ITIL certifications are growing in demand. This is because the business demands more from IT to achieve business objective. IT needs people who understand the concepts of service management and can ensure that business objectives can be met. To see how popular ITIL has become, do a search on any of your favorite job sites for the phrase 'ITIL' or 'ITIL Expert'.
To achieve ITIL certification, it takes effort, time, and diligence in your studies from the Foundation level all the way to the Expert level. This effort will pay off as you grow your understanding of service management and can begin to apply these concepts in your work environment.
The ITIL certification path includes certifications at the Foundation level, Intermediate level, Expert level, and ITIL Master. Achieving these levels of certification take time and effort. For more information about the specific certification levels, review the article ITIL Certifications.
The ITIL Foundation certification is the starting point for all other certification courses. To achieve ITIL Foundation certification, the only thing that is required is that you pass a multiple choice exam. Most people choose to take an ITIL Foundations course to learn the concepts in the class, but this is not required. You can opt for self-study to prepare for this class. You can even take the exam with no study at all. However, this wouldn't be recommended as it would probably be a waste of the exam fee.
Blatent self-promotion applies here, but the book "Foundations of Service Management" offers invaluable assistance in helping to prepare for the ITIL 2011 (aka v3) Foundation exam.
The ITIL Foundation exam is a 40-question, multiple-choice exam. The exam questions offer four potential answers and only one answer is correct. In order to pass the exam, you must achieve a 65%, or 26 out of 40 questions correct. Each question is graded as either right or wrong. You do not lose points for an incorrect answer; you just are not awarded the point.
If self-study is a route you choose to take, there are several examination providers to choose from. Among the most popular for certification exams is Thompson Prometric and Pearson VUE. Many of these exam centers allow not only an appointment to take an exam, but walk-ins as well. Contact those providers for more information.
EXIN also recently announced their 'EXIN Anywhere - Exams Online' program for the exams they offer. They offer the ITIL Foundation and Intermediate exams online. Note that they are marketing their ITIL exams under the 'ITIL v3' scheme. Officially, ITIL 'v3' no longer exists, but their exams are up-to-date with the latest (2011) syllabus. You can out more on the EXIN website.
Another option is Loyalist Certification Services. The benefit of LCS is that you can take your exam from home or your office at any time, 24 hours a day. LCS also offers both Foundation and Intermediate level exams online. However, with all exam providers, you must complete training from an accredited training organization to be eligible to sit for the Intermediate level exams.
The ITIL Intermediate courses require a class from an accredited training provider. There is no option for self-study here. Many training providers conduct regular classroom training as well as virtual training over the web. There are an abundance of options in your choice of training provider. My personal choice is Global Knowledge (www.GlobalKnowledge.com). This may be because I teach for Global Knowledge, and they are definitely worth a look if you are considering intermediate courses.
The Intermediate exams lead to an Intermediate certification in the subject areas. The specific courses are discussed in the article ITIL Certifications.
To achieve the intermediate certifications in the relevant subject area, you must pass a certification exam and have received training from an accredited training provider. The intermediate exams are all of similar format. The exams consist of an 8-question multiple-choice, multi-part, gradient-scale exam. The time limit on the exam is 90 minutes. In order to pass the exam, you must achieve a 70% which represents 28 points out of a maximum 40 points.
In order to pass the exam, knowledge of ITIL alone is not enough. You must also be able to apply the concepts of ITIL in a specific, realistic situation. Each question on the intermediate exams is supported by a scenario. Each question will refer to a specific scenario and the question will ask a specific question. What adds to the difficulty is that each of the answers may be correct, but it is your job to select the BEST answer that answers the question asked and that applies to the given scenario.
The best answer is worth 5 points. If you select the best answer on each question, that will result in 40 points out of a maximum 40 points. The second-best answer is worth 3 points, the third best answer worth 1 point and the least best answer, commonly referred to as the distractor, is worth 0 points.
Achieving the ITIL Expert certification is not based on a single exam, but obtaining the required credits in the intermediate courses. Similar to a diploma, there are courses that are required as well as electives. The same is true for the ITIL Expert.
The only credits that are required for the ITIL Expert are the ITIL Foundations certification as well as passing the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) course. The remaining credits can be obtained through a combination of other intermediate courses from either intermediate stream, the lifecycle stream, or the capabilities stream. While many people choose to take all of the courses from one stream or the other, it is possible to combine courses from both streams, with some limitations.
Once you have received the appropriate number of credits, passed the ITIL Foundations exam and the MALC exam you are awarded the ITIL Expert certification.
More information can be found on the official ITIL website..
The ITIL Master certification is awarded to those who have shown demonstrable experience in IT service management. The requirements for the ITIL Master is that the candidate has achieved the ITIL Expert level and has worked in IT service management for at least five years in leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory level.
There is no fixed syllabus for the ITIL Master, but the candidate must be able to demonstrate how they selected and individually applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from ITIL to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.
For more information on the ITIL Master certification, refer to the official ITIL website.