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ITIL Certification Scheme and Associated Exams

Vendor: ITIL

Certification overview

The ITIL qualification scheme is a IT qualification that validates knowledge and skills in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL foundation sets best practices in information technology, acknowledging that businesses, public entities and other organizations are becoming more and more reliant on IT. There are four levels within the ITIL qualification scheme:

  • ITIL Foundation level
  • ITIL Intermediate level
  • ITIL Expert level
  • ITIL Master level

The Foundation level is the first stage in the accreditation program. A student should master the fundamentals of ITIL for him/her to pass for this stage. Foundational knowledge such as general concepts and problem diagnosis are covered in the training for this level.

The ITIL Intermediate certification is a modular series that consists of two streams. Each of both has its set of qualifications. The first of these streams is the Service Lifecycle. It focuses on the lifecycle service, the procedure within the service, and managing the system to deliver quality Service Management practices. The second stream in ITIL v3 Intermediate is the Service Capability. This is for candidates who want to validate a deep knowledge of processes of ITIL. Certification candidates must be trained on ITIL technology activities as well as the execution of in the Service Lifecycle.

There are various ITIL intermediate training courses available to prepare a candidate for the ITIL intermediate exam. An aspiring professional may choose to enrol in ITIL intermediate courses offered by accredited platforms. There are other websites offering study materials those preparing for the ITIL v3 intermediate certification.

The Expert Certificate is given to candidates who have attained a well-rounded range of ITIL qualifications and have attained proficient knowledge and skills in ITIL Best Practices. This is attained through rigorous training after achieving the ITIL intermediate certification. Though there is no qualifying test in this level, candidates must achieve a series of qualifications in a selection of balanced subjects on ITIL Service Management Practice areas.

To achieve the accreditation, 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 demonstrates the capability of the candidate to apply ITIL theories and techniques in the workplace. To achieve this certification, the candidate must be able to justify how he/she and applied ITIL knowledge and management techniques, to business goals in assignments.

ITIL guidance is becoming more popular 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. ITIL is also asligned 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 understanding ITIL principles are recommended to take the ITIL certifications. Candidates who aim to demonstrate deep skills and knowledge in the ITIL guidance must take the ladderized program and achieve Foundation level, Intermediate level, Expert level and Master level of the ITIL qualification scheme.


There is no denying that ITIL certifications are well-respected in the IT industry. A growing number of enterprises depend on information technology for operations, and employers favor ITIL certified professionals to join their organizations so that they can better improve their technological system and become more efficient in their business processes.

Associated exams

There are no required exams for candidates for ITIL Foundation qualification which is the first of the four levels of certification. However, a candidate must pass of preceding levels of the qualification scheme before being qualified to take the succeeding exams.


For candidates for ITIL Foundation certification, going through a formal ITIL training is recommended, but not required. There are Accredited Training Organizations offering courses to prepare a candidate for ITIL certification. All ITIL syllabi are updated by The Official ITIL Accreditor.

All ITIL qualifications have credit value equivalents. These credit values serve as prerequisites for succeeding certifications in the qualification scheme. Therefore, a professional can not move on to the ITIL Intermediate, ITIL Expert, and ITIL Master if he/she did not pass the ITIL Foundation qualification.

Examination overview

Examinations for ITIL Foundation are multiple choice and tests various levels of an IT professional's skills and knowledge in ITIL. A candidate is expected to demonstrate skills in service management, service lifecycle, key principles and models, and fundamental concepts. Students should also have knowledge on selected processes, roles and functions. Bloom's level 1 and 2 Taxonomy is used in the examination for ITIL Foundation certification. Candidates must be prove their understanding of basic ITIL ideas and demonstrate comprehension of practices.

For ITIL intermediate certification, the exam consists of 8 complex multiple-choice, scenario-based questions. The test could be answered on paper or online through an accredited testing organization. ITIL intermediate certification training services are available to prepare students for ITIL intermediate certification exams.

For the ITIL expert certification, it is required that candidates attain 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.

Validity of certification

ITIL certifications have no expiration date; once qualified, an IT professional does not need to recertify again in order to hold the qualification.

Expert review

Tittel and Follis acknowledge the high regard given to ITIL qualifications in the industry. According to their review, ITIL qualified professionals are valued by companies and other entities that implements ITIL system. Aside from big organizations, a lot of small and medium scale businesses are also finding value in employing ITIL qualified professionals.

Ed Tittel and Earl Follis

Writers, Tom's IT Pro, NYC, USA