ITIL V3 Foundations effectively put on hold until May 2009?

While the IT Skeptic has been off playing with idle fripperies like Second Life, all sorts of exciting things have been happening quietly behind the scenes in Castle ITIL. It is time we caught up to date with developments. In particular, I wouldn't be doing ITIL V3 Foundation training right now.

The main development is that APMG surveyed what they amusingly referred to as the ITSM community in September for views on the Foundation training, and confirmed what the general clamour had being telling them for some time (most vocal on this site was Ian Clayton): it's too much, it's too hard, and Service Strategy is scaring the crap out of them.

As a result, the syllabus has been revised yet again to cut it back and simplify it, training hours have been increased, and new simpler exams are being developed, again. Not a good time to be doing Foundation training. Why not wait until the all-new revised Foundation comes out? It is a reduced syllabus taught over longer hours with an easier exam.

On the other hand, maybe some of you do want to do it now and hurry. If you really back yourself, the current course will consume less hours of your valuable time. The new duration is 18 hours not including the exam. What is the betting some employers will still want it to be two looooong days plus the exam another time?

More importantly, if they dumb the content and exam down too far, people may start to value those who passed the current one. Perhaps astute prospective employers in future will be saying "is that a version 3.0 Foundation or a version 4-or-above Foundation?" Here "version" refers to the version of the syllabus (yes we are now up to 4.0 already) not the version of ITIL. Everything here refers to ITIL V3.
[Spare a thought for the ATOs, some of whom are now writing the fourth version of their courseware.]

The syllabus is out but not the exams so nobody can examine it yet. Rumour is that the exams will not be out until May 2009, so that is why I say better to wait until then.

Where this leaves the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people who have already sat the exam is anyone's guess. If anyone fails the version 3.0 Foundation, I'd be demanding a free re-sit of the version 4.0 exam.

And will the new easier exam still contribute the same number of points towards other ITIL V3 certifications?

Whatever, make sure you get your training provider to specify exactly which syllabus they are teaching and examining - know what you are getting. Of course nobody is telling any of this to the poor mug consumers. There is one official announcement with all useful information buried in PR spin double-speak. Real discussion is all behind closed emails within the ATO community (which APMG persists in refering to as the "ITSM community" yet again in this announcement). Nobody knows to ask these questions ... until now. So for heavens sake spread the word as wide as you can (there's an "email this page" link below).

As for the ITIL V3 Foundation Bridge course and exam, as far as I can tell through the murk of the double-talk, it migth be getting harder????


ITIL V3 Foundation

The purpose of the course and exam has never been clear.

Is it intended to give someone insight into the lifecycle phases, activities and outcomes, is it intended to introduce the formal naming of processes functions etc, or what is it for?

It doesn't actually achieve much. People come off of it with little understanding of how this all fits around normal life.

I have been suggesting a split to at least: a foundation for those wanting to go the full mangement route, and a foundation/baseline for operational staff that relates to their normal lives.

the nail on the head

You have hit the nail square on the head: the Foundation exam could be both in a simpler V2 world but not any more. So now it lurches between the two constituencies with each syllabus revision. I had this exact discussion just a few days ago with one of the biggest providers of training. The target audience of V3 Foundation needs to be clearly defined. I think you describe exactly what the two possible target markets are. IQC please pick one.

V3 Foundation changes

While the exam may be easier in many ways the issues will stay the same. I agree that some of the content needs to be reduced, but the changes need to also scrap the ridiculous questions that don't in any real way assess their understanding of ITIL and ITSM. The purpose, goal, objective, value question that was discussed a while back is but one such example. As a start, stop with the questions that just vary different terminology and bring back questions that actually focus on the intent and spirit in which ITSM and ITIL is applied. Only time will tell...

There was also discussion about the V3 Foundation Bridge being scrapped, but what the proposed alternative was I can't recall.

The intermediate programs aren't excused either, but while the exams are still quite poor at least the content can be covered effectively over the 4/5 day programs.

Thats why I find it too bad

Thats why I find it too bad that APMG is chosen to be in the lead and not EXIN. Their questions on V2 (and the whole machiney of creating them) has improved over the years and is now at a far better level than APMG's. They could have made much better questions.

As an example, EXIN already for years does not use questions like:
Statement 1
Statement 2
a Statement 1 is correct
b Statement 2 is correct
c Both are correct
d non is correct

Although I've been told that especially the americans love these questions, I think they are unfair. It's two questions in one

Not just the Yanks

I quite like those questions as well, as long as (and it is a big IF) the two statements are relatively simple

multi-choice scoring

It is even worse on the ITIL v3 bridging exam, where they use this type of question with permutations of answers that are all correct and you have to choose the best one. On the Managers v3 bridging, if you don't select the best one, you get nothing, and it can all come down to the interpretation of the use of a single word.
In contrast, On the v3 Intermediate exams, the answers have weighted scores so that if you select the second best answer you will get some points. If that approach is good enough for one track of testing, why not use it on all the exams?


Is it just me or is this news taking a long time to filter through to people? I cannot find a reference to it on the itSMF Uk website, and has anyone seen it mentioned on the website of any ATO?

It is published on the

It is published on the restricted-for-ATO-only part of the EXIN site and on the APMG site.

Says it all really!

So not where the poor consumer of the product might be likely to come across it then.

ITIL V3 Refresh

While it may not be handled well, I welcome a review of the ITIL V3 Foundations. I recently wrote the V2 to V3 upgrader and I found there was material on the exam that was not even covered in the one day course work. I don't know if the fault lies with the training provider or the original course cirriculum but some improvement could be made there.

I still passed the exam, partly because the bar isn't set all that high anyway. if I recall correctly, the standard to pass is only 13 of 20, so it is still quite possible to pass even when missing 3 or 4 questions because the material wasn't covered.


Hi Gord, I don't think that

Hi Gord,

I don't think that anybody on this forum opposes to a good review (and redefinition) of both ITIL V3 Foundation and the V2-V3 Foundation bridge.

I's just that we worry about the proces (who decides on what and are they really concerned with the real customer? -> he who pays for a training course and certification) and the outcome of the proces (what will a 4th or 5th or 6th version of the sylabus do to the value of the certificate)

ITILv3 Foundation on hold

May I ask ITSkeptic, re the reference to 'discussion is all behind closed emails' and APMG's use of 'the ITSM community', what 'community' is appropriate for ITIL if it isn't the ITSM community. I believe that ITIL has been associated with 'the ITSM community' for several years now and I confess I can't think of any other 'community' that is appropriate - not to say there isn't one, of course.

what is the ITSM community?

Sorry, my reference was to the fact that those in Castle ITIL (OGC, TSO, APMG, ItSMFI) tend to regard those bodies and the EIs/ATOs and occasionally the vendors as the sum total of the ITSM community, forgetting that there are millions of others who make up the real ITSM community. They are not the market or the harvest or the consumers or the users: they ARE the ITSM community.
yet the September survey was primarily targeted at ATOs with a token public call with five days to respond.
the report continues this mindset: "ATOs were nominated by their peers throughout the ITSM community worldwide"
Back in June the survey on certification titles announced it had surveyed "the ITSM community" but this turned out to be the "itSMF UK Q&C committee", one Aussie and possibly a few others

So yes I would be delighted if these questiosn were addressed to the ITSM community. Unfortunately the ITSM community has no body that represents its majority. There is no consumer's association.
And there are no mechanisms for consumers to be polled or to provide input. Why doesn't every ITIL book have a URL for readers to register at, and an incentive to do so?
Why doesn't itSMF have soemthing as simple as a worldwide mailing list to at least survey itSMF members (the nearest thing there is to community representation)?
And nobody seriously goes to ask them. if it is an important question u need to advertise it, and push it out, and give it time to get out to the trenches.

This may very well be due to

This may very well be due to the fact that ITIL is no longer a real public domain thing. There is to much money involved. With ITIL V3 and the combined forces of the very Brittish OGC, itSMF UK and the Lords of APMG there is much more protection and much more rules, etc. You cannot even use an ITIL logo without paying a fee! They sort of ignore that there are very large communities of ITIL users outside the UK and in other languages! If you want something to be used widely, then make sure it is real public domain.

E.G. in the definition of the training courses (the famous syllabi) they completely ignore the real customers, those who follow the training and those who send them to training. What would they want from a training at foundation level? Let me answer that with my opinion: the participants of an ITIL foundation training should, after the training grasp some of the basics of ITIL, see the advantages for their own organisation and be enthousiatic to start implementing or to work along these idea's.
The current participants (and I've trained hundreds of them!) return completely des-oriented and fed up, an not enthousiastic at all! They just hope they have passed the test because of the consequences for them in person if they fail! (lots of companies give a reward or wage increase after obtaining such a test).

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