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How To Become ITIL® Certified

The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) is the most broadly adopted approach for IT Service Management across the globe and has been for more than twenty years. It offers a realistic, sensible structure for recognizing, planning, delivering and supporting IT services in a business. ITIL offers a set of best practices that help organizations deliver consistent, high-quality, low-cost IT services to customers and users. This framework gives direction to businesses on how to employ IT as a tool to help any organization become and remain successful.


An ITIL Certification is an internationally renowned certification. Many employers now require that job candidates possess at least the ITIL Foundation Certificate to even be considered for certain positions.

Some of the most effective success factors that ITIL certified professionals can bring to an organization include:

  • Cost reduction by following best practice processes and functions
  • Customer-focused service delivery and support
  • Effective planning and implementation of Change Management
  • Planning and management of business expectations
  • Ability to use predefined processes
  • Ability to choose the most effective processes
  • Balance between projects and operations
  • Effective planning of roles and responsibilities
  • Integration between Business Process Management and Service Management
  • Effective team management and resource planning

The four levels in the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme are:

ITIL Foundation in IT Service Management

This is the entry-level qualification and provides general knowledge of the important elements, theories and technical terms used in the ITIL framework and Service Lifecycle. The ITIL Foundation Level introduces students to the relationships that exist in the Service Lifecycle, roles and responsibilities in the ITIL framework, and the benefits of implementing ITIL in any organization.

Upon successfully completing the ITIL Foundation Certification Level, students have met the requirements for progressing to the next level of study within the ITIL Qualification Scheme – the ITIL Intermediate level.

ITIL Intermediate Level

This level has a modular arrangement, and every module has a different focus. Applicants can enroll in the ITIL Intermediate modules that meet their interests and needs. The ITIL Intermediate Level has two streams:

Service Lifecycle Stream

These five modules provide a broad management focus of ITIL practice areas. Students will study the principles, processes, and related activities for each phase in the Service Lifecycle. The five modules are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.

Service Capability Stream

The four modules in this stream provide strong, focused, process-level knowledge in one or more areas, with a concentration on the daily execution of ITIL practices. The four modules in this stream are Service Offerings and Agreements; Release, Control and Validation; Operational Support and Analysis; and Planning, Protection and Optimization.

The Managing Across the Lifecycle module is the final module in the ITIL Intermediate Level and is required if students wish to earn the ITIL Expert Qualification.

To qualify for any of the ITIL Intermediate Certification exams, applicants must complete mandatory accredited training.

ITIL Expert

To become an ITIL Expert, candidates must hold the ITIL Foundation Certification and possess at least twenty-two credits from the ITIL Foundation Level, ITIL Intermediate Service Lifecycle and/or Service Capability modules, and the Managing Across the Lifecycle module. A comprehensive understanding of the ITIL Service Lifecycle is another important prerequisite.

ITIL Master

To gain the ITIL Master Certification, candidates must hold the ITIL Expert Certification and have at least five years of experience in ITSM in a leadership, managerial or higher management role. In this level, candidates will have to demonstrate and rationalize how and why they chose and applied a variety of principles, processes and skills from ITIL and supporting management techniques to attain desired business results in one or more practical assignments.

About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

Angel is a leading ITIL® instructor at Ashford Global IT.

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