ITIL is an abbreviation of the phrase “Information Technology Infrastructure Library”. It covers a set of practices and standards for IT service management, and gives guidance on best practices for using IT within businesses. ITIL started as a UK Government sponsored project and has since spread into business worldwide as it is seen as providing exceptional improvements in the use of IT.
The Library is divided into logical segments that each concentrate on a specific IT function. You can gain certification at each level. A prerequisite for Intermediate Level onwards is to have passed the Foundation certificate.
1) ITIL Foundation – The Foundation Level is the entry level ITIL qualification. It introduces candidates to the key terminology and concepts used in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, including links between stages, the processes used and how they fit into Service Management practices.
2) ITIL Intermediate Level – Service Lifecycle – These modules may be of interest to people seeking a management or team leader role in your company. They provide a broad management focus of ITIL practice areas and work across teams or manage multiple capability areas. Each of these is a separate qualification.
- Service Strategy
- Service Design
- Service Transition
- Service Operation
- Continual Service Improvement
3) ITIL Intermediate Level – Service Capability – These modules focus more on the day-to-day execution of ITIL practices, and help you gain intense, specialized, process-level knowledge in each ITIL process. Each of these is a separate qualification.
- Service Offerings and Agreements
- Release, Control and Validation
- Operational Support and Analysis
- Planning, Protection and Optimization
4) ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) – This qualification gives candidates competencies in the following: key concepts of the service lifecycle; communication and stakeholder management; integrating service management processes across the service lifecycle; managing services across the service lifecycle; governance and organization; measurement; and implementing and improving service management capability. The aim is to advance from just knowledge of ITIL to the application of ITIL in business. Gaining the ITIL MALC qualification is a prerequisite for moving higher up the ITIL certification ladder.
5) ITIL Expert Level – ITIL Expert level of qualification is for people interested in demonstrating a vast amount of knowledge across the whole ITIL Scheme. In order to receive this qualification, you have to take the Foundation and a number of the Intermediate qualifications (each is worth a specific number of credits, and you have to gain at least 17 credits from these) and also has to pass the ITIL MALC qualification. Once you have successfully completed enough ITIL modules and have earned sufficient credits, you will be awarded the ITIL Expert certificate.
6) ITIL Master Qualification – There are no set exams to become an ITIL Master. To be eligible for the qualification, candidates have to meet these criteria:
- Have reached the ITIL Expert Level.
- Have worked in IT service management for at least five years in leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory levels.
An ITIL Master candidate must ensure they have had extensive practical ‘hands-on’ ITIL experience to enable them to demonstrate considerable involvement in implementation of ITIL, in order to meet the requirements for the qualification. More on this can be found on the official ITIL website.
Taking an exam
ITIL examinations are normally a series of multiple-choice questions that have to be answered in a set time period. Exams are held in a closed-book environment. Candidates normally learn the results of the test a few days after the exam has been taken. Usually, you sit an exam at the end of a formal training course in the ITIL module you wish to qualify for. This is a great aid in exam preparation as your mind is filled with the information you need to pass the exam.