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ITIL Certification Levels

Vendor: ITIL

Certification overview

One of the most prestigious qualifications in the IT field is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certifications. This qualification scheme demonstrates a professional's proficiency in ITIL framework. ITIL accredited Examination Institutes facilitate the qualifying examination for ITIL certification candidates. Four levels comprise the ITIL certification scheme. There are ITIL framework PDF files available online to further understand the ITIL system.

The first of these is the Foundation level. This is the entry level to the qualification scheme of the ITIL framework. A student aspiring to get this certification must know the basics of ITIL in order to qualify for this degree. Fundamental skills such as mastery of general concepts are important in this stage. ITIL qualification levels have credit value equivalents that serve as prerequisites for succeeding certifications. A candidate would not be able to advance to the Intermediate, Expert, and Master levels without first passing the Foundation qualification of ITIL v3 framework.

The second level of framework ITIL certifications is the intermediate stage. Its module consists of two streams with separate set of qualifications. The two streams are: The Service Lifecycle, and The Service Capability. The Service Lifecycle targets the lifecycle service itself, the process of the technological service, and operating the system to give a high standard of Service Management practices. The Service Capability series on the other hand is for those who want to be certified in a wide understanding of roles and procedures. The curriculum is focused on the system activities, and the implementation and utilization of processes in the Service Lifecycle.

The ITIL Expert Certification is for students who have achieved a ITIL framework qualifications and have achieved superb knowledge and skills in ITIL. Though there is no qualifying test in the Expert stage, professionals must achieve a series of qualifications in a selection of balanced subjects on ITIL Service Management Practice areas. The requirement is that professionals should have a minimum of twenty two (22) credits. These credits may be achieved through ITIL qualification or complementary products. Two (2) of the credits should be from the Foundation Certificate which is a mandatory first step, and five (5) should be from the Managing Across the Lifecycle module.

The ITIL Master certification validates a professional's ability to apply ITIL framework principles in the workplace. To achieve this qualification, the professional must be capable of justifying how he/she applied ITIL framework knowledge and management techniques to the business environment.

ITIL framework diagram is gaining more popularity every year and several entities have developed products that support the system called 'ITIL Philosophy'. There is a constant review cycle to keep ITIL up to international standards, its latest edition being publicized in July 2011. The ITIL service management framework is also aligned with the IT Service Management Code of Practice or ISO/IEC 20000.

Who need to do this certification?

IT professionals who need a validation for basic understanding of ITIL principles are recommended to take the ITIL Foundation certification. Candidates who aim to validate a wide arrange of skills in the ITIL framework must take the ladderized program and achieve Foundation level, Intermediate level, Expert level and Master level of the ITIL qualification scheme.


ITIL certifications hold prestige and respect in the IT industry. Most organizations depend on IT for operations and favour ITIL certified professionals to join their groups in order to make the most of the technology they have availed for the business.

Associated exams

Although there is no required exams for ITIL Foundation qualification candidates, candidates must pass preceding levels of the qualification scheme before being qualified to take the succeeding exams.


ITIL Foundation certification candidates are recommended to undergo ITIL framework training from various Accredited Training Organizations. ITIL certifications have credit value equivalents that serve as prerequisites for succeeding certifications in the scheme.

Examination overview

The ITIL Foundation test is multiple choices. A candidate must demonstrate various levels of an IT professional's skills and knowledge in ITIL framework to pass this test. A professional is expected to show knowledge in service management, service lifecycle, key principles and models, and fundamental concepts. Students should also have skills on selected processes, roles and functions.

The next step, which is the ITIL intermediate certification exam, has 8 complex multiple-choice, scenario-based questions. The test could be answered on paper or online through an accredited testing organization.

As for the ITIL expert certification, it is required for candidates to achieve a minimum of twenty two (22) credits from ITIL modules or complementary products. Two (2) of these credits should be from the Foundation Certificate, while five (5) should be from the Managing Across the Lifecycle module.

ITIL Master Qualification candidates determine their own path of application based on ITIL Requirements. To attain this, a candidate must register with an EI, apply completion, submit a proposal, submit Work Package for assessment, and attend interview to support the Work Package assessment.

As more IT professionals decide to take the ITIL foundation certification, more resources about the exams become available online. However, learning does not stop once an IT professional gets his ITIL Foundation qualification. A certification holder may need further guidance before being skilled to implement the service management practices for actual settings.

Validity of certification

ITIL certifications have lifetime validity. ITIL qualied professionals do not need to recertify hold the accreditation.

Expert review

Satar claims that the ITIL certification gave him technical expertise that aided much in his role as a consultant. He believes that basic knowledge in ITIL gave him a wider understanding of the process which he did not get from reading books and from his basic background knowledge.

Ros Satar

Writer, ITSM Review, Landon, UK