The rules of ITIL V3 certification and training

APMG have published a book of rules for ITIL V3 certification and training. This is excellent, exactly the kind of thing that should be public. We now look forward to OGC, itSMF and TSO doing the same in other areas, such as:

  • acceptance of Complementary publications
  • contractual agreements between the entities (for example did you know that itSMF have a contractual agreement with APMG to “use all reasonable endeavours to promote and market their services worldwide”)
  • itSMF member code of conduct
  • IPESC charter and approvals process
  • itSMF charter(s) and constitution(s)

The booklet is excellent. It lays out just what we need to know. More of this please, Castle ITIL.

There were a few interesting bits...

My only criticism of the booklet itself is the lack of versioning (except in the file name - this is lost in some downloads, such as from the Official Site) or of any apparent mechanism for regular updates. The booklet is already out of date. For an organisation that accredits Project Mangement, Change Control and ITIL, APMG could do better.

I searched in vain for this booklet on the APMG website. I found it on the "Official site". We heard about it via the itSMF news portal, which offered its own download. This is bad practice as the copy will get out of date - a link back to one official point would help to keep it current.

itSMF is referred to as the ITIL user group in sections 5 and 8. Yet itSMF is explicitly not a user group: it exists to promote service management, which is not the same thing. How many countries have an itSMF charter or constitution that specifically refers to the organisation's purpose being to canvas and represent the views of the members? (comments welcome) Of course it will have to do as a substitute as there is no international user group (IoSM has already gone the same way as itSMF, with the Yanks doing their own thing with ICSM).

The Scheme persists in permitting 25 students per instructor for Foundation and Foundation Bridge certifications, which only serves to validate the "sheep-dipping" label. Ony lecturing is possible with such a ratio. It is unhealthy when teaching kids and considered totally unsuitable for adult education. A great way to churn out many bemused embittered new ITILers.

Once again APMG trumpets their own "accreditation as an accreditor" from UKAS without mentioning that the accreditiation does not actually cover ITIL.

I don't like to read too much into one word, but I was intrigued by the start of section 2.1 where the writer referred to "ITIL is... used by hundreds of organisations around the world". Not "thousands"? Curious reticence given the booklet's positive spin in other parts.

The bit that chilled me was at the end of section 3 where we are warned that OGC might outsource the management of the creation of the next version of ITIL (Version 4) to TSO. Hmmmm. Given the way TSO have captured what was going to be a free web information portal and turned it into an extremely expensive closed proprietary copyrighted one, I'm not entirely happy about that prospect. (Unlike APMG who run the Official Site as an open information site, or itSMF who run the news and portal likewise).

What did I learn from the book? I learnt that there is at last a Successful Candidate Register. This is great! although it lists only certifications under APMG's regime, not old ones.

See also Should you spend the money on ITIL V3 certification?

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