ITIL is a Best Practice for IT Service Management used by thousands of organizations around the world. The knowledge and guidance is contained within the ITIL books and the supporting certification and qualification scheme. ITIL provides the foundation for quality IT Service Management through documented, proven processes that cover the entire Service Lifecycle.vITIL advocates that IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. The ITIL philosophy has evolved from the need to manage diverse IT infrastructure and applications present in large geographically dispersed organization.
ITIL Qualification Scheme
Since its launch, ITIL has had various updates and version changes. In 2000 ITIL V2 was launched and ITIL Version 3 was formally released on 5th June 2007. The latest release of ITIL; ITIL 2011 was released in Feb 2012. The ITIL certification scheme provides a modular approach to the ITIL framework, and is comprised of a series of qualifications focused on different aspects of ITIL best practice to various degrees of depth and detail. The tiered structure of the qualification offers candidates flexibility relating to the different disciplines and areas of ITIL and the ability to focus their studies on key areas of interest.
Currently following certification levels within the scheme are commonly available:
- Foundation Level
- Practitioner Level
- Intermediate Level
- Expert Level
For each module successfully completed by a candidate, certain academic credits are given. To be certified the ITIL Expert, a candidate needs to have attained 22 Credit points and completed the capstone module, called MALC. Currently a candidate can only begin from the ITIL 2011 Foundation as the ITIL V3 Foundation and all associated training have been withdrawn. Thus a student would attain 2 credits for successfully completing the Foundation Exam. Progress to the next stage of the Intermediate Level, involves clearing this exam.
The Foundation level is the entry level certification which offers you a general awareness of the key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices.
The Practitioner level is the next stage in the ITIL scheme. It has been developed to provide a step between Foundation and the Intermediate Level and aims to improve the ability of individuals to adopt and adapt ITIL in their organizations.
The ITIL Intermediate Level provide a modular approach to getting into the details of ITIL. There are two approaches to the Intermediate Level, covering the various processes.
Capability Track: These modules are suitable for those who are involved in executing and improving existing ITIL processes in an organization such as the Process Manager, Operational Staff, Process Consultant and IT Practitioner. There are 4 modules in this track, successful completion of which gives a candidate 4 Credit points:
- PPO: Planning, Protection and Optimization
- SOA: Service Offerings and Agreements
- OSA: Operational Support & Analysis
- RCV: Release, Control, and Validation
Lifecycle Track: These modules are suitable for IT managers, process owners, ITSM implementation teams, consultants, stakeholders, and anyone else involved in the ITSM project. There are 5 modules in this track, successful completion of which gives a candidate 3 Credit points for each module.
- SS: Service Strategy
- SD: Service Design
- ST: Service Transition
- SO: Service Operation
- CSI: Continual Service Improvement
A candidate could also do a combination of the Practitioner, lifecycle or capability modules depending on his work profile. After completing the Lifecycle or Capability track or a combination of courses through which a student has earned a minimum of 17 credit points, the candidate goes to the next level or the Expert Track.
This level is intended for those who need to have a view of ITIL in its entirety. The Expert level is achieved by completing the MALC or the “Managing Across the Lifecycle” certificate after having attained a minimum of 17 Credit points, by virtue of doing the ITIL Foundation Certification and Intermediate mdules.