Now What?

I Passed the ITIL Foundation Exam. Now what?


Did you come away from the ITIL® Foundation class feeling like you got a piece of paper and some interesting information, but not much knowledge to use in the real world?

You’re not alone. And in fact, the ITIL® Foundation class was never intended to be practical application training. The Official Accreditor – actually a partnership with the government of the UK called Axelos Limited – deems the Foundation class to be the most basic level of training intended to prepare candidates for a certification for ITIL®. Foundation covers the “what and why”, but definitely not the “how”.

Until recently, the only way to get certification training beyond Foundation was to attend one or more Intermediate classes. And the minimum timeline to reach the Expert level is the equivalent of a minimum 20 days of training beyond the Foundation certificate not to mention 5 or 6 (depending on your choice of classes) very difficult exams.


To that, you could add that (IMHO) only a minority of service management roles in the real world require the Intermediate (or higher) level of training. At the same time, I would contend that most people in service management roles need to have knowledge beyond what is possible to deliver in the Foundation class.

As an ITSM professional, as well as a trainer, it is clear to me that ITIL® Foundation training, while necessary, is insufficient for most people who fulfil a variety of roles that are described in the ITIL® guidance. So we end up with a gap between what is available and what is needed.

Enter ITIL® Practitioner. Before I go into more specifics about this new in 2016 credential, the first thing you need to know is that this certification is not a rehash of older ITIL® Version 2 Practitioner certifications. Until now, no new “Practitioner” certifications have been available since Version 2 was phased out beginning in 2007.

This ITIL® Practitioner is designed to supplement the “what and why” taught in the Foundation class with the “how”. Practitioner training takes the six-step “Continual Service Improvement Approach” to adopting and adapting ITIL best practices. The class introduces and explains 9 “Guiding Principles” of ITIL® and includes guidance on applying the Continual Service Improvement Approach; Metrics and Measurement; Communication and Organizational Change Management.

Perhaps the best feature of this class is that it includes a copy of the book “ITIL® Practitioner Guidance”, an official publication that is a companion to the course. This book contains complete coverage of all concepts taught in the class. Not only that, but the book includes a practitioner’s “Toolkit”, a treasure-trove of templates and specific guidance. Just as importantly, this text can be used by the candidate during the open-book ITIL® Practitioner exam.

Proof of ITIL® Foundation certification (V3 or later) is required to enroll in this class and to sit the exam. It does not replace any other exam, is NOT required to earn the Expert certification but it DOES apply to the required credits to qualify for the Expert exam.

So if you passed the ITIL® Foundation exam but feel something is missing, the new ITIL Practitioner certification may be for you.


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