How to Go from Foundation Level to Master Level in ITIL




ITIL is a set of detailed principles and best practices for IT service management. It is an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It was founded in the 1980s by the UK government to improve its own agencies. The goal was to educate workers, create consistency in operations, optimize workflow, and set a benchmark for best practices for organizations to follow. The idea was picked by the private sector soon after and since then has gained global acceptance and popularity.

The age of information has standardized the need for information technology. Companies rely on technology to deliver the best services to their customers. With the pace at which new technologies are being introduced, organizations need highly-skilled workers who can deal with the changes and apply them in business operations. The goal of ITIL is to provide a framework for companies to follow and effectively manage the IT side of business.

ITIL was originally conceived as a set of books, each defining an important stage of a service lifecycle. The five books/five stages that are part of ITIL are:

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

The first phase teaches businesses to evaluate their resources, customer requirements, and the need for improvement in their existing processes.

  • Service Design gears businesses towards analyzing their management processes for optimal delivery to its customers.
  • Service Transition teaches how to use the service model, help transition from planning to development to production.
  • Service Operations explains how to manage business operations and the best practices to deal with expected or unexpected events.
  • Continual Service Improvement, teaches businesses to gather operational feedback and service feedback from customers. So that businesses can cater to its customers by improving upon its IT service management system.

In a directly proportional relation, as the need for IT service management grew, the need for IT service managers grew as well. Keeping in mind the requirements of corporations worldwide, ITIL exams began to take form to assist corporations in recruiting professionally certified individuals. Similar to how TOEFL and IELTS, as English language assessment programs certify international students; ITIL provides certifications to help companies know that an individual is a professional IT service manager. It is an internationally recognized program, so it provides real value in a professional career.

ITIL is owned and managed by AXELOS. The program will set out to instill in you the best practices in the field of IT service management. AXELOS manages the program by holding exams through accredited institutions around the globe. ITIL certifications come in four levels.

  • Foundation
  • Practitioner
  • Expert
  • Master

Each level defines a certain difficulty level. The ITIL Foundation level is designed to familiarize you with the basic set of principles, terminologies, and core concepts. In this phase, you will learn to apply those concepts in a business. Perhaps, the best thing is that there is no prerequisite for the foundation level. However, it should be noted that to be considered for IT service management positions, the individual has to be at least a practitioner level certified professional.

ITIL exams work on a credit based system. By completing each level, you earn credits to unlock higher level certifications. Completing the Foundation level certificate will reward you 2 credits. You can use that to unlock the Intermediate level.

The Intermediate level has two sub-parts:

  • Intermediate: Lifecycle modules
  • Intermediate: Capability modules

Each module has a set of contents which are as follows:

Intermediate Lifecycle Modules:

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

Intermediate Capability Modules:

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

The contents of Intermediate Lifecycle modules each hold 3 credits, while the contents of Intermediate Capability modules each hold 4 credits.

Moving up to Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) level will require 17 credits in total. That is 2 credits earned from the Foundation level and at least 15 credits earned from the Intermediate level. You can also complete the Practitioner level which earns you 3 credits. Even though not strictly required, the Practitioner level helps you earn credits.

While individuals can earn credits however they want by mixing combinations of courses offered through Foundation, Practitioner, and Intermediate, AXELOS suggests that as per their experience, individuals seeking to enroll in Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) module take benefit from Continual Service Improvement and Service Strategy models from the Intermediate level.

The Expert level requires 2 credits from the Foundation level, a minimum of 15 credits from the Intermediate level, and 5 credits from the MALC level which you would have just completed. The total number of credits required for Expert level are 22.

By completing all the previous levels, you can now try for the Master level certification. However, this is where things will get difficult for you. Unlike the preceding levels which do not require anything but the credit score, to be eligible for a Masters level certification, you must have worked in IT service management for five years. The individual must have served a business as a leader, manager, or at higher management advisory levels, as per AXELOS’ requirements.

The Masters level certification also states there is no prescribed exam, but instead, the participants will be required to put on a show of their professional capabilities. It states that every individual will have the choice to select practical assignments most familiar to them. The candidate will demonstrate his/her ability by applying a range of methods and techniques that will result in the desired outcome of a business.

ITIL certifications are really a test of your knowledge which you will acquire throughout levels of the program. Each certification level, from ITIL Foundation to ITIL Masters, builds on its preceding level, and are not disconnected in any way.

The ITIL professional certificate will help you stand out during your recruitment process. It is a globally recognized assessment program, so the time and effort you invest in certifying yourself will definitely give you a boost up the professional ladder.

About The Author
Jasper
Account Manager (SMB) at QuickStart

Jasper Zubairi

Jasper is a passionate performer in the IT training space. With over 5 years of experience in sales, customer support and business development, he has helped a number of businesses meet their IT training needs through e-learning. When he is not working or studying, he likes to spend his time at the gym. You can find more of his blog posts here at QuickStart.