Launch a Career in ITIL: The ITIL Foundation Certification

Launch A Career In ITSM: The ITIL Foundation Certification
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Priyadharshini GS

Last updated June 28, 2016


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In today’s changing economic conditions and shrinking IT budgets, IT businesses find it hard to meet growing business demands with limited resources. This is where ITIL comes to the rescue. Information Technology Infrastructure Library is comprised of a set of best practices for IT service management. An ITIL certified professional can effectively implement best practices in IT service management to improve the overall performance of the organization.

What is ITIL?


Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a comprehensive set of best practices for IT service management, aimed at achieving cost-effective, high quality services and efficient support by aligning business requirements with IT services. This library comprises of 26 processes that are grouped into five major operations, namely Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Operation, Service Transition, and Continual Service Improvement. ITIL was initially developed by Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). ITIL was obtained and is maintained by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), previously known as CCTA. OGC is an independent organization managed by HM Treasury (U.K.).
 
The ITIL certification courses are categorized into four levels:
  1. ITIL Foundation
  2. ITIL Intermediate
  3. ITIL Expert
  4. ITIL Masters
 
ITIL certification measures the performance, competence and ability of a person in many areas of Information Technology to provide a competitive edge for businesses.

The Accreditation Body


ITIL certification is managed by the ITIL Certification Management Board (ICMB). This board comprises of various representatives within the community that come from a range of areas around the world. The OGC, APM Group, ITIL Examination Panel and The Stationery Office (TSG) represent the majority members of the board. Since July 2013, AXELOS Ltd. owns ITIL, joint-venturing with Capita Plc and HM Cabinet Office. AXELOS holds the rights to ITIL intellectual property, provides accreditation to Examination Institutes (EIs) and training providers (ATOs).
 
While there are multiple accreditation bodies, AXELOS is preferred by many. Unlike APMG, which acts as an accreditation body and an Examination Institute, AXELOS prefers to be an accreditation body only. It does not conduct ITIL examinations. By doing so, AXELOS is able to concentrate on providing accreditation for a high-quality portfolio of products. In today’s rapidly changing technologies, it is important to keep the products relevant. AXELOS offers all its accredited products to all EIs.

Eligibility for Certification


While there is no mandatory qualification for obtaining ITIL V3 Foundation certification, candidates who apply for this certificate are encouraged to have a minimum of 2 years of experience in IT service management. Knowledge of core principles of service management is required. Another requirement is the awareness of ITIL terminology and the examination procedure.

Process to get certified


There are four phases involved in getting the ITIL V3 Foundation certification:
1. Preparation
2. Scheduling the exam
3. Taking the exam
4. Post-Exam and Certification

Preparation


Before taking the exam, you need to prepare well. You could benefit from the five-volume set of books published by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), for this purpose. In addition, there is a plethora of ITIL resource materials on the Internet.

Based on your time and budget, you can purchase the required resource materials. It is always recommended to join an ITIL training organization to enjoy an instructor-led course. However, be sure to verify that the training provider is an ITIL Accredited Training Organization (ATO).

Scheduling the Exam


There are several Examination Institutes accredited to provide the ITIL V3 Foundation exam. The latest one to join this list is PEOPLECERT, which conducts exams in China, Greece, Turkey, Albania and Portugal. However, EXIN is a popular EI in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
 
You can visit the EXIN website and book the exam. You will be asked to fill out your details and create an account first. Payments can be made using any credit card, EXIN voucher or PayPal. If you have been enrolled with a training partner like Simplilearn, you can book the exam only through the voucher ordered by that ATO. After the payment is received, you will receive a confirmation email with the exam details. You have 21 days to appear for the exam.

Taking the Exam


When you are ready, you can take the ITIL V3 Foundation online exam from anywhere. The exam procedure consists of the following steps:
- Confirm your personal details
- Make sure your computer configuration meets EXIN requirements
- Download the EXIN software
- Enter the exam code you received in your invitation email
- Take your photo through the web cam, show your environment and your identity card
- Click the green button and proceed with the exam

Post-Examination and Certificate


After completing the exam, click the ‘End Exam’ button to finish the exam. You can click the feedback button to check your coaching report, which will also be available on your customer portal. While you receive an immediate email about the preliminary results, the final results will be delivered within 10 working days. Using the login details provided in the email, you can download the digital ITIL V3 Foundation Certificate from the Candidate Portal.

Choosing the Right Training Provider


The key to successfully obtaining an ITIL Foundation certification in the first go, lies in choosing the right training provider. The first aspect to consider, is whether the provider is accredited by ISEB or EXIN. To be certified, the course should be accredited by one of these organizations.

Secondly, the training provider should have at least 10 years of experience as a practitioner in the IT industry.

Thirdly, you need to investigate the training methodology. Does the training material comprise online, hybrid and classroom-based programs? Providing the training through multiple channels is very important. In addition, the provider should offer a comprehensive portfolio of courses that suit the requirements of every IT business’ needs. And, determine the languages in which the ITIL courses are available.

Fourthly, the success rate is important. Check out whether the success rate is above 97% on the first attempt.

Finally, go through the reviews and track record of the organization.
 
There are online forums, webinars, and blogs that provide guidance and FAQs about the ITIL exam. It is a good idea to peruse these forums and webinars. While reading the materials from blogs and forums, it is important to check out the credibility of the provider. However, undergoing training from a reputable institution like Simplilearn would be enough for you to pass the exam with flying colors.

Examination Structure


The ITIL V3 Foundation course ensures that you gain knowledge about the basic ITIL terminology and core principles. The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions per paper, with a time limit of 60 minutes. This closed book exam requires you to obtain 26 marks or 65% to earn the foundation certificate. Passing this exam will earn you 2 credits.

Re-examination


In case a candidate fails to get certified on the first attempt, he can retake the examination. There is no limit to the number of attempts a candidate can take for the certification. However, training obtained from a reputable organization ensures a success rate of 98% on the first attempt.
 
The majority of Fortune 500 companies prefer IT service management and support staff with ITIL certification. According to a survey conducted by Windows IT Pro and Global Knowledge, on IT Skills and Salary trends in 2015, ITIL certified professionals receive a higher pay, with the average being $95,434.

Most importantly, getting certified in IT service management practices and principles empowers you to effectively contribute to the overall improvement in the performance of IT services in the organization. However, you should note that while creating your profile as an ITIL certified professional, you cannot use the ITIL trademark logo on your business card or profile. Only certain organizations are allowed to do so.
 
Wish you good luck in your certification journey!

About the Author

Priyadharshini writes on Project Management, IT, Six Sigma, & e-Learning. With a penchant for writing and a passion for professional education & development, she is adept at penning educative articles. She was previously associated with Oxford University Press and Pearson Education, India.


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