» ITIL Certification » ITIL v3


ITIL is the world’s most popular IT service management (ITSM) framework. ITSM professionals can gain certification in ITIL through PeopleCert – the exam institute appointed by AXELOS, the owner of ITIL. ITIL has been the preferred ITSM framework of choice by many organizations since the late 1990s.

A significant update to ITIL occurred in 2007 when ITIL v3 was launched. This was sometimes referred to as ITIL 2007. ITIL v3 was further updated in 2011.

This article describes ITIL v3 certification and the ITIL v3 certification path. In 2019, AXELOS released ITIL 4. More information about ITIL 4 or ITIL 4 certification, can be found here

ITIL certification levels

There are 5 certification levels for ITIL v3. These are:

  • ITIL Foundation.
  • ITIL Practitioner.
  • ITIL Intermediate.
  • ITIL Expert.
  • ITIL Master.

The ITIL certification path is described in more detail below.

ITIL certification path

ITSM professionals can navigate all the way up to the highest Master level in the ITIL certification path by passing the appropriate ITIL examinations.

1. ITIL Foundation certification

The entry-level ITIL certification is the ITIL Foundation qualification. Approximately 2 million ITIL Foundation examinations have been sat worldwide by 2019.

All levels of ITIL certification begin with ITIL Foundation. ITIL Foundation certification introduces students to the ITIL framework and covers these topics:

  • Service management as a practice.
  • The ITIL service lifecycle.
  • Generic concepts and definitions.
  • Key principles and models.
  • Selected processes, functions and roles.
  • Technology and architecture.
  • Competence and training.

To prepare to sit their ITIL Foundation exam students can enrol in classroom or online training or can choose to self-study.

ITIL Foundation certification is a prerequisite for all higher level ITIL certifications.


  • None


  • ITIL Foundation provides 2 credit points.

2. ITIL v3 Practitioner certification

ITIL Practitioner certification teaches students how to apply the ITIL framework. ITIL Practitioner explains a Continual Service Improvement (CSI) approach to guide ITSM improvement initiatives and covers:

  • Organizational change management.
  • Measurement and metrics.
  • Communication.


  • ITIL v3 Foundation or an ITIL 4 Foundation certificate.


  • ITIL Practitioner provides 3 credit points

3. ITIL v3 Intermediate certifications

ITIL intermediate certifications enables students holding either Foundation or Practitioner certifications to get sufficient credit points to gain Expert certification.

Intermediate levels come in two sets of modules

  1. Service Lifecycle Modules:

    • Service Strategy (SS).
    • Service Design (SD).
    • Service Transition (ST).
    • Service Operation (SO).
    • Continual Service Improvement (CSI).
  2. Service Capability modules:

    • Operational Support and Analysis (OSA).
    • Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO).
    • Release, Control and Validation (RCV).
    • Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA).


  • ITIL Foundation.


  • Service Lifecycle Modules provides 3 credit points each. Service Capability Modules provides 4 credit points each.

4. ITIL v3 Expert certification

Students can obtain ITIL Expert certification by gaining 22 credit points.

One requirement is to pass the MALC (Managing Across the Lifecycle) Exam. MALC tests a student’s ability to integrate ITIL knowledge in real-world settings. Passing the MALC exam provides 5 credit points.

Prior to sitting the MALC exam, a student must have 17 credit points from either Lifecycle, Capability or Practitioner modules. 2 of the credit points must also come from Foundation certification.


  • ITIL Foundation and 15 credits from Intermediate and/or Practitioner modules.

5. ITIL v3 Master certification

TIL Master certification proves that a student can apply ITIL within an organisation. ITIL Master candidates must select a range of personal experiences to explain to an examiner. There is no fixed syllabus for this qualification.

In the exam, a student must explain and justify the following:

How they would select and apply elements of the ITIL Framework to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments:

  • ITIL knowledge. Or,
  • ITIL principles. Or,
  • ITIL methods. Or,
  • ITIL techniques. Or,
  • Supporting management techniques.


  • ITIL Expert certificate. And
  • Must have worked in IT service management for at least five years in a leadership, managerial, or higher management role.

What’s the cost of ITIL v3 certification?

For the cost of ITIL v3 certification check out the price of online training.

ITIL v3 certification path infographic

ITIL v3 certification path