Different Levels of ITIL Certification

Every organization wishes to offer its services in a cost-efficient and quality-driven way. Their goal, often, is to leverage IT to drive growth, change, and transformation. Many business leaders are now moving their technology organizations into the role of internal service providers so as to assure the applications they offer to their customers. But how can organizations gain optimal value from IT and digital services? Well, many would say by adopting ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

The ITIL framework is a globally acknowledged standard for enhancing IT service quality. Many organizations that want to streamline their processes and improve productivity in the enterprise consider the ITIL framework as a cost-effective methodology. Basically, ITIL equips a service provider with a clear capability model and aligns them to the business strategy and customer needs. The global best practice company AXELOS, which oversees ITIL development, points out that the framework is used by millions of practitioners across the world. Moreover, around 90% of the FTSE 500 (the Financial Times Stock Exchange) rely on ITIL for running their IT operations.

Network administrators and other IT professionals who have the right skills to implement ITIL can find more central and valued roles within their organization. An ITIL certification is the best option to gain such skills. Unlike vendor-specific certifications, ITIL training goes beyond a given role within a particular technology or IT organization, making it quite suitable for network engineers. Moreover, ITIL has recently evolved from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4, something that will help businesses navigate the new technological era called Industry 4.0. Thus, if you get an ITIL 4 certification, your ITIL knowledge will provide a flexible basis to support organizations on their journey into digital transformation.

Willing to know more about ITIL certification? This article makes you familiar with the different levels of ITIL certification and the process to achieve them.

ITIL Certification Levels

The ITIL certification scheme, offered by AXELOS, comprises a series of qualifications focused on various aspects of ITIL best practices to a variety of degrees of depth and detail. There are four certification levels with the ITIL 4 scheme:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation
  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional
  • ITIL 4 Strategic Leader
  • Master

Here is a brief description of all four certification levels.

ITIL 4 Foundation

The Foundation level is at the core of the ITIL certification process. It is designed as an inception to ITIL 4 framework and allows individuals to look at IT service management through an end-to-end operating model for the creation of tech-enabled products, their delivery, and continual improvement. The certification tests your understanding and knowledge of the terminologies, elements, and concepts of the ITIL framework.

Professionals who want to learn about the fundamentals of IT service management and how ITIL 4 can improve the quality of ITSM in an enterprise can apply for this certification. The associated exam consists of 40 questions of multiple-choice format to be answered in 60 minutes. The passing score of the exam is 65% (26 correct answers out of 40).

ITIL 4 Managing Professional

This certification offers practical and technical know-how about running successful IT-enabled services, teams, and workflows. It is designed for IT practitioners who work within technology and digital teams across businesses. The credential is a stream of four modules that are part of ITIL 4:

  • ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver, and Support
  • ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value –
  • ITIL 4 Specialist High-velocity IT
  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve

Those who wish to obtain the designation ITIL 4 Managing Professional have to complete all modules in each stream, with ITIL Strategist being a universal module for both streams.

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

This credential acknowledges the value of ITIL for all digitally-enabled services, apart from just IT operations. By adding this certification to your ITIL professional resume, you can highlight your understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy. The ITIL 4 Strategic Leader is a stream of two modules that are part of ITIL 4, namely:

  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve
  • ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy

To achieve this designation, one must complete all modules in each stream, with ITIL Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve being a universal module for both streams. Those candidates who have already achieved the ITIL 4 Managing professional designation only need to complete the ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy module to get the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader designation.

ITIL Master

The Master Level is at the top of the ITIL certification pyramid. It focuses more on practical deployment knowledge, i.e., the ability to apply the principles, techniques, and methods from ITIL in the workplace. You will be qualified for the ITIL Master designation when you complete all the modules mentioned for both Managing Professional and Strategic Leader certification paths. It is designed for mid to senior-level professionals who have worked in IT service management for a minimum of five years in managerial, leadership, or higher management advisory levels.

Now that you are aware of all the ITIL certification levels, kick-start your career in IT service management today. These certifications are a proven way to make individuals more marketable and improve the overall effectiveness on the job.


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