latest on ITIL Version 3 Certification from APMG

Posted on itSMF website - link to report from APMG - key points extracted below

The Qualification Scheme

The Qualification Scheme has not changed in substance since launch in June but has changed in detail as explained later. One major change relates to how v2 Practitioners are recognised within the v3 Qualification Scheme. It has not been possible to map the v2 Practitioner Scheme to the v3 Capability and Lifecycle Streams. Mapping took much longer than expected due to the need to obtain detailed syllabi for all the v2 Practitioner qualifications.
The Proposal (not yet endorsed by the Qualification Board but will be considered in their meeting on October 8th) is that a Bridge Exam should be introduced for existing v2 Practitioners.
No specific course will be associated with this Bridge Exam as existing Practitioners will have a variety of different levels of experience and knowledge. It is up to the individual to decide if they require further training.
The Bridge Exam will be available for any v2 Practitioner who has 16 or more credits on any
combination of different v2 Practitioner and v2 Foundation Exams.
Any existing v2 Practitioner with less than 16 credits (calculated in the same way) will have to
gain sufficient credits from v3 Capability and Lifecycle units should they wish to progress to v3
The Syllabus for the Practitioner Bridge Exam will be very similar to that for the existing
Managers’ Bridge Exam. This still needs to be agreed by the Qualifications Board but should the
Board agree it at their meeting on October 8th then this could be introduced before the end of

v3 Foundation

In order to ensure that no candidate was disadvantaged, APMG as the Official Accreditor,
produced a series of standard examination papers that were provided to each EI and they were used in sequence. This enabled all questions to be validated and if there were any anomalies in the results for moderation to take place before the final results were issued to candidates. This process significantly lengthened the turnaround time of results but was endorsed by the Qualification Board to ensure fairness.
We have now reached a stage where there are sufficient proven questions to enable papers to be sat, marked and results provided within a matter of days. These new papers will come in to use towards the end of September. Nobody was happy with the turnaround time but it was
considered to be in the candidate’s best interest.

All EIs, and through them, APMG as the Accreditor have received feedback that the v3
Foundation Exam Syllabus is broad. The Syllabus will be subject to a formal review at the
beginning of 2008.
There has also been a suggestion that there should be a course below Foundation as the
Syllabus is too broad. At this stage no decision has been made regarding the introduction of
such a course.

The ITIL Diploma

We have received feedback regarding the naming of the ITIL Diploma in that Diploma is not
necessarily an appropriate word in every country where ITIL is popular. We are currently
undertaking market research, through itSMFi, to try to find a suitable name. The concept remains
but the name may change.
Once we have finalised the name and people have started to pass the Managers’ Bridge
Qualification then some award ceremonies will be arranged. These are likely to be linked to
National itSMFi events.

The Advanced Diploma

The Advanced Service Management Professional Certification is under development.
Candidates for this level will be required to have achieved the ITIL Service Management Diploma level and demonstrated practical application and experience through a period evaluation scheme.
They will be assessed on the broader issues of ITSM implementations including, but not limited
• Managing cultural and organisational change
• Responding to industry change
• Continual improvement of ITSM capability
• Preparing organisations for audit and certification
Details for the Advanced Level Certification are unlikely to be available for review and comment until early 2008.
Withdrawal of v2 and v1
Following detailed market research through all itSMFi Chapters as well as direct feedback, v2
publications and qualifications will be available beyond December 2008.
The decision to withdraw v2 publications and qualifications will be based on demand. It is likely that different language versions of v2 publications and qualifications will be withdrawn at different times as v3 gains acceptance around the world.
It is not possible to forecast the date of withdrawal but the accredited community will be given 4 – 6 months notice of any planned withdrawal of v2 publications and qualifications.

Liz Gallacher
Freelance Trainer and Consultant


So what do we tell our customers?

Liz - thanks or dredging this out of the internet sites - I was busy at the Annual Conference attempting to decipher matters from that perspective. Any news is welcome news, even it contains a disturbing trend of 'not cooked yet'. As an ex product manager a number of cardinal rules were hammered into me regarding version ugrades:

1) Do not remove any functionality
2) Priority items are those you know the customer will value and pay for
3) Do not confuse the customer, it provides others an opportunity
4) Do not add to the cost without having a simple statement of benefit
5) Have a simple and easily communicable and CONSISTENT statement ready for all sales channels to use, on the goodness in the upgrade

I'm not going to address 1-4 here, I would like just speak to number 5, and understand exactly what we should be telling our customer - OUR CUSTOMERS! Does anyone get this - as a person and company at the 'sharp end of the ITIL spear', we are vulnerable to lost opportunity and integrity if this scheme does not settle down soon.

Our only saving grace at the moment seems to be that uptake is slow here in the US. Can someone at APMG please provide us the 'sales channels' with literature that explains the current situation and how we should 'position' all this in the customer and prospects minds - these are Marketing 101 items!!!

Skeptic - how can I link this comment to Sharon's blog as a question/request? We spoke at the airport in Charlotte yesterday but I had not seen this blog entry.... else I would have raised it...?

Sharon reads the blog. She can comment here.

Sharon reads the blog now and then. She can comment here. Ask away.

Didn't like this last comment

Skeptic... I usually like everything I read in this blog, but I didn't like this last comment inviting reader to ask questions to Sharon.

I don't think you can convert the IT Skeptic blog to a communication channel to Sharon or to other blog readers or even to the itSMF.
I'm sure that if Sharon would feel the need to stablish such a channel, would create her own blog or forum.

Of course, it is your blog and you do whatever you want here :-)

BTW: I've been surprised because the post creator is Chris, instead of Skeptic... so are you getting more and more contributors to your initiative?


No obligation to respond


I didn't have a problem with it except to the extent that it could lead someone to believe that there is some sort of expectation that Sharon's participation on the blog obliges her to respond to posts. I don't think that's at all true. She may or may not. I wouldn't be disappointed either way. I would hope that anyone that asks a question of Sharon on this site remembers that it's almost rhetorical.

At the itSMF USA conference this past week, she made it clear that there is an official means for submitting feedback re: issues on ITIL v3. Posting things to online forums (such as BOKKED) don't help improve v3 or address the issues that get raised.


the official means for submitting feedback

That's great. What's the official means for submitting feedback and how would anyone find it?

OGC Official Feedback Site


Sorry for the delay. The site is:

There are several things to note about this mechanism:
1. In order to use the functionality, it requires that you create an account. I don't have a problem with this or see it as a roadblock, but others certainly might.
2. This is rather unfriendly to use.
- When you first enter, you go to a page where all of the requests for all of the books in the drop down list appear together. You have to figure out how to gain access to search to narrow the results. It's not hard for someone that is used to web interfaces, but it's certainly not intuitive. I anticipate that as more requests are entered, it's going to get harder to deal with.
- Even if you see something that may be promising, you actually have to open the detail record to see enough to determine if it's applicable. There's not enough in the summary view to really determine whether it's on the mark or not.
- I could find no published guidance for "Classification" and "Priority". On what basis do I decide the priority? Perhaps this really isn't a critical change, as was selected on request entry.
3. I would have liked to see a rating/voting mechanism for each of the entries. This way they could get a feel for how others who are investing thier time and attention to enhance ITIL (i.e. the "community") view the requests in question. After all, each request is equal on creation, but I don't think that menas that they should be *treated* equally!! The "community" could help establish or true this up. Sun used this approach in the Java Community Process and I think it makes good sense.

I think this is a decent first start, but I also think they'd probably get a lot out of hiring a knowledgeable ITSM consultant to help them rewire this to better support their objectives AND enhance/upgrade the overall user experience.

Of course, that's just MY opinion... I could be wrong! ;-P


the ChangeLog can only be described as a bloody disgrace

Sorry Ken, that was a sarcastic question. i already knew about it and have described it in the past as being akin to the line from the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy about "in a basement behind a locked door marked BEWARE OF THE LEOPARD". As Ian says, for a group that is selling service management best practice the ChangeLog can only be described as a bloody disgrace.

No apologies


No apologies required. After Sharon told us all about it, I was planning on checking it out anyway. I had to see for myself.

It's also interesting that she noted that only about 50 change requests had been made to date (date of the isSMF USA conference). After seeing it and noting the lack of publicity, I'm not surprised.


They can of course also use what is on BOKKED

They can of course also use what is on BOKKED and I would provide an extract on request

Why not?

Indeed, they could. I would argue that they should.

The way that she made her comment wasn't flattering to those in the blogsphere. From my perspective, it was on the edge of being overtly annoyed by the blog. She didn't mention BOKKED by name, but I *knew* that it was exactly where the comment was aimed. I mean, really, how mnay other similar forums are there?? Yup. Thought so.

I think that if the stewards of ITIL are really serious about helping to advance things, I feel they'd be well advised to grow some thicker skin, get out into the public and start listening actively to the "voice of the customer".

In fact, since I first learned about ITIL, I'm continually entertained by the fact that the organization that promotes the framework doesn't (apparently) live by the very principles that it (supposedly) represents.

There is something to be said for "eating your own cooking". One might actually start to understand why their guests start reaching for the antacid tablets once they finish their meal!!

I think this is preferrable to telling them that "there's nothing wrong with the meal, it's how you ate it" that's at fault. While there may be some truth to it, there's definitely enough culpability to go around.

Use your own guidance!

Kengon - I just can't resist this - OGC should take someof its own (ITIL) medicine here. Perhaps they could commission the authors (the world's ten ITSM experts) to offer a few pearls of wisdom on how to setup a REQUEST management system. That would be ironic as when they have done that they can add it to the Operation book. One of my customers, a childrens cancer hospital no less, just bought the Service Operations book to get guidance on how to setup their service request system - as it is widely marketed as containing information on REQUEST FULFILLMENT. I think they paid about $1 a word on that one. They and the book came up short - so its back to a bit of complimentary consultative help over the web.

While the experts are at it, they might also address the topic of an 'actionable service catalog' in their musings. Do I sound a bit peeved - you bet. We are getting an increasing number of folks calling in with questions as to where all the guidance is on Sarbanes Oxley, Six Sigma and, as one prominent evangelist loudly proclaimed: "The new books deliver what was missing from previous versions: more prescriptive guidance including detailed flow charts, process models, and organisation charts for faster and more cost effective implementations."

Explanations of what these things are don't amount to guidance on how to exploit or integrate into a service management strategy. Did the non-authors who helped launch these books worldwide, promising no impact on existing certification and lots of new exciting pixie dust actually read them?

Class Sizes. (rant - sorry, upset)

But really, what is the 'proper' way to communicate questions or concerns to the ITIL qualifications bodies ?
I am keen to put a question on the above mentioned APM Group statement, concerning allowing class sizes of up to 25 persons for Foundation courses. How can that ever be a good thing ?! It might be fine for a one-way lecture or ITIL overview, but not if you are aiming for an engaging, interactive 3 day course where the trainer can be sure that everyone is keeping up and not hiding in a crowd, oh, and with an exam at the end of it.
How can we find time for questions, discussion and anecdotes from 25 people in a V3 course that only just squeezes into the time available anyway. How do we conduct assignments with maybe 5 groups of 5, probably no extra break-out rooms as its too expensive to leave them empty most of the time – without endlessly repeating the findings/feedback or missing some groups out or redesigning all the assignments into enough topics to share them thinly around.
I'm sorry but I can't think of a single reason why this would be a good idea. More money for training companies doesn't count, or even more money for me as a trainer, though I doubt whether that would happen anyway. It's just not fair for the delegates and I really think it would result in a poorer learning experience, fewer successes in both the understanding of ITIL and the consequent exam results.
Less important in general, but significant for me, is that it makes me sad. I really enjoy being an ITIL trainer and I do appreciate the many improvements V3 brings to ITIL, but this would seriously diminish the trainer experience. If you can never remember anyones name or the key themes/processes that might help them in their role, because it's such a large group, if you don't get a chance to share experiences that help inform and expand our own body of knowledge and always feel like you have to move on and be a slave to an agenda or just run out of time – where's the pleasure in that ? Seriously, weren't these things considered ? If not, why not, if yes, what was so important that these things didn't hold any/enough weight ?
I know its not an instruction to put 25 in a class and some training companies won't want to or have rooms large enough, but for others, if they can get bums on seats they probably will. Just not with me at the front.

There is only one reason for setting class sizes at 25

There is only one reason for setting class sizes at 25: corporate greed. This flies in the face of all adult education principles. I have run dozens of IT courses of various sorts and i have found 12 to be too many for proper attention to complex IT topics.

Could not have said it better myself!!

I endorse everything that Alison says! (I know Alison, and know her to be a committed and enthusiastic trainer). Our only hope is that training organisations will not have the facilities for such large groups, although I fear that 16-18 may become common. The trainer will not get another penny/cent, but the profit margin will increase. Also, to return to the original point - who consulted the trainers . I attended a meeting for training organisations at ISEB the other day - but not all trainers are eligible to attend, and all ISEB can do is feed back on our behalf - we have no direct route.
Liz Gallacher
Freelance Trainer and Consultant

Alison, Liz - Hello again.

Alison, Liz - Hello again. You don't know how good it feels to read someone else's angst over all this. About 8 years ago we worked out a way of preparing ITIL Service Manager folks in 6 days. We knicknamed it the cram. Our pass rates zoomed and all because we limited classes to 6-8 folks. No magic here - we copied special education strategies - small classes - lots of personal attention and interaction. We met the minimum number of face hours - but there is no factoring in quality face time is there? Anyway, complaints were made - by a dominant ITIL training company, who said it was not possible or "legal".

We received a threatening letter from the establishment and ceased offering the "Masters Cram". Only to find that the same company started to offer EXACTLY the same duration class the next year. Needless to say they jammed folks in and scores were rumored to plummet, so it was quietly shelved. The next 8-ball decision on syllabus was the collapsing of practitioner classes into 'clusters'. My read was that it was all about getting enough bums on seats, and not meeting the needs of the customer. Did the customer ask for that - nope.

Can anyone out there TRULY teach Change, Configuration and Release Management to a PRACTITIONER level in 5 days based upon ITIL alone? Nope. If they claim that they probably have not been responsible for any of those practices.

Then V3 increases the content to 383 figures, 134 tables, 2000+ pages across 5 books and class sizes to 20, now 25. Did the customer ask for that - nope. And yet - I hear some of the major players are STILL using up a day saving astronauts and racing cars! Not long before we see an internet based class for the hundreds I suppose.

So I sympathize greatly as you girls sure seem like you are members of a shrinking club of professionals who care about the needs of their customers - the very heart of the service management philosophy....

more balanced debate

Thankyou for the feedback Antonio, particularly valued from such a longterm reader.

Actually I can convert the blog to anything so long as readers go along with it :-D
I've resisted calls for a forum - the web has enough of them - but on the other hand a few high value conversations are a good thing. I generally encourage long threads of comment discussions, and I don't mind a few people asking questions of Sharon or other members of the site (people have questioned Keith Aldis in the past and Ian Clayton). And I definitely want to encourage Sharon and other "inner circle ITILers" to participate so there is more balanced debate.

Liz posted a comment with all this good stuff in it, so I copied it to a new post and credited it to Liz rather than me, just for a bit of variety.

Sorry if change is unsettling. There are few rules on the web (yet): we all work it out as we go along.

No unsettling change

Just surprise and interest...

but as you can see, I noticed it! ;-)

Of course you don't mind (neither do i) people asking to other people questions (it doesnt matter if the people asked are important ones like Keith, Ian or Sharon or "normal" ones like me) but encouraging people to ask is a different thing.

Anyway, this is not an important discussion point, just a feeling.


My comment has been

My comment has been misconstrued by several people so obviously i communicated badly. Ian asked how to link something to a thread where Sharon had already replied to questions, on the apparent misunderstanding that that one thread was the only place where she was replying to comments/questions.

My reply is meant to mean:
"Sharon like anyone else can read all the blog and like anyone else can reply to any thread so please just continue to ask your question where it is in the current thread"

Following a training

Following a training providers meeting at ISEB today, there is some additional clarification (although I am not sure that is the right word!!). A lot of this will be decided at the Qualifications board on October 8th.
The Diploma will now be called the ITIL Expert level.
The V2 Foundation will continue until we are given 4(or 6 - unclear) months notice of its demise. APMG expect demand for it to gradually wither away.
The Practitioner Bridge (see my post above) now seems to give anyone with 16 points the chance to achieve Expert, without sitting the "Managing through the LifeCycle" course. If this is true - and it may be an error - this seems an even easier/quicker route to Expert than V2 Managers then V2/V3 Manager Bridge. It is a lot easier to get points from V2 Foundation and V2 Practitioner than from V2 Managers!!

Liz Gallacher
Freelance Trainer and Consultant

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