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ITIL Certification

Jenna Phipps
Last Updated June 24, 2022 12:29 pm

ITIL certifications help information technology (IT) professionals and teams align their strategy with an organization’s overall strategy. Knowledge gained from ITIL certifications can also help to standardize IT service management processes. ITIL certification courses build on each other, and professionals are able to earn multiple certificates progressively. Earning an ITIL certification helps IT professionals build their resume and contribute to their business’s wider technology strategy.

What Is an ITIL Certification?

An ITIL certification is earned after an individual has studied and been tested on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.  More specifically, individuals are tested on processes and standards that apply to information technology business teams and professionals.

ITIL is one of the most widely accepted and used frameworks for IT service management. It details processes that IT teams should use when providing IT services to employees and clients, from design and development through the installation and support of IT services. This makes ITIL an ideal certification path for IT professionals

In 2019, ITIL 4 was introduced as the most recent version of the framework. The ITIL v3 Foundation exam was withdrawn in 2021, and the v3 Managing Professional exam will be withdrawn in mid-2022. 

Some employers still look favorably on ITIL v3 certifications, but because ITIL v4 certifications test the most recent IT practitioner standards, ITIL v4 certifications are useful to have. They are especially useful for professionals who want to step into management roles in the IT industry. 

To learn more about ITIL, read ITIL Framework and Processes Explained at CIO Insight.

ITIL 4 Modules and Levels

ITIL 4 offers four major certifications: 

  • ITIL Foundation, which covers general understanding of the ITIL framework 
  • ITIL Managing Professional, which requires four modules: 
    • ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support
    • ITIL Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value
    • ITIL Specialist: High Velocity IT
    • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve
  • ITIL Strategic Leader, which requires two modules:
    • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve
    • ITIL Leader: Digital and IT Strategy
  • ITIL Master (attainable by individuals who take all of the modules for both the Managing Professional and the Strategic Leader paths)

Professionals who take ITIL v3 courses will be able to count credits from those courses toward ITIL 4 certifications, too. Axelos, the qualification management firm that handles the ITIL certification program, recommends that IT professionals with up to six ITIL v3 credits or an ITIL v3 Foundation certification take the ITIL 4 Foundations certification exam. For professionals with more than six ITIL v3 credits, Axelos recommends continuing to earn credits to move toward the Managing Professional certification.

Note that the ITIL Foundation certification is required before any higher certifications can be earned. 

Benefits of Earning an ITIL Certification

Earning an ITIL certification provides IT personnel with the most recent standards and procedures for enterprise IT service management. Areas of study include the ways IT services should relate to the overall business strategy, change management, and IT expenses. ITIL training also helps practitioners use a common ITIL language when communicating with others in their department. 

ITIL certifications also give job seekers experience and credibility in a growing, competitive field. These certifications develop IT professionals’ resumes and enable them to follow consistent, reliable methods when handling standard IT services. Overall, ITIL certifications prepare IT professionals to handle changes within the organization and within information systems in a consistent way.

How to Earn an ITIL Certification

Axelos handles ITIL certifications through its website, where it offers an application with test questions. Axelos doesn’t manage pricing for the exams; pricing is set by its examination partners. 

Students can choose between studying and booking the exam on their own or studying through an accredited training provider and taking the ITIL 4 exam through that provider as well.

ITIL 4 requires 65% for a passing score. The test is offered at locations in 34 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Are you considering earning an ITIL certificate? To learn more, read ITIL Certification Guide: Overview & Cost at CIO Insight.