ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), is a set of rules that govern the Information Technology Service Management. Its objective is to keep IT services in the right track of business. ITIL must evolve with time, so that it can offer the best practice guidelines to the industry. For this very reason, ITIL is ‘refreshed’ or updated every few years. After the original release of ITIL, the first refresh came around December 2000. In 2005 another refresh was announced.

Then again in 2006 the authors of the refresh were announced (two per book). Finally the process was up and running. ITIL defines a set of procedures or a framework which can be used by an organisation to establish a minimum level of competency. It is not any organisation specific. It lays down the baseline for an organisation to plan, implement and measure. It is widely used for demonstrating compliance and measuring improvements.

ITIL v2 certification is divided in three levels

  • Foundation
  • Practitioner
  • Manager

ITIL v3 certification is divided into the following levels

  • Foundation
  • Practitioner
  • Expert
  • Master

The certification scheme between ITIL v2 and ITIL v3 are quite different, and bridge examinations are to be taken in order to allow owners of v2 certificates to transfer to the new program. To achieve ITIL expert certification a candidate requires 22 credits. By completing the Foundation level two credits can be gained. To become a ITIL expert a candidate will have to start from Foundation level. Knowledge and Conversation are considered key skills while getting a grip in Foundation level for ITIL V3. Qualification criteria are similar as in ITIL V2.

The Intermediate level consists of two streams

  • Lifecycle
  • Capability

Lifecycle is further divided into five segments:

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

Capability is similarly divided into four segments:

  • Planning, Protection and Optimization
  • Service Offerings and Agreements
  • Release, Control and Validation
  • Operational Support and Analysis

Candidates are able to take examinations from either of the Intermediate streams. This will help them gain the 22 credits required for the ITIL expert certification. Another course- Managing Across the Lifecycle – brings together the complete essence to lifecycle approach to service management. But once a candidate gains the requisite number of 22 credit points through the foundation and intermediate level programs, they are awarded the the ITIL Expert. No further course or examination is necessary to gain this certification.