What Is The ITIL Certification Path?

Are you interested in getting an ITIL certification? They are quite useful certifications to have and can be applied to several job roles in the IT industry. Learn more about the ITIL certification path in this article.

What Are The ITIL Certifications?

To start with, let’s have a look at the different ITIL certifications. We’ll need to know this before we can look at what the certification path is.

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

So, where do we start with the ITIL certifications? How do you progress from one ITIL certification to another? Does it work like the Cisco certifications where you must do the first one before the second on, or is it different?

Let’s have a look.

The ITIL Foundation

As you may have already guessed, the first step in the ITIL certification path is getting the ITIL Foundation certification.

There are no pre-requisites (as far as I can tell from the ITIL certification website) for getting the Foundation exam. You just need to read the material and know it well enough to go for the exam.

It’s a good certification to get, and has many benefits which I’ve outlined in another article.

Once getting this certification, you’ll gain a general overview and basic knowledge and understanding of ITIL.

The ITIL Intermediate Level

After you’ve gotten your Foundation level certification, you can move on to getting an Intermediate level certification.

According to the ITIL website, you need to take part in an accredited training course to be eligible for this exam. There’s a full list of companies that do this on the ITIL website, and this is the only requirement.

It’s also recommended that you have two to four years experience in IT Service Management or related roles before you attempt the Intermediate level exams.

The other difference between this and the Foundation exam is that there are nine modules to choose from. Five come under the Service Lifecycle area, and four are under the Service Capability area.

Modules in both of these areas can be used as credit towards the Expert level exam, so you can take whichever modules most interest you or align with your career plans.

ITIL Managing Across The Lifecycle

The next certification in the ITIL certification path is the ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle.

This certification can only be taken after you obtain a certain number of credits from a combination of Foundation and Intermediate levels certifications. You will need 17 credits from a combination of:

  • Foundation (2 credits)
  • Intermediate – Service Lifecycle modules (3 credits each)
  • Intermediate – Service Capability modules (4 credits each)

So, as you need 17 credits, you could, for example, complete the Foundation (2 credits), three of the Capability modules (3 x 4 credits) and one Lifecycle module (3 credits) for a total of 17 credits. This will give you enough to be eligible for the Managing Across the Lifecycle certification.

You can keep studying and completing extra modules, though. It can be good to increase your knowledge in these areas and it could help you at your job if you’re in this area.

The main reason for getting the Managing Across the Lifecycle certification, other than the knowledge it gives you, is that it means you’re eligible for the ITIL Expert certification

ITIL Expert Level Certification

Once you have the required number of credits from the Foundation and Intermediate levels, and have passed the Managing Across the Lifecycle exam, you’re eligible for the Expert certification.

From what I can see, it’s more of an application process than an extra exam like other certification providers. The MALC certification gives you 5 credits, and once you have your 22 credits (17 from Foundation and Intermediate, 5 from MALC), then you can achieve the Expert certification.

You can then apply for the Expert certification by contacting one of the listed Examination Institutes provided by ITIL.

Also, before IITL v3 came along, there was an ITIL v2. To “convert” from the V2 certification into V3, you had to take a bridging exam, to cover any gaps between the two. This meant that candidates can take an exam to move from V2 Service Manager, for example into V3 Expert.

However, the V2 exams are no longer available so this is not an option if you’re looking to get started in ITIL certification.

Finally, ITIL Master Level

After you’ve achieved the Expert level certification, the final step is to become an ITIL Master. This certification demonstrates that you have the capability to apply the principles, methods and techniques from ITIL in the workplace.

It requires that you use the experience that you have and explain how you have selected and applied a range of knowledge and techniques from ITIL in your role. You’ll also need to have worked in IT service management in a leadership role for at least five years.

There is not a lot of information available for ITIL Masters, but like any other top-level certification, it takes a lot of work, experience and knowledge to obtain it.