Who runs and represents itSMF?

The itSMFUK, EXIN and TÜV SÜD Akademie have reached an agreement on cooperating in their ISO20000 qualifications.

The agreement involves itSMF's recognition of the Foundation certificate of the EXIN/TÜV SÜD Akademie program

itSMF's??? Since when did itSMFUK speak for itSMF? And what mandate do they have to be signing formal deals with a vendor?

The cooperation of EXIN, TÜV SÜD Akademie and itSMF, the main players in the ISO/IEC 20000 qualification arena is welcomed by Jenny Dugmore..."I am very pleased that the high quality program in ITSM according to ISO/IEC 20000 is now accepted by the representatives of the IT Service Management community", she said

itSMFUK are "the representatives of the IT Service Management community"????? Ooh I feel dizzy.

The itSMFUK announcement says, NOT quoting anybody else:

the support of the itSMF is regarded as proof of the quality of the program

What is itSMF International's role in this and view of it? Does itSMFUK represent itSMF? There is nothing on the itSMFI website. I'm betting they didn't know.

I must ask if we can get itSMFnz to sign a deal with Microsoft over MOF. I can see the headlines "itSMF and Microsoft agree to focus on MOF as primary ITSM framework"

Once again, where's the governance?

[Moved up from comments:
I suppose itSMF UK have a right to sign the deal given the lack of constitutional controls over chapters, but they don't have the right to call it "itSMF".

And even if they have the right to sign, is it the right thing to do? What next: itSMFUSA or itSMF Netherlands in open competition with itSMFUK for the ISO20000 market?]


Do we still have an itSMF International?

oh great, we've got itSMFUK certifying ISO20000 and now at Dallas it's announced itSMFUSA are certifying ITSM professionals. Is there still an itSMFI? What are they there for exactly? Why are these initiatives not global ones run by the parent organisation?

Scoop 4 Skep

The current itSMF International (itSMF International Ltd) may have been founded in 2004 but in Aidan Lawes and David Wheeldon's days there were two legal entities called ITSMF Ltd and ITSMF UK Ltd. These both had the same directors. The obvious intent was to legally separate the UK chapter from the international movement at large. No-one apparently noticed that at some stage itSMF UK ltd was quietly swept under the carpet and itSMF Ltd was brought under the sole control of the UK board. However ethically and morally wrong that may be, it does not seem to be illegal. The directors of the company made and executed on that legally legitimate decision and the owners/shareholders did not complain.

The national chapters (with the possible exceptions of US, Netherlands, Belgium) formed legally independently in their own geographies. The only legal relationship between the chapters is the (largely implicit) licence to use the itMSF name and logo that are owned by ITSMF Ltd of which the UK board are the directors. So the chapters can do whatever they please, regardless of "governance".

In the mean time the UK chapter has become a commercial vendor of Products and Services. They are a publishing house, accrediting body, training provider, conference organizer and more. It must be highly lucrative (even when technically unpaid) to be an officer of ITSMF UK. Someone should research the number of past and present officers that have moved to being self-employed or created new companies whilst being officers.

The present International Board seem to be doing their best to bring some structure at the international level. If they have achieved nothing else, their gathering of chapter officials ajacent to the 2008 conference was a good start. But you don't expect them to ever govern the international movement anywhere near as effectively as ISACA. They simply do not have the power.

might actually be a single international organisation

Thankyou for that insight. To add to what you say, itSMF International recently gained control of the itSMF trademark from itSMFUK, and have suspended promulgating any new chapters while they examine governance. So there is a power struggle under way to get more control to International, which would of course give the USA a much bigger say in the running of itSMF.

With a few years more of this intense armwrestling and itSMF might actually be a single international organisation, so long as it comes in time to escape becoming a tatty little vestage of our former glory when the world gets sick of all the infighting and moves elsewhere

Is this an implosion I see

Is this an implosion I see before me?

More of an explosion

More of an explosion - a fragmenting into several uncontrolled factions all pursuing uncoordinated projects and agendas

It is unfortunate for ITIL that this is happening just at the same time that ITIL V3's dirty laundry is being pinned up on the line, 430 items of it.

itSMF must be in better shape in a year or ten when OGC finally wheel out the ITIL RefreshRefresh or COBIT5 is going to knock it over


Interesting times we live in. New ITSM-related frameworks popping out at several per year, qualifications and certifications aplenty, ITSM book titles are booming (we even have a niche publisher, VHP), and I've lost count of how many c. $200 annual fees I could pay to join IT-related professional organisations; I already pay memberships to 4.

This is a sign of health and growth in ITSM, but there is much parochialism as you've indicated, Skep.

I see some "green shoots" for framework unification: IT-CMF, IT-UCF and the fact that the most popular frameworks ITIL and COBIT are both broadening their scope with the Venn diagram moving slowly towards a larger diameter circle: "COBIL"? Also, the number of international standards for ITSM is growing and this, too, will be a factor driving unification as frameworks adapt to fit with international standards (e.g. governance, risk, security, continuity)

Qualifications and certifications, I believe, will grow even more. Experience alone, certainly age, is no longer the main employability criterion. Today the view is that appropriate qualifications/certifications mean experienced staff since normally you can't gain a bunch of "senior qualifications" in a year or two except by a boot-camp approach. For example, even the basic ITIL Foundation Certificate is very much seen as a key requirement for ITSM employment in the UK- many people made redundant in the credit crunch have told me so.

There has also been a growth in the availability of professional status qualifications in the past 5-10 years e.g. Chartered IT Professional in the UK - this, to me, is good news since it brings the IT profession up to the status enjoyed for centuries by Lawyers, Accountants and Scientists. itSMFUSA's prISM is similar in approach. Another good practice is reciprocal membership arrangements that sometimes lead to mergers of organisations.

Professional membership organisations, to me, reflect a human characteristic: we prefer to band together with people of the same background. When many people work in a niche area they either form a SIG (special interest group) in an existing organisation or more frequently now set up their own organisation. Take LinkedIn as an example: look at the plethora of groups related to ITSM - so many you have no chance of tracking activity. Groups are splitting not merging as time goes by. Ease of communication seems to encourage diversity - blogs (such as this) and twitter feeds are examples.

I can understand your viewpoint about itSMFI, but as a body it currently lacks authority and just like in the European Union the big countries will always go their own way.

My midweek tupen'orth.

not even close

Geoff, The only bit I don't agree with is "[CITP] brings the IT profession up to the status enjoyed for centuries by Lawyers, Accountants and Scientists." Nope, not even close. When you need five years or more of tertiary qualification followed by several years of "apprentice" experience, and when your certification is backed by an Act of Parliament, THEN you'll have equal status.

oh yes, it is...


1. CITP requirement is here: http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.7065
"Full CITP accreditation - the exemplifying academic qualification for full CITP accreditation is an accredited Honours degree in the computing field together with further learning beyond graduation.

Accredited as partially meeting the education requirement for CITP accreditation - a Joint Honours degree may be accredited as contributing to the academic requirements for CITP

CITP Further Learning Element - a specialist or integrated Masters degree may be accredited as satisfying the further learning requirements for CITP"

2. Right of an organisation to use "Chartered" requires Privy Council approval and issue of a Royal Charter: BCS (British Computer Society has this: http://www.bcs.org//upload/pdf/royalcharter.pdf

3. I know that CITP, CSci and CEng have an experience-only route; I don't know if Chartered Accountant and Chartered Solicitor do, do you?

OK, I conceed: that Chartered Scientist and Chartered Engineer are a level above CITP (requiring a Masters degree, or an experience-based equivalent. (see e.g.)http://www.charteredscientist.org/about/how_to_apply.html).

The real requirement for BCS CITP

That's a little misleading. I'd love to know how many CITPs have an honours degree. The actual requirement is:

To become a Chartered IT Professional (CITP), you must meet a number of important criteria:

Firstly, when you apply for Chartered status, you will be awarded membership (if you are not already a member), either at Chartered level or, if you are not quite ready, at the most appropriate membership grade.

Secondly, you must have 8-10 years of IT work experience; this can be reduced depending on your academic qualifications, but must be a minimum of 5 years. For more information, please see Education and experience.

Finally, at least 3 of the past 5 years must have been spent in an IT role with significant influence and responsibility, a challenging range of complex work activities, well-developed business skills, and full accountability. This requirement is defined more fully in SFIA level 5.

Academic qualifications are NOT required, in fact they are seen as a substitiute for the real requirement, which is to be old

You typically need a minimum of 8 -10 years experience in IT: at least 3 of the last 5 years must have been in a challenging, complex position in which you have significant influence and responsibility (equivalent to SFIA Level 5).

However, if you don't have enough IT experience this may be reduced depending on your academic qualifications, though a minimum of 5 years relevant experience will still be required.

Nor is CITP a legal requirement to operate in the same way as a Registered engineer

What BCS says in the latest IT Now magazine

I can't refute anything that you or I pointed to on the BCS website.

However being old, as you put it is, is a way of achieving all Chartered designations that I'm aware of CEng, CSi and CITP. None of these are easy by the experience only route - not that I have tried that route, although until the recent changes, I admit, CITP was more straightforward.

However, after posting here yesterday, the latest copy of the BCS membership mag. "IT Now" hit the doormat. It has a full page on CITP is changing and how it is changing/has changed (it says both!). Apparently industry organisations including IBM. Microsoft, Royal Mail, RBS, BP and Deloitte have given detailed findings to BCS that include these two: points

- CITP should be of a similar status to other Chartered designations such as accountancy.
- the process of accreditation should be rigorous and there should be some form of periodic revaluation

Clearly, the pages on the BCS website that both of us referred to are targeted at meeting these criteria. This is a needed improvement.

On your point about Honours degrees and CITP:
I don't know of any statistics on this but some background:
- Until 2005 there was no CITP; instead you gained MBCS. After about 1972, experience alone couldn't get you MBCS, you needed an Honours Degree in Computing or equivalent (remember most unis. didn't do computing degrees in '72), or you had to sit the difficult BCS exam - not many did that.

- The slackening of requirements for MBCS came with the introduction of CITP in 2005. Now MBCS was automatic if you had the right no. of years of experience and CITP took over the role that had been MBCS. But, many people from 2005 started to realise they could go for the experience route for CITP.
Certainly the opening up of MBCS has boosted the membership of BCS enormously and that has encouraged many more people to see if their experience can gain them CITP, which frequently it does.

You are correct that CITP is not a requirement to practice as an IT professional, but then you don't need to be Csi or CEng to be a practising research scientist or engineer either. If you don't believe me take a look at British University science and engineering dept. staff lists, many don't hold these Chartered status - often because the annual subsciption cost is not seen as value for money despite being tax-deductible.

to build a power station

You may not need CEng to do research but I bet you need it to build a power station


I bet you don't. CEng is not a legal requirement for any jobs. You might not get employed to build a power station without it but this wouldn't be for legal/regulatory reasons. The engineering bodies have not yet managed to sew up their professions in the way that Law, Medicine, architecture and accountancy have - hence the proliferation of 'engineers' in jobs that are clearly not engineering! CITP is the same but with the excuse that the IT industry is only approx 50 years old. Medicine and law have had 500+ years to create their own closed shops and they never had to cope with the explosive growth IT has.

Does this fit the Skeptic view of "Chartered"?

I found this and thought of you, Rob ;-)

Dictionary entry overview: What does chartered mean?

• CHARTERED (adjective)
The adjective CHARTERED has 1 sense:

1. hired for the exclusive temporary use of a group of travelers

Familiarity information: CHARTERED used as an adjective is very rare.

from http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/chartered.htm

International Standard

"Also, the number of international standards for ITSM is growing"

I'm sure the last time I checked there was still only one international standard ;-)


But the number of certifications is still growing exponentially

See http://pohjoisviitta.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/iso-20000-certificates. The number doubles every 12 months.

Considering that HMS ITILnic has just hit the iceberg, this might be a good time to rely on The International Standard Organization.



Going off at at a tangent, Ivor Evans and I used to run a capacity management session based on the number of lifeboats on S.S. ITIL after it hit an iceberg. We could always predict that soneone would end up dead in the water.

Hands up!

Correct observation.

I meant "ITSM-related standards" of course! e.g. 38500, 25999, 27000 series, 20000, 24762, 19770 for example

It is time to say the truth,

It is time to say the truth, and the truth is:

itSMF-UK is itSMF. They are synonyms.
itSMFi is a portal for chapters all over the world, on behalf of itSMF-UK (or itSMF, if you prefer).

if all chapters saw it that way

I'd be a little surprised if all chapters saw it that way, and the recent yielding of the itSMF trademark to international is an indicator of that

The detail matters here...

Here is some background that I have picked up over the years since BS 15000 that might address your concerns. I have had no personal involvement in the development of the schemes and someone who has may be able to give a clearer perspective. Note that itSMF International was not formed until 2004.

The reason itSMF UK is involved is that itSMF UK is the body that created, and manages the ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service Management Certification Scheme (i.e. organisation certification) and the ISO 20000 Qualification Scheme (ISO 20K Consultant and Auditor qualifications) (i.e. individual certification). This is historical from the era of the original BS 15000 standard that was the basis of ISO 20000. We Brits don't manufacture much these days but we do make standards (although your Oz neighbours are starting to steal a march on us - ISO 38500 based on AS8015 for example!)

If you look at the ISO 20000 website (http://www.isoiec20000certification.com/) you will see that it is run by itSMF UK and is the registry of Registered Certification Bodies (RCBs), the folks that actually carry out the ISO 20K audits. This arose through a Memorandum of Agreement that itSMF UK has with the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) who accredit RCBs for auditing all sorts of things: ISO 9000, ISO 14001 for example. In other countries the national Accreditation Service accredits RCBs, but if you search around you will struggle to find those that accredit RCBs for ISO 20K.

EXIN came later to market with its ISO 20K qualifications (itSMF had been there since BS15000), and for old ITILites like me, this seemed to be an approach that was exactly parallel to the ITIL V2 qualification approach of Foundation-> Practitioner-> Manager. [EXIN was the originator of the Practitioner qualifications for ITIL, after all. I personally viewed this ISO 20K qualification scheme as EXIN's alternative plan should they be unable to agree with APMG how to proceed with ITIL V3 qualifications - remember that APMG "took over" the ITIL Qualification Scheme from ISEB/EXIN about a year before the launch of ITIL V3 and there was a "battle"].

The itSMF Consultant and Auditor courses for ISO 20000 are at the equivalent of the EXIN Manager level for ISO 20K. The assumption of the itSMF courses is that ideally you are already ITIL Foundation qualified/ITSM experienced and for the ISO 20K Consultant Certificate , ITIL V2 Manager qualification/experience is better.


I discovered this too when trying to get certified as an ISO 20.000 trainer (I succeded: itSMF UK granted me the possibility to give the Consultant as well as the Auditor training). I've simpy never ever understood why is was itSMF UK who developped and maintained this certification scheme. Especially for non english countries this is strange and very unhandy as everything in in English. For all other ISO standards it is the countries standard office like the NEN in The Netherlands and BSI in the UK.
I've seen that there actually exists more than one certification scheme. Now...if standardisation is not even standardised....where do we go???

Of course....I see...I understand......good old Brittania rules the waves???


It was because the UK wrote BSI 1500 which then became ISO/IEC 20000 via a fast track route.

the Aussies would be certifying ISO38500

If that were a satisfactory explanation then the Aussies would be certifying ISO38500


...ISO 38500 had a certification process behind it,then fair dinkum. I would quite like it to have a certification process.


Strewth mate you wouldn't want that bunch of galahs signing off the whole bloody planet wouldja? You Poms would never be innit

Checks and balances

Fortunately it looks like you colonials are going to involve the mother country in future developments. Perhaps you should ask the Swami about it when he comes back from walkabout.

equated with itSMF

Thanks Geoff. I understand all that. What i don't like is itSMFUK being equated with itSMF and speaking on behalf of itSMF and being interpreted as representing itSMF. They don't and none of the history changes that. itSMF has the sloppiest muddiest most opaque governance of any organisation i have been a part of, even including a previous employer whose CEO is still in jail.

I suppose itSMF UK have a right to sign the deal given the lack of constitutional controls over chapters, but they don't have the right to call it "itSMF".

And even if they have the right to sign, is it the right thing to do? What next: itSMFUSA or itSMF Netherlands in open competition with itSMFUK for the ISO20000 market?

British Empire never died?

Perhaps, that's the reason!


It did. And now The Empire That IS In The Process Of Dying won't be happy if it gets too uppity - the balance of power is on it's way westward ho!

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