Here's all you need to know about the latest ITIL certifications, from ITIL Foundation to ITIL Master.
ITIL 4 For Beginners – The IT Infrastructure Library offers best practices for the provision of IT services with a systematic IT management approach (ITSM). ITIL certificates are close to, and for good reason, the top of nearly every list of required IT certifications.
As a framework for IT management, ITIL can help companies to manage risk, reinforce client relationships, create cost-effective practices, and develop a stable IT environment for growth, scale, and change.
The ITIL 4 was updated to support agility, flexibility and innovation in ITSM, whilst still supporting legacy networks and systems in February 2019 by Axelos.
ITIL 4 was completely implemented in 2021 and Axelos announced plans for the complete termination of ITIL 3 by 2022. Those with ITIL 3 expert certification are eligible for the transition module and examination that will enable you to achieve speed and ITIL 4 certification.
Credits from ITIL 3 modules and exams shall be transferred to the ITIL 4 certification scheme for those without an expert-level certification.
ITIL 4 certification paths
While the ITIL 4 system is similar to the previous ITIL 3 scheme, two principal designation paths with seven modules in total have been streamlined between the two certifications.
You move toward either the managerial (MP) or strategic leadership (SL) paths from the foundation level. You can either stop or you will be eligible to obtain the ITIL Master Designation if you decide to complete the two paths.
You will first need to pass ITIL Foundation module regardless of your certification path ( ITIL 4 For Beginners). The main concepts and principles of ITIL 4 are covered in this introductory review.
It has been designed to teach newcomers the basics of ITIL 4 as an entry-level certificate and to certify that even seasoned professionals have the basic knowledge to obtain further certification.
The course of ITIL Foundation lasts for two and a half days in a classroom. ( ITIL 4 For Beginners)
You will take an exam at the end of the course, consisting of 40 questions for multiple choices. The examination takes 60 minutes and 26 correct answers are needed.
Courses are offered by accredited training agencies – you can search the Axelos website for one near you. Alternatively, you can opt to study by Axelos or third-party providers using practical tests and other study material.
ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP)
The ITIL MP is certified for IT practitioners who operate throughout the organization with technology and digital teams. It includes the necessary knowledge, practical and technical skills, for IT projects, teams and workflows.
A series of examination modules are required to complete the ITIL MP certification:
- ITIL Specialist Create Deliver & Support: This module covers core service management techniques, service performance and service quality and improvement methods, and is aimed at ITSM practitioners responsible for the end-to-end delivery of IT services and products.
- ITIL Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value: This module covers engagement and interactions between customers, users, suppliers and partners with the service provider. You’ll cover SLA design, multi-supplier management, communication, relationship management, CX and UX design and customer journey mapping.
- ITIL Specialist High Velocity IT: In this module you will learn how to integrate methodologies such as agile and Lean with other technical skills, including cloud, automation and automatic testing, to deliver rapid delivery of products and services.
- ITIL Strategist Direct Plan & Improve: The fourth module covers the practical skills you will need to “create a learning and improving IT organization with a strong and effective strategic direction.” You’ll focus on how to leverage agile and Lean to plan and deliver continual improvements quickly.
ITIL Strategic Leader (SL)
For all digitally enabled organizational services, ITIL SL is certified, not just for IT operations. It focuses on how IT influences and informs the strategy of businesses. You will need to pass two test modules to obtain your ITIL SL certification:
- ITIL Strategist Direct Plan & Improve: This is the same module as offered in the MP certification, covering the necessary skills to create a “learning and improving” IT organization.
- ITIL Leader Digital & IT Strategy: In the second module, you’ll learn how to align the business and IT strategy and how to handle disruptive technologies.
You will be qualified for the ITIL Master designation if you complete all the modules needed for both MP and SL certification paths. You need at least five years of experience in IT service management at leadership, management or senior management advisory levels to become an ITIL Master.
The ITIL master designation needs a strong background in ITSM as well as extensive practical experience in ITIL, but for this designation there is no formation or fixed curriculum.
A situation of your choice will be tested, so that the material is personal to your experience.
According to Axelos, you need practical experience and you will ‘explain and justify how the ITIL Framework and management supporting techniques have personally selected and implemented a variety of knowledge, principles, methods and technique for achieving the desired business results.’
ITIL 3 certification compatibility
ITIL 4 is compatible with ITIL 3 — the courses included in ITIL 3 have been credited to its ITIL content level, which will therefore continue to be useful for your ITIL professional education.
The ITIL 4 Management Professional Transition Module and Exam will be eligible for 17 credits or more or candidates who received an ITIL Expert Certification under ITIL 3.
This is designed to quickly upgrade candidates with the changes made to the new version and will allow you to gain the updated identification of ITIL Management Professional (MP).
If you want to find out more about how your ITIL 3 certifications will transfer to the ITIL 4 certification scheme, Axelos offers recommended routes for candidates in this position.
ITIL certification training
Depending on your knowledge of the material you can prepare for your ITIL 4 certification in a few ways. You can download study materials and examinations through the Axelos website if you’re familiar with ITIL 4 and feel comfortable learning for the exam. Organizations can also choose to train ITIL trainers and obtain certification on-site.
You can select the accredited training provider, which is available on Axelos website, if you are new to ITIL or want a refresher before taking an examination.
ITIL certification salary
The ITIL 4 certification can help increase your wages and increase the amount in a number of places. On average, IT personnel – or employees in ITIL 4 positions – earn an annual average of $96,000, according to PayScale information.
PayScale also gives information on how an ITIL 4 certification can increase wages across various IT positions:
Business analyst II
Service delivery manager
IT project manager
IT business analyst
ITIL certification cost
Registration costs vary from $ 150 to $ 500, for both ITIL 3 and ITIL 4 certification exams. While you can study yourself for ITIL, coursework is highly recommended and class fees vary per location and institute, whether completed online or in a school setting.
Training for classroom intensive instruction can be between $500 for an online course and well over $1,000, and training can include or cannot include an application fee.
Axelos has launched My ITIL together with ITIL 4—a web-base network resource which connects applicants with industry leaders’ publications, instruments, templates and insights.
Your ITIL Foundation Examination includes a one-year subscription to My ITIL which will give you access to ITIL training resources and content, such as:
- Templates and publications of ITIL
- White papers
- Professional development planning CPD instruments
- Digital badge for your ITIL Foundation certificate