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Understanding the framework of the ITIL certification pathway becomes crucial for students who want to take ITIL certification. ITIL is the world’s most popular IT service management framework. While there are plenty of benefits to studying ITIL, one of the biggest has always been the diversity of the ITIL certification path. You will have enough choice to be able to focus on the modules which are relevant to you rather than having to cover all of the ITIL in one go.

Once students have passed the ITIL 4 foundation examination, they can then move on to intermediate modules.

ITIL 4 certification path has two intermediate tracks to choose from. The ITIL managing professional track contains the modules that are creating delivery and support, drive stakeholder value, high velocity IT, and direct plan & improve. As you take all four of these exams and you pass them, you will get the certification. Once you get all four, you will be known as a managing professional. This certification will provide practical about running successful IT projects.

 Meanwhile, the ITIL strategic leader branch is mostly focused on management and leadership. It has only two requirements for that are direct plan & improvement and digital & IT strategy.

As there are two direct plans & improvements, you can choose any one of them out of the two tracks.

By completing all of the modules in a given branch will earn the students the corresponding titles. The title of ITIL managing professional (MP) and the title of ITIL strategic leader (SL). Once you earn both intermediate designations, you can then apply for the rank of ITIL master.

Exam format

The ITIL 4 Foundation exam has a total of 40 multiple choice questions, and you have to get 26 marks out of 40 to clear, which is 65%. It is a 60 minute closed book exam. On completion of this exam, you get 2 credits. 

Once you finish with the foundation level, the next step is to go through the intermediate modules, which are more detailed and available in two streams, which are service lifecycle and service capability. 

  • The service lifecycle includes five individual certificates with three credits each. 
  • Whereas the service capability includes four individual certification and four credits each.

The service lifecycle focuses on 

  1. service strategy
  2. service design 
  3. service transition
  4. service operation 
  5. continual service improvement. 

While service capability focuses on 

  1. operational support & analysis
  2. planning, protection, and optimization
  3. service offerings and agreements 
  4. release, control, and validation

These are more suitable for executive roles. So, depending on your role or interest, you may wish to choose either service lifecycle or service capability. 

The module exams have a different format altogether. It has 8 multiple choice scenario-based gradient score questions, out of which you have to get a 28 or 70%. 

Remember, while you mix and match the credits from both the tracks, the sum of total credits you have should not be less than 17. Since the direct plan & direct comes under both the intermediate tracks. Luckily, you just need to take one and earn credits. 

To get to ITIL master, you have to start with the foundations first. It is sort of the lexicon of ITIL. It gets you to the point where you can sort of speak the language and understand the main concepts around the full lifecycle in all of its phases. What it comes down to is really just a series of credits that you are getting to get to the point where you can take that capstone course, the managing across the lifecycle, which is what provides you the ITIL master certification.

The lifecycle style is really more of the deciders of an organization, and the capability side really kind of speaks to the doers. 

Based on the job that you are doing, you are going to pick the ITIL specialist or ITIL leader certification that most aligns with the role you are doing, and then you will learn the other roles and work your way up to become an ITIL master. 

The certification path is kind of complicated and difficult. It requires you to conceptually understand everything there is to the framework. Without that broad understanding, you are probably not going to make it till ITIL master. 


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