There are three levels of certification available for individuals who are interested in building and demonstrating their ITIL knowledge.
The first level is the Foundation level. It requires a basic understanding of the ITIL service support service delivery set and some appreciation of the additional core material.
The second is Practitioner level. A Practitioner is a specialist in the design and execution of processes, and the examination for that focuses on the understanding and application of a specific bundle or subset of closely associated processes.
The highest level is the IT Service Manager level. The Service Manager is often responsible for the setup and implementation of ITIL in an organization. They are very experienced professionals and are typically involved in managing service management projects.
If you plan to provide ITIL service support, the most relative practitioner certification is the ITSR: ITIL Practitioner Support and Restore Specialization.
This certificate establishes the practitioner's knowledge of the service desk function, as well as incident management and project management processes.
To achieve the certification, a candidate must first complete the Foundation certificate and achieve that credential. Once they've completed that they have to take approved coursework and complete three practical assignments which are submitted for approval. A large number of training providers are actually qualified and authorized to present the material, so it's usually readily available.
Finally, the candidate takes a two-hour examination on the subject of service desk, incident management and problem management. If the candidate passes and is granted the certification, they are entitled to wear the ITIL blue badge, which is usually in the form of a lapel pin.
About the author: As senior manager for cyber security and enterprise software for GTSI Corp., Adelle McIlroy's key responsibilities include taking successful techniques and technologies from the private sector into public sector environments. A 15-year veteran of the information technology sector, she has experience comprised of hands-on technical, management and consulting experience in both services organizations and financial services. She received her Bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Miami, and has held the following certifications during her career: CISSP, CISA, CBCP; and MCSE.
This was first published in April 2007