What are the Different Types of ITIL® Training?

Darlene Goodman
Darlene Goodman
Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

Professional training organizations around the world offer courses in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®). ITIL® training courses are tailored to help students become certified in either ITIL® Version 2 (V2) or ITIL® Version 3 (V3). Each version offers students multiple levels of certification. ITIL® is a registered trademark of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the United Kingdom and other countries.

ITIL® V2 was revised in 2007 to create V3. Most ITIL® training programs focus on V3, but many organizations continue to use the second version, so V2 training courses are still widely available. Most training programs offer bridge courses to teach V2 users the features of V3, for those organizations that desire to change versions. Both versions begin with a Foundation Certification which gives students training in the basic structures, terminology, and processes of Information Technology (IT).

Beyond the Foundation Certification, V2 ITIL® training offers a Practitioner's Certification and a Manager's Certification. The Practitioner's Certification is mostly for IT service managers who wish to specialize in a particular area of IT. Students can take modules in change management, service level management, configuration management, problem management, and service desk. The Manager's Certification, especially useful for IT managers in charge of implementing ITIL®, covers all aspects of Service Delivery and Service Support.

The major difference between V2 and V3 ITIL® training is that V3 allows for higher levels of professional qualification. V3 involves four levels of certification, including the basic Foundation Certification. V3 also offers Intermediate Certification with courses mirroring both V2 upper level certifications, Expert Certification, and Master Certification.

The Intermediate Certification modules cover the nuts and bolts of IT service management through two learning tracks: Lifecycle and Capability. Lifecycle Certification is similar to the training received in V2 Manager's Certification, except that it focuses on the V3 ITIL® lifecycle categories of Strategy, Design, Transition, Operation, and Continual Service Improvement. Capability Certification is similar to V2 Practitioner's Certification in that it focuses on IT service specializations. It includes modules in Operational Support and Analysis; Service Offerings and Agreements; Release, Control and Validation; and Planning, Protection and Optimization.

V3 offers students two opportunities for achieving qualifications higher than those of V2, Expert and Master. V3 Expert Certification is for students who, in addition to completing both the Foundation Certification and one of the two Intermediate tracks, take an additional training module called "Managing Across the Lifecycle." The fourth and final V3 Certification level is called the Master Certification, and it requires not course training, but on-the-job experience and a peer review.

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