What is ITIL Certification?

ITIL is a common framework in the IT industry, but a lot of us don’t know what it means, or even what the certifications can do for us. Learn more about the ITIL certification in this post.

What Does ITIL Stand For?

First of all, let’s cover the ITIL definition. I didn’t know what it was when I started. Fortunately, my first role in the IT industry was in software support which worked with components of ITIL.

“ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, and is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.”

What does it mean for us IT professionals? Well, we can improve our knowledge in this area and apply it to service management, support, change management, and other areas.

What Is ITIL Certification?

The ITIL organisation offers several certifications in this area. Getting an ITIL certification will increase your knowledge on the ITIL practices and methods.

There are several certifications available:

  • ITIL Foundation certification
  • ITIL Intermediate certification
  • ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle certification
  • ITIL Expert certification
  • ITIL Master certification

I’ve detailed the ITIL certification path in another article, so I won’t go into the details here.

However, the most common certification that ITIL offers is the Foundation. This is probably because it’s the first certification to obtain, but it’s also because a large portion of ITIL certification holders don’t proceed past the Foundation level.

Who Is The ITIL Foundation Certification Good For?

The ITIL Foundation certification gives an overview of the key elements, terminology, and concepts used in ITIL. It’s great for those of us who are working in IT service management, which includes implementing and managing IT services. This can include:

  • release management
  • change management
  • help desk support
  • software support (2nd or 3rd level support)

If you’re in any of these roles, you could get a lot of benefit from this certification. It’s also good for other people working in project teams, such as project managers, business analysts and testers, as it can improve their knowledge of ITIL and how it is implemented in their organisation.

What About The ITIL Intermediate Certification?

The next level certification is the ITIL Intermediate. This is more focused than the ITIL Foundation, as you would expect.

There are several streams of the ITIL Intermediate certification, which are split into two areas.

The Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement streams are all targeted to those who wish to move into a team leader or manager role, or are already in that role. This is because they include a broader focus and allow you to manage some of the areas involved in ITIL.

The Service Offerings and Agreements; Release Control and Validation; Operational Support and Analysis; and Planning, Protection and Optimization streams are more focused and are therefore targeted to those who are working on the day-to-day operations in the ITIL area.

So, there are nine streams altogether for ITIL Intermediate, and your choice would depend on which area you work in, or wish to work in.

My Opinion

Personally, I don’t work closely with a service management team or role at the moment, which is why I haven’t looked into getting any of these certifications. I’m currently a business analyst, and there are other certifications out there that may be more relevant and useful. I’m currently studying for the CAPM certification.

If you’re involved in any of the roles related to IT service management, as mentioned above, I think it would be a good idea to at least get the ITIL Foundation certification. It would set you apart from other people in the industry who don’t have it, and you can use the knowledge to get a better understanding of your area.

To get started on it, you could look for some ITIL certification books, or look up some ITIL certification training in your area. I don’t know if you can get the ITIL certification online, as many certification providers only do in-person exams. Do a Google search for ITIL certification books or training to get some specific information.