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What is ITIL?

ITIL® is the most widely adopted framework for IT Service Management in the world. It is a practical, no-nonsense approach to the identification, planning, delivery and support of IT services to the business.

ITIL® principles are used by a number of organisations in both the public and private sectors such as NASA, the NHS, HSBC bank, DisneyTM and L’Oreal. ITIL® is also supported by quality services from a wide range of providers including consultancies, software and tool vendors and well known service providers such as IBM, Telefonica, HP and British telecom (BT).

Developed by the Cabinet Office, the ITIL® best practices are detailed within five core guidance publications outlining the fundamental ITIL® principles, and core-derived publications, which focus on other specific applications or areas within the service management discipline.

There is also an easily accessible, yet comprehensive qualifications scheme, offering a range of personal training courses and certifications covering specific or clustered ITIL® Service Lifecycle phases and processes. These are offered through a network of accredited Examination Institutes and Training organisations.

ITIL® Best Practices also underpin the foundations of ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS15000), the International Service Management Standard for organisational certification and compliance. Organisations can therefore implement ITIL® principles in order to meet the requirements within the standards, to achieve organisational certification.


Can I become a member of ITIL?

There is no direct membership offered for ITIL®, as ITIL® is a guidance framework, however there are a number of international membership groups, institutes and forums for IT Service Management principles and practices.

The most widely known and accepted membership forum in the IT Service Management space is provided by the itSMF – the IT Service Management Forum, who have over 50 international chapters. For more information on their services, please see:


How many people have taken the ITIL qualifications worldwide?

Unfortunately, AXELOS is unable to share this information with the general public at this time, as this information is only shared with members of the ITIL® Qualifications Board, the Licensed examination institutes and the ATO community.

However, they are establishing a process for making this information available on the ITIL® Official website sometime in the future.


How can I appeal my examination/accreditation decision?

All EIs will have their own individual process for appeals against accreditation or certification decisions. Individuals should use this procedure in the first instance.

However, if a candidate is dissatisfied by the processing or result of an appeal or complaint made through the EI, they have the right to escalate this to AXELOS Limited.

If necessary, AXELOS may take the appeal or complaint to the ITIL® Qualifications Board for consideration and resolution. In this instance, AXELOS will submit the issue or complaint to the next meeting of the ITIL® Qualifications Board and ensure feedback is provided in a timely fashion after the meeting.


Can my organisation achieve ITIL certification or compliance?

ITIL® certification or compliance is not achievable, because ITIL® is a framework of guidance and not a standard; however, an organisation can achieve ISO/IEC 20000 certification, the standard for IT Service Management, which is underpinned by ITIL® best practices.

If implemented effectively, ITIL® principles can help organisations to meet the requirements and can help an organisation achieve certification when audited by a registered certification body.

For more information, please see

Software Tool vendors can also obtain endorsement following assessment of “ITIL® Process Compliant” software tools under the official Cabinet Office ITIL® Software scheme. For more information please see:


Is there an ITIL glossary of terms and definitions?

The Official ITIL® Glossary is available and has been translated into a number of languages to support the translation of examinations and publications.

The Glossary can be downloaded from the following webpage:



May I use the ITIL diamond device?

The ITIL® “diamond device” has a four quadrant pattern. It comes in various colours, is a lapel pin and may appear on ITIL® certificates or some itSMF publications. AXELOS does not own this logo. If you wish to reuse the diamond device you need to contact itSMF for permission.

For more information, please see


Can I advertise myself as ITIL qualified on my business card?

Currently, there are no post-nominals for ITIL® certified individuals. Any individual who would like to include information on their ITIL® certification on a business card needs to take note of the following:

  • An AXELOS Trade Mark logo (e.g. the ITIL® Swirl) cannot be used on business cards as they advertise a person/company and not the associated product.
  • An AXELOS word mark can (e.g. ITIL®) be used on a business card as long as the correct symbology is used. For example:

Joe Bloggs
ITIL® Accredited Trainer

Where practical (if it can be included legibly) the Trade Mark acknowledgement statement should also be shown. For example:

Joe Bloggs
ITIL® Accredited Trainer
ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of Axelos Limited, in the United Kingdom and other countries.


When will my name appear on the Global Successful Candidate Register on the ITIL Official Site?

The name and examination details of all successful ITIL® examination candidates who have given permission will be added to the Global Successful Candidate Register at:

This website is updated by each Licensed Examination Institute directly. If your details do not appear on the website 6 weeks following confirmation of your examination result, contact the Examination Institute you gained your qualification through. Examination Institute details can be found on the following webpage:


I have passed an ITIL examination. Will I receive an ITIL Pin?

ITIL® examination candidates should obtain their pin from their Examination Institute upon successful completion of their examination.
The Examination Institutes administer the pin scheme on behalf of the itSMF ( who offer pins to successful candidates in exchange for contact information for Service Management related marketing and information purposes.

Your pin will either be sent directly to you with your certificate or you will be advised of the application process for receipt of the pin, which will involve providing your express permission to share your information with the itSMF.

If you have passed an examination but have not yet received your pin, please contact your Examination Institute listed on the following webpage:


How do I obtain a replacement ITIL pin or certificate?

To get a replacement certificate or ITIL® pin you should contact the Examination Institute through which you gained your qualification listed on the following webpage:

If you are not aware of which EI this was you should contact your course provider.



Are there any restrictions on qualifications/credits that can be used towards ITIL Expert Level?

Any combination of ITIL® Intermediate certifications can be used towards the ITIL® Expert Level award, as there is a minimal degree of overlapped ITIL® content between the different modules.

For students who would like to use earlier and current certifications and credits towards the ITIL® Expert Level, the following modules cannot be used together towards Expert Level, because they have a high degree of overlapped ITIL® content:-

  • SOA with IPAD
  • RCV with IPRC (or CCR)
  • PPO with IPPI

Candidates who are actively working towards the ITIL® Expert Level should use the ITIL Credit System guidance ( ) to ascertain how many credits they currently hold towards this level of certification and if there are any restrictions on future certifications they should take, based on their current qualifications profile. Candidates can gain information on which module selections will provide an optimum balance of ITIL knowledge, by identifying the levels of overlap between ITIL certifications.


What books should I use to study for the ITIL examinations?

The ITIL® Foundation examination is based on the five Core publications; however there are a number of core derived, condensed study aids based on the content of the syllabus which can help students prepare for the examination.

The ITIL® Intermediate courses and examinations are based on the five core publications, and each individual course and examination has a focus on one or more of these titles.

FGI provide one main supporting manual per course as part of the course fee unless advised otherwise by the delegate.

For more detailed information on the publications required for each of the qualifications and to purchase a publication, please see our Publications Section or


What languages are the ITIL examinations translated into?

ITIL® Examinations have been translated into a variety of languages, reflecting the international coverage and application of the ITIL® framework. For more information on the available examination languages, please see:


Is the ITIL Expert Level a higher or equivalent certification level to the ITIL Service Manager qualification?

The ITIL® Expert is a slightly higher level certification than the Service Manager qualification because it encompasses the knowledge base form earlier ITIL® versions together with the broader Service Lifecycle elements.


How do I achieve ITIL Expert Level Certification?

Throughout their Service Management career, candidates can use the intermediate certifications to develop specialisms related to their specific ITIL® role or area of practice, and use the accessible, flexible design of the scheme to change their certification path as they move into new and different areas of the profession.

As candidates gain a variety of qualifications over time, they will also accrue credits for each module, which they can use towards ITIL® Expert Level Certification, which recognises a candidates overall achievement and a superior level of ITIL® knowledge and expertise.

In order to reach the ITIL® Expert Level, candidates need to achieve the pre-requisite number of associated credits which is 22 (twenty-two). Candidates must ensure that 2 (two) of these credits are achieved at ITIL® foundation level and 5 (five) are from the MALC qualification.

When working towards ITIL® Expert Level, we strongly recommend that candidates achieve a selection of certifications which cover a variety of the process and concept areas through the intermediate stream. This will ensure that candidates have a balanced and superior knowledge of the whole of the ITIL® Service Lifecycle, and will better enable them to apply the principles in practice.

For more information on the ITIL® Expert Level, please see:


What ITIL examinations can be taken and what are the entry requirements?

The following certifications are available under the ITIL® Qualifications scheme:

  • The ITIL® Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management is the entry level examination for the scheme. There are no pre-requites for entry to this examination.
  • The ITIL® Intermediate Level is the core of the scheme. To take an examination at this level, candidates must hold the ITIL® Foundation qualification and must complete an accredited training course.

The following examinations are available at the intermediate level:

  • Service Lifecycle management focused examinations: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.
  • Service Capabilityprocess focused examinations: Planning Protection and Optimization, Release Control and Validation, Operational Support and Analysis and Service Offerings and Agreements

ITIL® Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) is the Capstone examination for the scheme. Candidates who have gained a number of ITIL® certifications are eligible to take this course and examination, and will be eligible for the ITIL® Expert Level Award following successful completion.

To take the MALC examination, candidates must hold the ITIL® Foundation qualification, must have achieved a minimum of 17 credits from ITIL® intermediate (or earlier) certifications, and must complete an accredited training course.

For full information on the qualifications available under the scheme please see our ITIL® courses page.


What is the ITIL Credit System?

In order to recognise the value and inherent ITIL® content in the earlier ITIL® certifications from earlier schemes, a decision was made to include a credit system in the design of the ITIL® qualification scheme. The credit system allocates each ITIL® qualification in the current and earlier schemes with a specific credit value, based on the qualifications’ coverage of the ITIL® core principles and processes.

Throughout their Service Management career, candidates can use the intermediate certifications to develop specialism’s related their specific ITIL® role or area of practice, and use the accessible, flexible design of the scheme to change their certification path as they move into new and different areas of the profession.

As candidates gain a variety of qualifications over time, they will also accrue the associated credits and once a maximum number of credits are achieved, they will be able to reach the ITIL® Expert Level Certification, which recognises a candidate’s overall achievement and a superior level of ITIL® knowledge and expertise.

For more detailed information on the credit values and how the system works, please see:



As a holder of an ITIL Service Manager Certificate, how can I achieve ITIL Expert Level now the Manager Bridge exam is no longer available?

In order to reach ITIL® Expert Level, holders of the Service Manager Certificate must successfully complete the following:

    • Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management


    • Service Strategy OR Continual Service Improvement


    • Managing Across the Lifecycle