ITIL® Certifications traditionally had an advantage of fitting into all levels in an IT Organization – From junior technical and operation team members to senior managers, CIOs etc.

The ITIL V3 scheme seems to be missing that. With a certification scheme divided into Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and now Master level where there is only one way travel through the levels (upward, with each level mandatory), ITIL’s current scheme is definitely alienating a few significant group of people in IT.

Foundation certification is definitely the fundamental certification for any professional, as it always been and there is no debate on that – as it is the level where the professional is introduced to the fundamental concepts and structure of ITIL.

The concern here is about the Intermediate levels and the way the pre-requisites are defined for that.

Senior professionals and managers in IT (CIOs, IT Managers, IT Business managers etc) are definitely stuck with an unpleasant option after Foundation.:

Many of them find the next logical level they should be doing is Managing Across Lifecycle) – which kind of clearly represents their role. However, the Prerequisite for Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) states:

To be eligible for the ITIL Qualification: Managing Across the Lifecycle examination, candidates must have fulfilled the following requirements:
• Have obtained a minimum of 15 credits through formal Service Lifecycle Stream or Service Capability scheme qualifications.

It is as good as saying:

“As per your level you are in, the most suitable intermediate level certification for you in ‘Managing Across Lifecycle (MALC). However, you cannot do that training or certification till you complete at least FOUR other intermediate levels, whether you or your organization need it or not!”

There are many CIOs and IT managers who are (or were) hands-on who won’t mind doing all the required certifications and aim at an ITIL expert level. But there are many (if not majority) who don’t consider it worthwhile or logical for them to go through four or five trainings and certifications (which are not directly relevant for them and their level), in order to do the correct level of certification for them. I have already come across a handful of senior people in the industry who are interested in a higher level of certification in ITIL – but are not too motivated after seeing the certification scheme!

It is also important consider the fact that many of these senior people won’t be against doing a couple of other intermediate modules (say Service Strategy and CSI) –which are relevant for them.

But the key roadblock is the fact that the pre-requisite mandates 15 credits from other intermediate modules for him/her to go for MALC – which calls for a minimum of 4 other intermediate modules.

Earlier ITIL certification scheme allowed this – where these senior professionals could go from Foundation to Service manager, without touching the other levels called (aptly)- Practitioner levels. ITIL V3 intermediate levels (the service lifecycle and capability stream modules) are very much comparable to the Practitioner levels of earlier structure. But the bad news for many are that, professionals are forced do complete those levels, whether they like or want it or not.

I am not proposing a complete skipping option of intermediate option, here. There still can be these pre-requisite and conditions for all those who aim to become ITIL expert and ITIL master.

The ideal solution for APMG would be to loosen up the pre-requisite for MALC (make it similar to other intermediate levels) and allow professionals to go for training and certification that suits their need, profile and level.