» ITIL Certification » ITIL v4



In 2019 AXELOS, the owner of PRINCE2, announced the most recent updates to ITIL – now known as ITIL v4. ITIL 4 provides an updated set of guidance manuals and examinations.

ITIL 4 builds upon ITIL v3 by introducing up-to-date developments in the ITSM field such as agile, DevOps and Lean. Agile has become widespread in information technology (IT) development.

DevOps has also started a cultural shift within IT operations teams. Both these and Lean approaches have been reflected in version 4 of ITIL.ITIL is the world’s most popular information technology service management (ITSM) framework.

Since its inception, ITIL has undergone several revisions. The most recent revision was in 2019 and has become known as ITIL 4.

This article explains the latest changes introduced by ITIL 4 and why ITIL is the best choice for organizations wanting to ensure their IT services meet their business needs.

Two main components of ITIL 4

ITIL 4 contains two main components. These are:

  • The ITIL service value system (SVS). And
  • The 4 dimensions model in ITIL.

A. ITIL service value system (SVS)

ITIL has 5 core components within the service value system (SVS).

  1. ITIL service value chain

    The ITIL 4 service value chain provides an operations model consisting of 6 activities. These are:

    • Plan.
    • Improve.
    • Engage.
    • Design and transition.
    • Obtain/Build. And
    • Deliver and support.
  2. ITIL 4 practices

    The well-known ITIL processes from ITIL v3 are now named as the best practices in ITIL 4. They are grouped as:

    • 17 service management practices.
    • 14 general management practices.
    • 3 technical management practices.
  3. ITIL 4 guiding principles

    In general, the ITIL guiding principles are the core messages of ITIL 4 and of the ITSM practice. They are incorporated in many other frameworks, standards, and methods such as:

    • Lean.
    • Agile.
    • DevOps.
    • COBIT.
    • PRINCE2 and more.

    The ITIL 4 guiding principles are:

    • Focus on value – Directly or indirectly generate greater value to the business.
    • Start where you are – Preserve good IT capabilities and improve ITSM capability where it’s needed.
    • Progress iteratively with feedback – Improve, often in small steps, the skills needed to accomplish tasks and effectively measure your progress.
    • Collaborate and promote visibility – Teams transparently working alongside stakeholders, and partners.
    • Think and work holistically – Services and service value system (SVS) components promote end-to-end responsibilities.
    • Keep it simple and practical – Apply just the right amount of work within processes, tools, and resource.
    • Optimize and automate – Manual work is prone to error, so automate as much as possible.
  4. Governance
    The means by which an organization is directed and controlled. ITIL governance defines the ITSM policies and rules that the organization uses to deliver and maintain its IT services.
  5. Continual improvement

    Within ITIL SVS there are 3 levels of continual improvement. These are:

    • ITIL continual improvement model (comes from the previous versions of ITIL).
    • The improved service value chain activity. And
    • The continual improvement practice that covers the day-to-day activities. It is also described in the other ITIL practices.

B. Four dimensions model

The 4 dimensions model reflects the former ‘4 P’s of ITIL – people, products, partners, and processes.

Each component of the SVS should consider these 4 dimensions. The 4 dimensions are:

  1. Organizations and people
    Every person must have a clear understanding of their contribution to the SVS. The organization requires a formal structure, define its culture and fit together the capacities and competences of its people.
  2. Information and technology products

    This is the information managed as part of a service and the processes required to protect, manage and archive it. Technology is the main driver of benefits within service management.

    Technology may involve artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile platforms, cloud technology, collaboration tools, automated testing, and operations.

    It may also include continuous integration, development and deployment solutions.

  3. Partners and suppliers
    All service providers create their own value through the provision of those services. When taking decisions about the use of providers, organizations must consider their own strategies, corporate culture, resource availability, cost, subject matter expertise, constraints, and demand patterns.
  4. Value streams and processes

    Value streams are a sequence of steps that create value from products or services. Every product or service within an organization defines its value stream.

    Processes, which transform inputs into outputs, underpin the value streams. There are political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) factors that influence service providers.

ITIL 4 Certification

AXELOS, through its exam institute PeopleCert, provides professional certifications in ITIL 4 at four levels. These are:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation.
  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional.
  • ITIL 4 Strategic Leader. And
  • ITIL 4 Master.

ITIL 4 certification is only available to individuals, not organizations.

ITIL 4 Foundation

Foundation is the entry-level ITIL 4 certification. It offers a general awareness of the key elements, concepts, and terminology used within the ITIL service life cycle.

The key concepts of the ITIL 4 Foundation include the links between life cycle stages, processes, and their contribution to service management practices. The ITIL 4 Foundation framework guidance is available in English, French, German, and Spanish.

ITIL Foundation is the most popular ITSM certification in the world. Each year, approximately 150,000 Foundation exams are sat worldwide.

ITIL 4 Managing Professional

ITIL 4 Managing Professional (ITIL MP) is a set of 4 modules. To gain ITIL MP certification, candidates must pass all 4 modules.

ITIL MP is for IT practitioners working in technology and digital teams within businesses. ITIL MP offers both practical and technical knowledge to enable successful IT-enabled services, teams, and workflows.

The 4 ITIL MP modules are:

  • ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver and Support.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist High-Velocity IT. And
  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct Plan and Improve.

For candidates who are already certified in ITIL v3, AXELOS has designed an ITIL Managing Professional Transition Module (MPTM). It is for ITIL v3 candidates who are already ITIL Experts.

Candidates who have achieved 17 credits from across the ITIL v3 certification scheme are eligible for MPTM.

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

ITIL4 Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) is a set of 2 modules. To be certified as an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, candidates must complete both modules.

The two ITIL SL modules are:

  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve. And
  • ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy.

ITIL SL recognizes the value of ITIL for all digitally-enabled services, not just for IT operations. Becoming certified as an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader demonstrates that a candidate has a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategies.

In both ITIL SL and ITIL MP certifications, candidates must pass the Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve ITIL 4 module.

ITIL 4 Master

The ITIL Master certification validates a candidate’s ability to apply the principles, methods, and techniques of ITIL within the workplace.

To achieve the ITIL Master certification, a candidate must explain and justify how they have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods, and techniques from the ITIL Framework.

The candidate must explain, using examples from one or more practical assignments, how the supporting management techniques were used to achieve the desired business outcomes.

Every ITIL Master candidate will select experiences that are personal to them, therefore, there is no fixed syllabus for this qualification, nor a prescribed training course.

To be eligible for the ITIL 4 Master certification, a candidate must have:

  • Achieved the ITIL v3 Expert certificate. And
  • Worked in IT service management for a minimum of 5 years in a leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory role.

In order to achieve the ITIL 4 Master certificate, a candidate must have achieved extensive, practical, and hands-on experience with ITIL They must also be able to demonstrate their active involvement in the implementation of the ITIL practices.

ITIL v4 certification path infographic

ITIL v4 certification path infographic