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What is ITIL®?

The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) is a framework of best practices for quality IT Service Management (ITSM). ITSM is defined as the delivery and support of IT services to meet the business needs of an organization. These procedures are vendor-independent and apply to all aspects of the IT infrastructure. ITIL Version 1 was released in 1989 and contained over 40 books on IT Service Management.


The ITIL publications are continuously reviewed to meet the requirements of the ever-changing IT world. In 2007, ITIL Version 3 was published with five core volumes:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement


The advantages of implementing ITIL may vary depending upon the needs, nature and size of the organization, but some typical benefits include:

  • Improvement in the quality of services being provided
  • Cost-effective services
  • Services that meet business, user and customer demands
  • Integrated and centralized processes
  • Clearly defined roles
  • Demonstrable performance indicators

ITIL Certification

The various levels of the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme are discussed below:

Foundation Level:

The Foundation Level will introduce learners to the world of ITIL and ITSM. After completing this course, students will have a basic understanding of the key concepts, terminology, and processes in ITIL V3. This level provides students with the essential skills needed to deliver customer-oriented, cost-effective and business-focused services. The ITIL Foundation Certification is worth two credits in the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme.

Intermediate Level:

In the Intermediate Level, two streams or educational paths are offered. The first stream is the ITIL Lifecycle Stream which focuses on implementing an entire Lifecycle phase. The Lifecycle Stream consists of five modules (Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement); each module is worth 3 credits in the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme. The second stream is the ITIL Capability Stream which focuses on detailed process implementation within a specific cluster grouping. The Capability Stream has four modules (Service Offerings and Agreements, Release, Control and Validation, Operational Support and Analysis, and Planning, Protection and Optimization); each module is worth 4 credits. For detailed knowledge in one area, you should choose modules in the Capability Stream; for a holistic view of the Service Lifecycle, you should choose modules in the Lifecycle Stream. Please note that candidates may choose modules from both the Lifecycle and Capability Streams to have knowledge from a high management point of view as well as a detailed, technical viewpoint. To enroll in any of the Intermediate Level modules, candidates must possess an ITIL V3 Foundation Certificate or the combination of an ITIL V2 Foundation Certificate and the V3 Foundation Bridge Certificate. The final module in the Intermediate Level is Managing Across the Lifecycle, which can be taken after the candidate has earned at least 15 credits in the Intermediate Level. This course brings together the full essence of a Service Lifecycle approach to IT Service Management. The Managing Across the Lifecycle Certification is worth 5 credits in the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme.

Expert Level:

As the name suggest, the holder of this certification has advanced level knowledge of ITIL. To apply for the ITIL Expert Certificate, a candidate must:

  • Hold an ITIL V3 Foundation Certification
  • Have a total of at least 15 credits from the ITIL V3 Intermediate Level
  • Take and pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle module
  • Have a balanced knowledge of the entire ITIL Service Lifecycle

Master Level:

Senior IT managers with at least 5 years of ITIL experience who are holders of the ITIL Expert Certification are eligible for the ITIL Master qualification. Instead of a routine exam, the candidate must submit his experience of an ITIL implementation to address a real-world situation and attend an interview to support his reasoning.

To help you prepare for any of the ITIL Certification exams, consider enrolling in an ITIL V3 training course. Ashford Global IT (AGIT), based in Orlando, Florida, offers all the certification courses in the ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities, candidates are sure to pass their respective certification exams on their first attempt.

Contact Ashford Global IT today for more information!


About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

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

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