Breaking news: APMG to accredit COBIT5 training industry. Fort COBIT?

In a press release today, ISACA announced

Four new COBIT 5 training courses will be launched over the next five months as the result of a new partnership between ISACA and APMG-International. APMG has been appointed as ISACA’s official training accreditation and qualification partner for COBIT 5, ISACA’s framework for governance and management of enterprise IT. The agreement is in place for a period of three years...
Under the agreement, ISACA and APMG will develop the training courses and exams that will lead to the achievement of individual course certificates and/or the achievement of a COBIT based certification for IT professionals who carry out COBIT 5 process-based assessments. APMG will also assess and accredit trainers and manage the examination process for the courses.

I have been critical of APMG's posture in the ITIL marketplace in the past (though things have settled down of late). This new arrangement between ISACA and APMG will be an interesting study to see (a) how much the ITIL problems stem from the British Government's arrogant approach to ITIL, and (b) how much better ISACA governance of their partners will be than OGC/Cabinet-office.

I had heard that ISACA wanted the course structure to be simpler and less arcane than ITIl certification, and that seems - mercifully - to be the case

The COBIT 5 courses and expected availability dates include:

  • Foundation Level Training and Certificate—November 2012
  • Process Level Training and Certificate—December 2012
  • Implementation Level Training and Certificate—January 2013
  • Assessment Level Training and Certification—January 2013

It sounds like there is a "temporary Foundation" until November:

To meet demand, current COBIT 4.1 licensed trainers and training companies can apply for a syllabus to deliver the COBIT 5 Foundation course until the formal course and accreditation requirements are completed. After that time, license holders will be required to be accredited by APMG to continue Foundation Level training.

I'll wait for the "proper" Foundation.

And I do expect I'll be going beyond Foundation to do some or all of the others. Depending on price, I see a better business case for me to do these than the ITIL intermediate maze.

I discussed with someone very close to this that I can't call it "Castle COBIT": that is too British for a trans-Atlantic alliance like this. How about "Fort COBIT"? The American forts were timber palisades not cold stone, and they operated more as consulates and trading hubs than bastions of the establishment... as long as the gates stayed open and the guns put away.


Establishing Credibility and Trust

I am a a silver (5+ years) member of ISACA but I missed this memo. Anyway, as individuals and as organizations we are more likely to accept change if we trust the knowledge and ability of those recommending and/or implementing them. Trust can be established in many ways, many of which you practice:

- Blogging
- White papers
- Presentations, webinars
- Publishing books
- Consumer reviews
- Peer reviews
- Degrees
- Certifications, awards

This list is very incomplete, and please note that some may confer legitimacy that is unwarranted or undeserved. I have two points:

1. Practitioner certifications are neither more or less legitimate than other forms of trust. More in some ways, less in others.
2. Practitioner certifications may increase the number or organizations who use COBIT5 as a framework for improvement of governance, services, and processes.

Organizations will begin to pay more attention to COBIT5 because individuals will advertise COBIT5 by touting their certifications, and because they will see a more measurable and defined base of practitioners who can demonstrate knowledge at some level.

We should always be skeptical of new frameworks or certifications. Will this lead ISACA down the path of gratuitous advancement of paper certificates in order to increase revenues and drive membership? No doubt ISACA should be and are thinking of these, but maintaining credibility (i.e. restraint) is in ISACA's DNA. Overall I think the certification path is beneficial and long overdue.

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