Friday, September 26, 2008

The New ITIL v3 Framework Qualification Scheme

ITIL v2, based on 10 processes and 1 function was a daunting enough framework to get fully qualified in. The qualification scheme was fairly straight forward with 2 levels; first you did your Foundation course to learn the basic concepts of the ITIL framework; then you had a choice of qualifying either as an IT Service Manager through the completion and passing of the Service Support and Service Delivery courses; or as an ITIL Practitioner Completing one or several Clustered Practitioners courses namely Agree and Define (IPAD), Release and Control (IPRC), Support and Restore (IPSR), Plan and Improve (IPPI).

However the new v3 framework has stretched its legs giving it a little more breathing space if you will. It has taken on broader concepts, spread out responsibility, and expanded on the vague areas of the v2 framework bringing the processes to a staggering 26, and the functions to a stronger 4. It then places these processes into a Lifecycle which consists of Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Support, and Continual Service Improvement.

The v3 qualification scheme certainly doesn’t get easier. There are now 5 levels to the new v3 framework and to progress to each level you require a certain amount of points. How do you achieve these points? You do a number of courses to progress to the next level of course.

So how does it all work? Let’s break it down and look a little closer.

Current Qualification Scheme for v3
The 5 levels are as follows:

Level 1: v3 Foundation for Service Management (Being the start)

The very best place to start is at the beginning. The Foundation level focuses on the terminology and comprehension of ITIL as well as the basic concepts of all the processes.

The best part is there are no prerequisites and on passing your Foundation exam you earn your self 2 points.

Level 2: Intermediate Lifecycle Stream

There are two intermediate streams. We discuss the other stream next. The Intermediate Lifecycle Stream focuses on the 5 ITIL Lifecycle phases focuses on the implementation of processes and related activities.

You will require 2 points if you wish to complete any of these courses. You can get these 2 points from your Foundation course.

There are 5 courses to choose from and after the successful completion of one of the courses, you will receive 3 points. If you complete all of the courses you will receive 15 points in total.
Level 2: Intermediate Capability Stream.

The Capability courses are based on the v2 Clustered Practitioners but broader in scope to support the v3 framework. Its focus is on the implementation of processes and their management in clustered groups. There are 4 Capability courses namely Operation Support and Analysis (OS&A), Service Offerings and Agreements (SO&A), Release Control and Validation (RC&V), Planning, Protection and Optimization (PP&O).

You will require 2 points if you wish to complete any of these courses. You can get these 2 points from your Foundation course.

There are 4 courses to choose from and after the successful completion of one of the courses , you will receive 4 points. If you complete all of the courses you will receive 16 points.

Level 3: Managing Across the Lifecycle

The capstone course called Managing Across the Lifecycle. This course focuses on the complete lifecycle and how it approaches Service Management. Knowledge gained from the Foundation and Intermediate streams are used here to test an individuals thorough understanding of the lifecycle.

You will require 15 points if you wish to complete this course. You can get these points from your Intermediate streams. You can do mix courses from both your Lifecycle and your Capability Intermediate stream to acquire these 15 points.

There is 1 course here and after the successful completion of this course you will receive 5 points.

Level 4: ITIL Expert

After the successful completion of the Managing Across the Lifecycle course, you will be awarded the ITIL Expert certification. This qualification means you are capable of implementing and managing processes and functions, as well as being competent in the use of ITIL terminology and a thorough understanding of ITIL comprehension.

You will require 22 points to achieve this qualification. You can acquire these points from your Foundation, Intermediate Streams, and Managing through the Lifecycle course.

Level 5: ITIL Masters

This level of qualification will test an individuals ability to analyse ITIL concepts in new areas.
This level of qualification is still under development

What to do if your v2

You may be asking, If I am v2 qualified how can I upgrade my qualification to v3 ITIL. Do you I need to start from scratch?

Good News!!! No you don’t need to start from scratch. You can continue your studying by just applying a bridge course to wherever you left off. Because v3’s qualification scheme works on a point system, the v2 qualifications have been assigned points as well.

Here is what you can do if you hold the following ITIL v2 qualifications

V2 Foundation course

If you have your certification for ITIL v2 Foundation then you have 1.5 points. Because you require 2 points to enter any of your v3 Intermediate courses you need to get an additional 0.5 points. Where do I get 0.5 points? You can get them by doing your v3 Foundation Bridge course

V1 or V2 ITIL Managers Certificate.

If you have your Service Manage certification then you have already earned yourself 17 points. All you need to do here is successfully complete the v3 Managers Bridge exam worth 5 points and you will then acquire 22 points. This means you will immediately get to Level 4 and be issued your ITIL Expert certification.

ITIL v2 Practitioners Certificate

Each v2 Clustered Practitioners courses is worth 3 points. You have 3 choices at this level:

Choice 1: Either you complete all your v2 Clustered Practitioner courses to acquire 12 points; then successfully complete the v3 Managers Bridge for 5 points brining your points to 17. And then successfully complete the Managing Across the Lifecycle course to acquire another 5 points brining you to 22 points which will give you your ITIL Expert certification.

Choice 2: Try and quickly successfully complete your v2 Managers exams both Service Support and Service Delivery. This will get you 17 points. Then complete the v3 Manager Bridge worth 5 points to bring you to 22 points. This means you will immediately get to Level 4 and be issued your ITIL Expert certification.

Choice 3: Do your v3 Foundation bridge and work your way through the v3 Intermediate stream to acquire 17 points (including your foundation points) and then do the Managing Across the Lifecycle to acquire 5 points bringing you to 22 points. This means you will immediately get to Level 4 and be issued your ITIL Expert certification.

Used with permission: Richard de Kock, ITIL Trainer & Consultant

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Monday, December 10, 2007

ITIL v3 Foundation Syllabus to change

APMG have listened and will make changes to the course syllabus that describes the learning requirements for the ITIL v3 Foundation course.

All along they could have been told that heavy emphasis on Service Strategy was not a clever move and it is incredible that the examination panel responsible for the development couldn't see that.

Perhaps it was an ego boost for the exam panel to create a complex syllabus that they understood; but they failed the test of understanding the audience of interest for the course.

The word is that the new syllabus will have far less material on Service Strategy and Continual Service Improvement and more on the core processes. It is anticipated that the new syllabus will be available to ATOs by the end of calendar year 2007.

At least they listened, but let's hope that we don't face a similar situation again.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Latest numbers

There have been two dominant providers of ITIL exams for the last several years. One of these Exin has published some interesting facts and figures, relating to ITIL v2 certification.

Exin claims 420,000 ITIL certified professionals globally. 95% of all those certified are Foundation level (as would expected).

The USA leads the way with over 70,000 certified and Germany also ranks very high.
In terms of ITIL Foundation certified, the following are the top 12 countries.

1. USA
2. Germany
3. The Netherlands
4. Japan
5. Canada
6. Australia
7. India
8. France
9. Great Britain
10. Brazil
11. China
12. South Korea

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ITIL v2 - extended life

Word on the street is that the ITIL v2 exams will be available until beyond the end of 2008.

This news - direct from the horses mouth - gives organizations that opportunity to plan their migration without any uncertainty about availability of qualifications.

However, let's look at this from an organizational perspective. If I have made a decision to adopt ITIL, then I'll look to version 3 and the version 3 certification.

If I am going to improve my ITIL initiative, then I will integrate version 3 and look to the new certification.

If I am not going to take any specific actions about ITIL - i.e. just let the work I have done run its natural course - then I am not interested in any ITIL version.

Finally, if I have had enough of ITIL then I will look to Service Quality Management and the ISO 20000 standard and look at the the Exin SQMF/SQMA certification track.

What do you see as the safest option?

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Was Gartner right or wrong?

An article published in November 2006 quoted Simon Mingay, research vice president for IT management strategies at Gartner "...appointment of APM Group has created a division in the IT service management community..." and "will effectively create a parallel qualification scheme in competition with the official ITIL-branded APM Group scheme and marks the end of effective negotiations between APMG and EXIN/BCS-ISEB".

Of course, at the time Simon could not have foreseen that in January 2007 the three organizations would resolve their differences; seeing Exin and BCS/ISEB offering the APMG ITIL v3 exams to the training partners.

So in that regard Simon was incorrect; but he did go on to say "...important for IT organisations to be aware that they will be faced with two competing training schemes..".

What is being referred to here is the genuine ITIL certification program (owned and operated by APM Group) and a spin off certification scheme loosely term IT Service Management (owned and operated by Exin and BCS/ISEB).

As mentioned Exin and BCS/ISEB now do offer the genuine APMG ITIL exams, but they also have their own IT Service Management programs. What the long term future is for certification programs that don't use the term ITIL remains to be seen. However, as the global community starts to come to understand who and what is involved I predict that ITIL certification will dominate.

To think otherwise is to assume that the market has a loyalty to the past, rather than a desire for the future.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

EXIN - Knocks one out of the park!

Exin have released full details of their Service Quality Management track of programs. Terms such as SQMF, ITSMA, SQMA and how the program hangs together can now be explained.

The track is based predominantly around ISO 20000, but also recognizes the close connections to the ITIL framework.

First the program becomes a lot clearer when you remember that Exin - long time IT Service Management certification gurus have developed new programs that extend upon the long respected ITIL Framework. They have developed two programs in that area. IT Service Managment Foundation (ITSMF) and IT Service Management Advanced (ITSMA). The Exin programs focus beyond the theory of ITIL, by encouraging training vendors to consider implementation and application issues.

Then came ISO 20000 and EXIN recognized the logical flow on for ITIL into this international standard and developed two new programs.

Service Quality Management Foundation (SQMF), based on ISO 20000, but includes Terms and Vocabulary from ISO 9000. This program looks at the theory of ISO 20000 and until recently required a participant to have passed the IT Service Management Foudnation (ITSMF) exam - BUT in July 2007 this pre-requisite was removed.

Most recently Exin have launched the Service Quality Management Advanced (SQMA) program. This program does in fact have TWO pre-requisites. The Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management) AND the Service Quality Management Foundation (SQMF).

The syllabus of SQMA is designed to teach the "HOW" regarding the practical application of Quality Management, especially related to ISO/IEC 20000, and also on certification and auditing based upon ISO/IEC 20000. So while SQMF focuses on theory - which has to be learnt - the focus of the Advanced Certificate will be on managing, organizing, optimizing and evaluating quality systems based upon ISO/IEC 20000.

All in all the program is now a solid alternative for those people looking to lift themeselves beyond the ITIL theory and into a world of standards based Quality Management.


If you are currently ITIL Foundation certified (v2 or v3) learn the SQMF material and pass that exam. Then you can automatically qualify to take the SQMA course (as your ITIL Foundation certificate will be recognized as equivalent to the IT Service Management Foundation certificate.

If we look first at the Service Quality Management Advanced (SQMA) program then a lot of other programs can be explained.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Latest from Exin...

Things are really heating up in the battle of Examination Institutes (EIs). Exin have outlined their plans for the future and while ITIL and the relationship with APMG features, it is certainly not dominant.

Exin have for many years offered a variety of certification programs, but the latest news from them can be seen as a focussed effort to break away from relying too heavily on ITIL.

First bit of news. In the past if you wanted to take the Exin Service Quality Management Foundation (SQMF) exam, (which is Exins answer to the itSMF ISO20000 program) - you first had to pass the ITIL Foundation exam.

That requirement is now gone. So now anyone can take the globally recognized ISO 20000 Foundation certification exam - very good news and well done to Exin. This move demonstrates that understanding ISO 20000 does not require ITIL theory knowledge, but Exin still state the ITIL understanding will help or the participant should have some good working experience in IT; but it is no longer a pre-requisite for taking the exam.

Secondly in the ISO 20000 field, Exin have published the long awaited second level - Service Quality Management Advanced (SQMA) syllabus and certification.

Pilots for this program were held in the Netherlands (makes sense as this is Exin's Head Office location) and Australia (also makes sense as the Aussies are big adopters of new initiatives and proud to lead the way !!).

Exin state that the SQMA program will involve theory elements, but also practical work assignments. However, it yet another attempt to completely confuse the market the way that Exin are describing their program leaves me trying to work out how to position it all.

Yes, there are explanations, but the fact sheet on the Exin Service Quality Management program ISO/IEC 20000 is a combination of both ITIL and ISO 20000 certification.

Here is an example of where the confusion comes from.

Exin "The ISO/IEC 20000 SQM Foundation program is targeted at a ....."

Exin "Exin's SQM program consists of two Foundation exams: Foundation in IT Service Management (based on ITIL) (ITILF) and SQM Foundation (SQMF)."

Deeper reading and analysis uncovers the strategy.

Exin are looking to create a certification for ISO 20000 consultants, based on ITIL and ISO 20000 certification. This could be seen as competition to the APM Groups Diploma in IT Service Management, as the complete Exin track is 4 courses...

1. ITIL Foundation (ITILF)
2. ISO 20000 Foundation (SQMF)
3. ITIL Managers
4. ISO 20000 Advanced (SQMA)

Either way Exin are putting up alternatives and this can only be a good thing for the marketplace.

So, in summary - you can now take an ISO 20000 Foundation certificate without having to first take the ITIL Foundation course and exam.

Next, Exin have announced end dates on all their single practitioner exams.

In effect, all the single practitioner Exin courses are now defunct. So for those vendors that invested heavily in the development of material and the accreditation; well perhaps that work can be used as part of developing the Clustered courses that Exin bought in several years ago.

It would appear that all the single practitioner exams will disappear effective immediate EXCEPT Serice Level Management and Security Management (both expire 1 January 2008).

Next on the "Exin news" is the statement that Exin will offer the APMG ITIL v3 Foundation exam. We knew this was going to happen, but interestinly, and in an even more apparent move to stamp their mark on the ITIL certification world, the certificate issued will be an APMG certificate.

Now perhaps this is by agreement between Exin and APMG or perhaps APMG have dictated that all ITIL Foundation certificates will carry the APMG stamp - but the days of Exin certifications for ITIL Foundation are at an end. I wonder if this is the case for ISEB as well?

Exin take great pains to point out that passing the APMG exam - whereever it is taken is recognized and acts as a starting point for the "broader IT Service Management certification program".

So, the wheels are turning in what was always going to be an interesting few months.

Exin's decision to broaden the availability of the ISO 20000 certification (SQMF) can only be seen as a good thing and APMG have no way to prevent that from happening. However, it would appear that the move by Exin is a clever one in terms of starting to give the marketplace a different path to travel when it comes to certification.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

What is missing from this list.. ?

Interesting page on the APM Group web site regarding Consulting Accreditation.

It is an overview of the Accredited Consultant service that is offered by the
APMG. The registered consultant services offered...

  • "Project Management" is there (certification scheme managed by APMG)
  • "Management of risk" is there (certification scheme managed by APMG)
  • ??? is not there (certification scheme managed by APMG)

Doesn't take a genius to see the "hint" of a pattern emerging here. I don't think it will be too long, before we hear about "ITIL Registered Consultants".

Judging by the numbers of Project Management Registered Consultants, APMG will have to come up with a compelling reason to follow that track.

At the time of writing only 12 names exist on the Registered Consultants list - it would be interesting for those of us in the ITSM world to hear from any of those 12 about the program they have to follow and the benefits (and why are the numbers so low... is the scheme new?).

I am not anti-registration, but it would seem to be a tough sell in a market as mature as IT Service Management. I am putting myself in the shoes of a potential client and wondering what beneifts I get if I employ a "registered consultant" instead of a "damm good one". Will there be some guarantee of quality, will there be a "no cut costs, no pay for services policy" - somehow I doubt it.

Document your thoughts in reply as this is going to be an interesting one to watch.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Comprehensive ITIL Education and Certification update

There is a lot of talk and speculation regarding ITIL education and certification in the marketplace.

So I thought that perhaps I should throw in my views and opinions which are based on:

1. Face-to-face discussions with the APM Group
2. Attendance at the official launch of ITIL v3 (London 5th June 2007)
3. A whole host of e-mails and phone calls

I am making the information public as we have all been given a taste of what the new structure may look like. This paper gives you the first real evidence of an education track for IT Service Management.

So, have a read, but BEWARE.. everything comes with a health warning. Some elements may change, but I would suggest that the primary skeleton will remain.

Download this free ITIL paper on Education and certification.

Make comments, ask questions, I'll respond and answer all.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

ATOs and EIs

As the official accreditor the APM Group must have a big say in who gets to be appointed as an Examination Institute (EI).

It is an interesting fact that the APM Group has two distinctive roles..

1. As the "official accreditor" - where it gets to lay down rules and guidelines for EIs and manage the examination question bank


2. as an Examination Institute - where it works with Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs).

I'm not a gambling man, but I can't see the APMG breaking it's own rules; whereas other EIs may not be so quick to tow the line.

Could this be a good enough reason to back training organizations that have aligned themselves with the APM Group?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The APM Group web site lists the details regarding the new ITIL version 3 certification program. The article explains the option for existing ITIL Managers to take a bridging course and be awarded the Diploma in Service Management.

BUT... the scheme requires 22 points of credit to be awarded the Diploma and with the ITIL v2 Managers certificate worth 15, the ITIL v2 Foundation worth 1.5 and the bridging course worth 5 points... there is 0.5 points missing.

To me it's obvious the ITIL v2 to v3 Foundation upgrade course which is worth 0.5 points is mandatory AND it should be mandatory.

Otherwise we will have a bunch of Diploma qualified Service Managers running around that don't even understand the basic processes, key principles and general concepts of ITIL v3.

Now, we just need the APM Group to make the bold step of proclaiming the Foundation upgrade is mandatory and order will be restored.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Degrees and Doctorates

In a huge shake up for the industry, the APM Group have given the first hints of what is to come with regard to their ITIL certification program. In what can only be described as a bold move the APM Groups appointed Examination panel – chaired by the Chief of all things ITIL – Sharon Taylor – have unveiled their points based ITIL Certification scheme that culminates in the Advanced Service Management Diploma. Below the Advanced Diploma is a “Diploma in Service Management”.

The Advanced Diploma may well be out of the reach of mere mortals; it looks as if holding the Advanced certificate will mean that you either wrote ITIL or you are good enough to be asked to write ITIL or you’ve been a key player for many (many) years. The Advanced Diploma sounds as if it could be a “by invitation only” – perhaps a secret handshake as well.

It is the Diploma in Service Management for most of us. Your existing v2 Qualifications can be used as credits towards the (current thinking) 22 points required to be awarded the Diploma. The Diploma is earned by accumulating enough points.

1.5 points for your existing v2 Foundation, 15 points for your v2 Managers certificate, 3.75 points for an existing Clustered Practitioner and 1 point for a single Practitioner. There will be 0.5 points for passing the v2 to v3 Foundation upgrade exam.

The new v3 Foundation will be worth 2 points and there will be 3 points per exam, per book in the Core of ITIL. The examination panel is pushing the clustered approach for practitioners – with a to be created set of service capability programs.

There will be a “capping” course and Exam in the Service Lifecycle (worth 5 points) that all of us will have to do if we want to get the Diploma (so for those of you with Foundation, Managers and a few clustered practitioners behind you – you will still need to do the 5 day Service lifecycle course).

So, it is big change ahead for Education. We should remember that the new program outlined is under the control of the APM Group. As the “official” accreditor for the OGC they will manage the program once it is endorsed by the Examination Panel (the panel includes Exin, ISEB, APMG, Sharon Taylor and other notables that have been invited). Once approved then the program becomes law for ITIL v3 and it will be interesting to see how Exin and ISEB actually present to the marketplace.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who will want ITIL v2 learning?

The Examination Institutes (APMG, Exin, ISEB) are happy to tell the public that v2 exams will co-exist with the new v3 exams for some time (up to 12 months).

Begs the question - who will want them?

Two schools of thought; but I believe both can be countered with a logical argument....

1. Consultants who need to get some ITIL Qualifications in order to apply for positions. Forget it, go for v3 - with Version 3 knowledge you'll be a shoe-in for any v2 work as well.

2. Organizations that have already invested heavily in v2 certification. Forget it, v2 exams will not be available in the future - bite the bullet and start investing in v3 certification and all those bridging courses that the vendors will offer.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Confusion reigns on certification

The impending upgrade of ITIL (r) v2 to version 3 is going to create a lot of debate and questions regarding the change in content.

However, let's not forget all those that have worked hard to earn ITIL certification in Foundation, Practitioner or Managers level programs.

There is a lot of misinformation about changes to the certification scheme. The one certainty is that there will be change. The Foundation level program is expected to stay roughly the same - pitching a common understanding in the fundamentals of ITIL.

However, the upper levels of certification may head along the Six Sigma path. With classroom components, but an element of "real world" proof of practice required.

Questions are coming in thick and fast about new programs, bridging courses and validity of v2 certification. We really need to see the Examination institutes put out some definitive answers to these questions and concerns rather than the stock standard answer "we are currently reviewing the system and will provide more information".

People want dates, not flimsy excuses.

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