The people who determine the future of ITIL training, qualifications and certification

This post has been podcast
Now that OGC have outsourced ITIL certification and trainer accreditation to APMG, a private for-profit company, let us look at the people who influence the shape of ITIL V3's slowly emerging qualifications system.

The governing body advising APMG, the "senior examiners", is mostly made up of the biggest vendors. Check out the names:

  • HP x 2
  • Pink Elephant
  • Fox IT
  • BMC
  • CA
  • EMC
  • IBM (ex Guillemont Rock)
  • ITpreneurs
  • Itilics
  • Aspect Group
  • Itilligence
  • Gartner (ex Carnegie Mellon)
  • Det Norske Veritas
  • Wardown Consulting
  • UBS Investment Bank

The foxes aren't just in the henhouse. They are managing it and designing the new henhouse.

And equally interesting is the country mix:

  • Canada
  • Canada
  • USA
  • USA
  • USA
  • USA
  • UK
  • UK
  • UK
  • UK
  • Singapore / Australia
  • Norway
  • Brazil
  • Denmark
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • India?? (I can't see anything in this person's LinkedIn profile that suggests India for any reason but - one assumes - country of birth)

So if you are a software, consulting or training vendor from North America or the UK you'd be feeling pretty good that your interests are well represented in shaping the direction of ITIL qualifications.

Perhaps that is why the shape of things suits the training vendors so nicely: large class numbers, only one instructor required, five days of content wedged into a more saleable three-day format, exam on the third day to get them out the door (why would they need to absorb what they have learnt?), multiple choice format even for the higher-level exams...

I don't see much emphasis on the importance of principles of adult learning, quality of practitioners, value of the training product delivered, or perception of the ITIL industry (unless "rapacious" is a perception we aspire to).


Past contribution

Now hold on a second Skep ;-)...some of the UK names there might not be on my Xmas card list anymore, but I think they've all made a real contribution to the evolution of ITIL and deserve to be on the panel, having proven that they are committed to ITIL in the long term. Is it their fault that their talent has been hoovered up by the big vendors? I respect them* enough to expect them to be more bothered by protecting the ITIL message than trying to push a vendor message.

Is it controversial of me to suggest that the "rest of the world" shouldn't expect a seat at the table for turning up after all the cooking has been done just because they might have a different perspective? Again being controversial I think the ITIL examination world suffered from a lot of issues because of the difference quality that EXIN and ISEB exams exhibited; some of the old EXIN papers were, quite frankly, embarrassing and downright wrong.Is it suprising that that has coloured people's thinking? Perhaps there is good reason why now the choice is to go with senior anglophone examiners with a proven track record.

A thought that crossed my mind is that there are a few names from the old days that I wish were on that list, from the days when we took education very very seriously. When I was working with Peter Tebby, Bryan Dennis, Ivor Evans and Mike Hill (and occasionaly Ivor Mac., and Don Page, and Colin Mudd, and Alan Nance when we crossed the pond) and others who deserve a name check in the history of ITIL we took the view that in taking traditionnal Ops and support people through ITIL training we were, in effect, facing them with the choice between the red and the blue pill. Actually we didn't, because the Matrix hadn't been filmed then, but you know what I mean.

I hate the current concepts that ITIL is "cut it off by the imperialist yard" training, that ITIL is just applying common sense, that knowing how to name the parts of a diagram

equates to deep wisdom about the subject matter.

*No, honestly, I do.

everyone now represents the money engine

I respect (and like) all the people on that list who I know. I could think of worse people to be on it :-D And yes I agree they earned their place there. that is why i didn't get personal about it. It is what they represent that troubles me, not the individuals.

The fact remains they sold their soul to rock'n'roll: just about everyone now represents the money engine.

I like to think "best practice" governance requires steering bodies to represent the constituency. This one doesn't.

As for we foreigners "showing up at the table", I think you will find it is the other way around. You bloody Poms and Yanks want to make a buck selling us ITIL without a say in what is pushed at us ;-D

The Money Engine is starting to include universities as well

I share respect for these folks just like skep.

Yes these ITIL gurus deserve the position in my opinion. (Boards like the IT Skeptic are vital to note the critisms though! It's too bad we couldn't have a truly impartial organization in the ITSMF to help to balance things out)

Sometimes having a financial interest helps to drive the quality and timeliness of what they push out.
Competition helps us all strive to be better, right?

On that note, I have noticed in Canada and the US, ITIL is starting to be offered as a so called 'professional program' (University of Toronto) and as part of an undergraduate degree (can't remember the US university).

What impact with this have to organizations such as Pink Elephant if in the future ITIL becomes a standard part of post secondary education?

while the trough is still low enough for them to reach it

Agree. I predicted this

I predict the Advanced training, yet to be specified, will be designed for delivery by “real” training institutions: universities and colleges. It is only a matter of time before some offer a Batchelor of Service Management. Then all the existing V3 diploma qualifications (the old Manager’s and Practitioner’s) will be offered as year one papers, only with more prestige.

So ATOs and ITIL consulting firms better eat up now while the trough is still low enough for them to reach it.

The fact that there is no sign of the Advanced training yet suggests to me the struggle is on to wrest it away from the desperate fingers of the existing vendors...

Understanding of the subject

The question, I suspect, is whether the academic institutions can on board teaching staff witht the right practical experience, but if you are at the leading edge of ITIL in both theory and practice would you rather work for a university or for a vendor where you still have a chance to get your hands dirty? There could be real value in universities gettign more involved, probably more on the research side than the taught course side though I'm sure we would all like more rigour around the examination process, with more input from those who understand how education works. Wouldn't it be great to have a service management research lab? That, of course, would mean money, as would attracting the names to give the research validity in the market place. So do we end up looking at commercial sponsorship? The HP or IBM Professorship in ITSM?

lecturing in academia or chasing a quota

You are right on the money that a sponsored chair is quite likely.

I'd also say that given the choice of lecturing in academia or chasing a quota for some vendor the choice for me is a no brainer but it sounds like it is different to yours.

Professors of Engineering, Surveying or Accountancy get enough consulting work, in this country anyway. They also work a 40-week year.


Hi Skep,

Well, here in the Netherlands, ITIL is more and more part of the curriculum of universities and colleges (bachelors and onwards). I get more and more new colleagues (fresh from university) for whom ITIL is not new. At Delft University, a colleague of mine just received his Master of IT Management (MITM). This part time course (1 year) pays attention to various topics such as governance, architecture, TCO, service delivery (!) etc.

Also, working for a (consultancy) vendor, several of my colleagues have ventured in giving part time / guest classes for a few semesters on several higher ed. institutions on topics ranging from ITIL and BisL to Prince2, Togaf etc. In my opinion, most of them do not do it for the money but for the challenge of meeting new people and putting your knowledge to work in a not so regular way.



example of a Major degree in ITSM in the Netherlands

As an illustration of a higher education program:
In 2002 we published the Tutorial guide for this Program (see for the first chapter), which was then used in several other Dutch institutes in their IT curriculum.
Even at lower levels of regional professionals schools, ITIL is a default component in IT trainings, since many years, and in dozens of schools. All of these students have access to the ITIL Foundations exam. So that's indeed comtetition for company trainers....
And at a senior level, just to get an idea of where the Dutch are, you can have a look at
There's plenty of other examples.
Two years ago, May 2006, I started a group at ITSM PORTAL for academic level teachers in ITSM, with very little response: hardly any bachelor or master programs payed atention to ITSM (apart from the Dutch ones). Most of the (30+) interested universities that joined that group were just interested in the experience of others.


Anyone is shocked at your "revelation", just hasn't looked closely enough. Heck, how the v3 release happened should be enough of an example to illustrate the point.

Water is wet, rocks are hard; this is the way ITIL is. It's not going to change, as there's no incentive to.

If you're pleased with the way things are, stay on the bandwagon. If not, well, perhaps it's time to look for other options.

Anyone who stays on the bandwagon and complains that it's not going where they want to go (or tries to alter the direction) is just being silly.

Personally speaking, I'm feeling a bit queasy from the ride thus far... I'm just going to observe this merry-go-round from the sidelines for a while.

Syndicate content