Thursday, May 22, 2008

ITIL Intermediate and ITIL v3 Exam Dates

Finally some news from APMG about the new naming and timing of programs for ITIL v3.

In summary, the Service Lifecycle, Service Capability and Managing Across the Lifecycle are now collectively the ITIL Intermediate programs. The qualification earned for 22 credits is to stay as the ITIL Expert, but the new Advanced level program will be known as the ITIL Masters.

Confusing - perhaps to start with - but please let's not change it again !!

Now the timing.

Training organizations will again get early access, but for the general public here are some key dates when exams will be available.

October 1, 2008

Service Lifecycle Modules
Service Transition
Service Operation

Service Capability Modules:
Service Offerings & Agreements
Operational Support & Analysis
Release, Control & Validation

January 1, 2009

Service Lifecycle Modules:
Service Strategy
Service Design
Continual Service Improvement
Managing Across the Lifecycle

Service Capability Modules:
Planning, Protection & Optimization

So there you have it. October then January. It would appear that while the wait continues at least there is some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What is taking so long? v3 next level

We are expecting a news release today regarding ITIL v3 and the next levels of certifcation - Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.

The Examination Board need to have a look at their own overall processes as the current levels of communication and action are leaving many major organizations dis-illusioned about the value of the entire certification scheme.

It has been almost 12 months since the publication of ITIL v3 and we are still officially only have ITIL v3 Foundation and two Bridging courses. People are waiting to get on with the career path development and this basic fact seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Let's hope todays news release brings some happy relief to all of us.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Still questions on ITIL v3 certification

I am still getting questions about the ITIL v3 certification scheme. Here is the latest set of questions I got and the associated answers.

1. I would like to find out if the Manager’s is a certificate or the Diploma?
If there is any Diploma in this ITIL course let me know which one.

2. I have also learnt about the ITIL Expert, please elaborate what it is all about.

ITIL Managers, Diploma and Expert are all synonymous with the highest level qualification in ITIL.

The ITIL version 2 top level qualification is (and was always) referred to as “ITIL Managers”.

When ITIL v3 was published there was a lot of planning done by the APM Group regarding the new certification structure. Foundation level still remains as the entry level and pre-requisite for more training, then comes the Service Lifecycle and Service Capability programs, finally the top level examinable qualification (Managing Across the Lifecycle).

The plan was that if you were successful at all the examinable courses and once you had passed sufficient exams, you would automatically qualify for the ITIL DIPLOMA in IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT.

However, after a few months the DIPLOMA name was dropped and it is now referred to as “ITIL EXPERT”.
Remembering there is no exam to be receive the ITIL Expert certification, you have to qualify for it.

3. There was also what is called Practitioner Exam and Manager’s Exams. Does Practitioner’s exam still exist?

The ITIL v2 Managers exams and ITIL v2 Practitioner exams still exist and are likely to until APM Group decide that they are to be withdrawn. At this stage there are no plans to withdraw these exams until at least the end of 2008.

In ITIL v3 the Practitioner exams level is effectively replaced by four Service Capability courses and five Service Lifecycle courses.

4. I have also learnt of the Managers Exam V3 Bridge. In other words, are Managers V3 Exams available or not?

If you are ITIL v2 Managers certified or you have sufficient credit points earned from ITIL v2 Practitioner courses, then you can in fact take the ITIL v2 Managers Bridge course and exam. At the time of writing the exam is only available to Accredited Training Organizations, but it is expected the exams will be publicly available in the next few months.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Managing Across the Lifecycle syllabus

APMG, the official accreditor for all ITIL and Prince2 certifications have released the first draft syllabus for the "capstone" course - Managing Across the Lifecycle.

The course, is looking like it will be a 28 contact hour course, with 50% of the contact hours being devoted to practical exercises and assignments.

All the new ITIL v3 course syllabi & exams are based around a "Blooms Taxonomy" Level. Blooms Taxonomy is a system created to help educators plot a progressive path for education. The levels move from basic knowledge and comprehension (Blooms level 1 & 2) through application and analysis (Blooms 3 & 4) and on to synthesis and evaluation (Levels 5 & 6).

The Managing across the Lifecycle will most likely be pitched at Blooms Level 5 (although the current syllabus indicates Level 4).

The exam for the Managing Across the Lifecycle is set to follow the Service Lifecycle and Service Capability programs with a "gradient style scoring system" for complex multiple choice questions. The exam looks set to have a duration of 90 minutes and will most likely have 20 questions.

Like all exams the final test is supervised and will be closed book. The prerequiste for the Managing Across the Lifecycle course will be a ITIL v3 Foundation level certificate (either straight v3 or the v2 + the v2 to v3 upgrade) and 15 credit points earned at the Service Lifecycle/Service Capability layer.

It is too early to discuss the actual contents of the syllabus as it is subject to change. Current opinion is that the program will be a fitting test of competency for those that want to fully appreciate the intricacies of ITIL v3 including risk management, managing strategic change and the associated organizational challenges.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

ITIL Accredited Consultancy Organization (ACO)

On a recent browse of Service Management web sites I found one making some misleading claims.

The company is a Prince2 Accredited Training Organization, Prince2 Accredited Training Organization AND an ITIL Accredited Training Organization.

Then you read the ITIL Consultancy summary on their web site. It is here the company makes a claim about being an Accredited Consultancy Organization. It is also where they say that they have been an Accredited Training Organization since 1997.

Of course the thing that they don't say is that they are an ACO in Prince2, not ITIL and the ITIL ATO program from APMG has only been around since 2006.

Now the clever writer has used wording in an attempt to dupe the public and their response to any complaint would be obvious, but let me point out the following:

At the time of writing there is no recognized Accredited Consultancy program for ITIL. There will be, it is coming - but it is not there yet. Whether the value of an ACO program will be adopted with any level of enthusiasm remains to be seen, but I can see that it is another great revenue raiser for the folks that control the program.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

What Chance Passing the Exam....?

IT professionals look to develop skills in specific areas that they believe will increase their value in the mareketplace or to their own organization.

One element of skills development includes learning that ultimately results in a test and a certificate. There are many other positive elements that come from any learning program - but testing and certification is - for many - one of the more important issues.

In the 'world' of IT Service Management tests and certification are available for ITIL, Service Quality Management and other globally accepted frameworks/methodologies.

For the Service Quality Management program there are two certification programs (SQMF - Foundation and SQMA - Advanced). The SQMF program ends in a multiple choice exam.

The ITIL certification program has, for many years, had the Managers exam as its pinnacle. Under ITIL version 3 this changes to the Diploma in IT Service Management.

The v2 Managers exams have traditionally been based around a case study and written exams. The passing rate for these exams in countries where English is not the business language is generally lower thn 30%. In countries where English is a dominant language the passing rate is typically over 50%.

This difference is too large given the fact that ITIL is ITIL no matter where you go in the world.

Exams from participants in these countries are generally sent to markers that have a strong grasp of English. Is it really a case that IT professionals do not have the skills or is it a case that the delicate use of the English language counts against them?

Perhaps the use of multiple choice exams at all levels of ITIL certification is the answer; however perhaps there needs to be an element of instructor assessment that counts towards the actual exam result - rather than leaving it entirely to a written assessment.

What chance passing the exam....?

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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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Saturday, May 19, 2007

ITIL v3 Early starters

The printers are running hot, with the anticipated release of ITIL v3.

ITIL is a trademark protected concept belonging to the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the United Kingdom.

Training vendors are busy preparing their new ITIL education programs. Bridging programs are expected to be the big ticket item in the first several months. The accredited training companies already have pre-release material that they are using to prepare the programs.

This is how you will be able to tell the "grey market" trainers from the others. Only accredited companies have the material; so if you're training says "no material yet - so we can't offer the course" - you know that they are not accredited by one of the three Examiniation Insitutes (APMG, Exin or ISEB).

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