ITIL® 4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
The new ITIL version 4 has been released. Learn about the changes and what that means for you.
The new updated ITIL guidance is called ITIL 4. This name reflects the role ITIL 4 will play in supporting individuals and organizations to navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The purpose of ITIL 4 is to provide organizations with comprehensive guidance for the management of information technology in the modern service economy. ITIL 4 will evolve to provide an end-to-end IT/Digital Operating Model, covering the full delivery (and sustaining) of tech-enabled products and services, guiding how IT interfaces with, and even leads, the wider business strategy.
In addition to an updated certification scheme, ITIL 4 has been updated to provide a practical and flexible basis to support organizations on their journey into the new world of digital transformation by helping them align their human, digital and physical resources to compete within the modern complex landscape and adopt this emerging technologies into their IT operations.
- The context of ITIL, with the release of ITIL 4 is now much bigger, with an emphasis on the business and technology world, how it works today, and how it will work in the future with Agile, DevOps and digital transformation.
- ITIL 4 will be much more relevant to developers, practitioners and businesses as a whole through promoting a holistic view of delivering products and services.
The ITIL Certification Scheme comprises of the following levels:
- ITIL Foundation
- ITIL Specialist modules (3)
- ITIL Strategist
- ITIL Leader
- ITIL Master
One of the main characteristics of the new ITIL 4 certification scheme is that it is now formed by two different designations streams; ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) and ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL). They are intended to provide end-learners with greater depth of content in key areas of service management and IT strategy to support their learning needs and career progression.
ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) targets IT practitioners working within technology and digital teams across businesses. The Managing Professional (MP) stream provides practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT projects, teams and workflows.
ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) recognizes the value of ITIL, not just for IT operations, but for all digitally enabled services. Becoming an ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) demonstrates that the professional has a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy.
To obtain the designation ITIL Managing Professional or ITIL Strategic Leader, the professional must complete all modules in each stream, with ITIL Strategist being a universal module for both streams.
If a candidate has taken ITIL v3 Foundation, then the recommended approach is to take ITIL 4 Foundation in order to be able to transition to the new scheme.
There is a large amount of new material in ITIL 4 Foundation therefore a new single exam is required to assess end-learner’s knowledge of the new ITIL 4 Foundation guidance. ITIL 4 Foundation was launched in February 2019.
Alternatively, end learners also have the option of obtaining 17 credits from the ITIL v3 scheme which would make them eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module to migrate to ITIL 4 scheme.
End-learners holding 3 to 4 credits beyond Foundation have two recommended options to transition to ITIL 4 dependent on what they want to achieve in the scheme.
OPTION 1: Candidates can take ITIL 4 Foundation and a further module in a preferred area of interest, becoming either an ITIL Specialist, Strategist or Leader.
OPTION 2: Candidates can work towards collecting 17 credits from ITIL v3 to become eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional Transition module. The benefit of this is that you are eligible to fast track past the v3 Managing Across the Lifecycle course and exam.
If an end- learner has achieved 6 credits or more since v3 Foundation, then it is in their interest to continue collecting v3 credits to prepare them for an easy transition to ITIL 4 and gain the ITIL Managing Professional designation. They will need to reach 17 credits to be eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module. This benefits end-learners as they will then become eligible to fast track past the v3 Managing across the Lifecycle course and exam.
If an end-learner has achieved ITIL v3 Expert, they can take the ITIL Managing Professional Transition module as soon as it is released to achieve the ITIL Managing Professional designation. After achieving the ITIL Managing Professional designation, if the end-learner is interested in pursuing the ITIL Strategic Leader stream, they would only need to complete the ITIL Leader Digital & Strategy module. Once they have completed both streams, they are eligible to move towards ITIL Master.
Further details about the release of ITIL Master will be released at a later date.
Due to the structure of ITIL 4 Foundation, there will not be a transition module at the Foundation level. There is a large amount of new material in the ITIL 4 Foundation therefore a single exam is required to assess end-learner’s knowledge of the new ITIL 4 Foundation guidance.
The transition will be a gradual process, allowing for end-learners to continue collecting their ITIL v3 Intermediate credits to enable transition to ITIL Managing Professional. AXELOS will therefore not discontinue ITIL v3 (stop maintaining exams, publishing books or accrediting candidates) before June 2020.
When we talk about ITIL v3 we are referencing the current version of ITIL. We are aware that v3 was updated in 2011 but as this is an edition rather than a version, we reference v3 for the sake of clarity.