ITIL training fun and games at itSMFUK conference - and an end to competition?

The IT Skeptic hears on the grapevine that the ITIL training industry may be having a few meetings of its own at the itSMF UK conference next week. And the topics of conversation may bear on the continued competition between Examination Institutes (EIs).

The word is that
(a) "grandfathering" of training organisation(ATO) accreditation will be removed from next year. This means if an ATO wants to deal with more than one EI they have to go through the effort and expense of accrediting with each one, rather than their first accreditation being recognised by other EIs. The result of this would be to discourage ATOs from putting EIs in competition with each other.
(b) an even vaguer hint suggests the UK Cabinet Office and APMG are trying to move to Prince2's model of only one monopoly EI (i.e. APMG).

We hear Cabinet Office will be trying to sell this to the ATOs in London next week. This is not in the interests of the ITIL training consumer. The IT Skeptic will try to get more details as soon as possible - this all rumour at this point. Any EIs or ATOs who can confirm the details: your confidential input would be appreciated.

And look for a few hot collars at the conference!


I'm told I shouldn't listen

I'm told I shouldn't listen to rumour and I must say I'm not hearing a lot of substantiation of this second rumour of moves towards one EI. False alarm... I hope. Keep me posted if that changes folks! competition amongst EIs is a good thing.

"ei" in Dutch means "egg"

What I understood by the answer of the people form the Cabinet Office (being formery OGC, being formerly CCTA) is that under the current contract there will be no changes in the "EI construction". Everything remains as it was (with perhaps some more details about Grand Father and Son ;-) ).

The contract with APMG will however end some day (it has been reconducted once as foreseen) in the near future (don't recall the exact date). At that moment the Cabinat Office will send out a new RFP and see where the new offerings come with. If some candidate would suggest to manage all certifications from one single organisation and that candidate would be chosen, then the situation might change.

@Ian. Thanks for your answer. I already thought so, but wasn't sure.

A good thing was that Helen Sussex mentioned that she has written an article in Servce Talk with suggestion to modify the certification scheme into something that is more adapted to the real development needs of certified people. This article reinforces the "Open Letter to OCG and APMG" that I've posted a long while ago on the skeptics board.

Perhaps we're still fighting windmills, but at least we have reaction for Cabinet Office that the have taken notice of this!!

Honestly, it's all about

Honestly, it's all about money...such a shame..

Grand fathering? Incest I'd call it!

The Offcial Accreditator (aka APMG) first accrediting themselves as an EI (seggregation of roles? No way!) and than kicking the other EI's out?

I hope that's not true. If it would be true we really should all go on strike and no longer sell ITIL exams, but do ISM or USMBOK based certifications (so choose between Jan or Ian )

Any way they could never run the whole world demand on certification. First let them do what has been promised years and years ago: translate all Intermediate exams in the current languages!!!! This wolrk still has not been done. I even wonder whether it has at all begun!!!

Of course England Rules The Waves, but the should realise that on the land behond the waves not everyon masters the English language (well enough to do these exams)

Ears burning again...

Hhmm ears burning...

I'm not sure if you are aware but the USMBOK does have a proper qualification scheme managed by the Service Management Society - the Service Management Qualification Scheme. Its not bound to IT and instead speaks to any service business in any sector, including IT organizations performance managed as service providers. Its robust, based upon help from PMI in its structure, and governed by ANSI's ISO17024 standard.

It makes sense to me, what with online proctoring services, and the administrative overhead of running a worldwide EI network and ATO subnetwork, that APMG and the Cabinet Office consider a consolidation. I suspect only technology stands between that and today's setup now that the contact information has been absorbed, exams synchronized, and the pressures of the flatline economy even more evident.

You need to put yourselves in APMG's shoes to guess the next moves properly. What value do EI's deliver apart from geographic reach, you can't get today with available technology? I'm not sure they are being used properly to solicit and aggregate customer satisfaction in the exams, and suggestions on improvements. They seldom did in the past. So how many channels, touchpoints and student interactions have to go through an EI? Have to I said?

As these lessen and alternate methods evolve, I have to suspect as I have for a while that APMG is forced to go (more) direct. What would be the effect of APMG grandfathering every ATO into its own EI operation - perhaps say for a discounted fee? By pondering this you can better understand why, and when it might be done.... Do students really care? Are they really loyal to an EI or a training company?

As the price of an ITIL Foundation class nears free - yes free - just as Skep always wanted (I'm afraid my online class can only go as low as $75 - put a lot of work into that!), and exams similarly plummet in price, the whole multi-level marketing and sales scheme gets squeezed. It gets 'leaned' out....

Just sayin' its a natural event... can't blame anyone for considering these options and EIS and ATOs should remain vigilant...and perhaps work harder together to make a case for continuance and survival...

Rob The first rumour is


The first rumour is almost certainly true, though I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning. At the moment the grandfathering is more an abuse of one EI's efforts by others. There are many ATOs accredited by multiple EIs for all sorts of reasons - pricing, geography, language, etc - most of whom have been fully accredited and are audited multiply.

Re the second, while APMG may wish for world domination, I doubt they could achieve it, nor would it really be in their or Cabinet Office's interests.

Unfortunately I'm chairing another session at the time of the meeting or I'd be there to watch the fun!

If I'm wrong about domination, I'll buy you a beer in Pukerua Bay in February when I'm out in God's Own World Cup winners country in Feb!

my heart doesn't bleed

In general, in the case of am imbalanced-power relationship such as accreditation, a free market is best defended by looking after the interests of the less powerful parties. Put another way, my heart doesn't bleed for the EIs and I don't feel more inclined to favour a less competitive arrangement for them because they feel hard-done-by.

Since APMG have already achieved world domination in Prince2, your second argument doesn't hold much water either I'm afraid.

I'd welcome that beer, Who-ever-you-are, so long as I'm not in Vegas at the Pink Elephant conference at the time. I wouldn't miss that even for beer.

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