussion, followed by a 40-question multiple-choice exam. Note: this is the only certificate where you are allowed to sit for the exam without attending the class.

It spends roughly two to three hours on each of the five phases of the Service Lifecycle. That breaks down to somewhere between 15 minutes and 45 minutes per ITIL process. So, you cover the entirety of Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM), which is quite a complex topic, and then move on to Release Management etc.

Unfortunately, Foundations also often taught “to the test,” meaning you’ll skip over processes and content in the books but not on the class syllabus.

This class is overwhelming for most people. Few people leave with any understanding of how to implement ITIL concepts–that’s covered more in the intermediate classes.

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