ITIL V3 Certification / qualifications / training

Last updated 2nd December 2009


The levels of certification have changed somewhat for ITIL Version 3. There is still a Foundation level.

The next two levels in ITIL v2, which we called Practitioner and Master or Manager in ITIL2, are now compressed into one in ITIL v3, known as Intermediate. Once you pass enough Intermediate exams and one overall exam, you get to be an ITIL Expert (originally known as ITIL Diploma


There is a new ITIL Master level (was previously referred to as ITIL V3 Advanced, and not to be confused with the old ITIL V2 Manager, which was sometimes called ITIL Master). APMG have announced the details and are piloting it for 2010 release.

Supposedly the new structure is based around Bloom's taxonomy, but the IT Skeptic suspects Bloom's model has been applied by someone who didn't know a bucket-load about it (see my article on ITSMWatch).

V2 to V3 upgrade

All agencies involved have bent over backwards to get the word out that ITIL2 certifications will continue to be "recognised". What is less emphasised is that they aren't recognised as prerequisites for further ITIL V3 qualifications without an "upgrade" course first.

You won't need to re-certify everyone, but once you get around to upgrading to ITIL3, everyone is going to need some upgrade training obviously. This is especially so for those who want to go on to further qualifications but everyone who needed training when you adopted ITIL2 will likely need upgrade training when you adopt ITIL3. I'm not complaining: this isn't a scam - it is just common sense.

So upgrading nearly everyone is a high probability if you adopt ITIL version 3. Foundation upgrade training is one day. Manager upgrade is three days.

For those of you with ITIL2 Managers/Masters who want to know how to get to what is now called ITIL Expert, there is The ITIL Manager’s Bridge Certification In It Service Management (ITIL V1/V2 Manager to ITIL V3 Diploma), explained here.

Hurry up: OGC have announced the withdrawal of ITIL V2 and Bridge exams:
* V2 Foundation to cease 30 June 2010
* V2 Manager to cease 31 August 2010
* V2 Practitioner to cease 31 Dec 2010
* Foundation Bridge to cease 31 Dec 2010
* Manager Bridge to cease 30 June 2011

Qualification scheme

See the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme. Gossip is that the vendors fought for a pretty simple exam, validating the name we have for it already down under: "sheep dipping". There is much vocal criticism of the syllabus and the exams.

Also APMG have published a book of rules for ITIL V3 certification and training.

the Manager's exams have been dumbed down from V2, though many report the eight multichoice questions are still pretty hard. Of course the modern new-age teaching profession don't call it dumbing down. They have all sorts of academic b.s. for why multi-choice is as rigorous an assessment as an essay, but if you ask me it is all about the US being the huge growth market and Yanks can't write to save themselves.

As we said, the new ITIL Master level has been announced

The "Official ITIL Website" has the points system, and it is explained here and there is an excellent online credit calculator here .

Exam preparation

Here are links to free ITIL Version 3 practice exams to help you on your quest for ITIL V3 Foundation certification.


Accreditation, certification and course design has been outsourced by OGC to AMPG, a private for-profit company. APMG accredit the Examination Institutes, whio in turn accredit trainers (ATOs) and conduct exams.

Examination Institutes (from APMG):
• British Computer Society (BCS-ISEB)
• DF Certifiering
• Loyalist College
• APMG themselves

Reportedly these EIs have accredited well over 200 ATOs, possibly 300.

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Multi-choice reasoning

I am just starting out on the ITIL path but it is evident that the foundational exam is too easy. My friends mug for a week and pass with no problems. Foundational exams should be easy and general but this going too far.

I am a Texan so I'd like to correct you in that it is not the laziness of some of the test takers (i.e. us yanks) that makes the test multiple choice but the graders and the cost increases in grading the exam. Essays require people (people the graders will have to hire which equals extra costs) to read through them and a that takes lot of time. Add in the growing population of IT workers and people taking the certification and you get the fact that getting the certification requires the ITIL grading corporations to employing hundreds of essay graders and knowing if you received the certification will take weeks to months.

This of course is no excuse for the ease of the test. Making a test easy decreases the reputation and usefulness of the certification.

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