How to Get Started on ITIL Certification?
ITIL® certifications are growing in importance over the years. Many large multinational companies are adopting ITIL® as their standard way of managing information technology services. If you are new to the ITIL® Certification and would like to explore whether ITIL® certification is for you, this concise article will give you all the background information required to decide whether ITIL® certification is for you.
What is ITIL® & ITIL® Certification?
ITIL® this short acronym for “Information Technology Infrastructure Library” which describes in details the best practices for IT service management. The best practices are results of lessons learned from public sectors and private companies all over the world. ITIL® aims to provide guidance on how to best utilize and management IT resources in order to deliver business value to the organization.
ITIL® is a framework but not a standard. ITIL® does not mandate the way how the processes and procedures should be carried out. It describes the goal of each processes with the ultimate aim to maximizing business value realization. Over the years, ITIL® has been revised periodically since its first publication. The current version of the ITIL® is v3 2011 (which means that the ITIL® is in its third edition with updates done in 2011).
In addition to the publications, ITIL® also provide various levels of certifications.
Entry ITIL® Certification: ITIL® Foundation Certification
The ITIL® Foundation Certification is aimed at the general public for raising the “comprehension and awareness” of the ITIL® service management concepts. No job experience nor training is required before taking the ITIL® Foundation Certification exam.
Candidates will just need to understand the basics of ITIL® framework, including the terms and concepts of the ITIL® Service Lifecycle. In the certification exam, there are 40 multiple choice questions (with 1 from 4 choices being correct) to be answered within 1 hour of exam time. Candidates are required to get at least 26 questions right in order to pass the exam (i.e. the passing score is 65%). The ITIL® Foundation Certification exam is considered relatively easy (some candidates can get as high as 100%).
After being certified for the ITIL® Foundation, ITIL® aspirants will be able to attempt the ITIL® Intermediate certifications. There are two streams to choose from: the Lifecycle Stream and the Capability Stream. Candidates can choose the stream which suits their career aspirations. Unlike the ITIL® Foundation certification, candidates need to finish accredited training course before being able to take the ITIL® intermediate certification.
One good news is that ITIL® Foundation Certification never expires.
The latest version for ITIL® is v3 2011 (i.e. the latest foundation certification exam is ITIL® Foundation Certification). You may read ITIL® v5.5 Foundation Exam somewhere on the internet but this is misleading.
Is the ITIL® Certification suitable for me?
Since everyone can talk the ITIL® Foundation Certification exam (as ITIL® Foundation does not have any pre-requisites), aspirants aiming to get one more certification in their resumes will definitely consider ITIL® Certification on the top of their to-do list. But before taking the dive, you are advised to consider the following frequently asked questions:
- Can I get ITIL® Certification if I am not working in IT industry?
Yes, you can get ITIL® Certification as it does not require you to have any working experience. And as ITIL® Foundation Certification is relatively easy, you can pass the exam with flying colours after revising the exam reference books for 1 – 2 months. However, you should serious consider whether getting ITIL® Certification will be beneficial for you. You will find it a hard time to understand the concepts and processes presented in ITIL® if you do not have hands-on experience in IT.
- My company does not practise ITIL®, will it be beneficial for me to get ITIL® Certification?
Since ITIL® is mainly about tailoring the processes to suit the particular environments of an organization, if your company does not practice ITIL®, you will not be able to learn deeper about ITIL® except the basic definitions and descriptions. You are not advised to take ITIL® Certification in such situation except that you would like to find a job in a company that practice ITIL® (more often than not, the job requirement would include, at the minimum, ITIL® Foundation Certification).
- I work in IT but not in IT service management, is ITIL® Certification for me?
Similar to the above, if you plan to transit to service management in the foreseeable future, ITIL® is for you. Otherwise, it is better for you to wait until you are planning to shift your career path to IT service management. The ITIL® is continually revised. Certification holders will need to take bridge courses or even retake all the courses and exams in order to upgrade their certification to the latest edition.
If you are sure that ITIL® is for you, then you can begin your ITIL® Certification journey from the ITIL® Foundation Certification. I have detailed my experience and study notes/resources in the ITIL® Foundation Certification section here. Hope this will help you get started on your ITIL® Certification!