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ITIL® – IT Infrastructure Library® for IT Service Management (ITSM) – ITIL 2011

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a methodology for managing IT as a service. It focuses on the end user rather than on the technology. ITIL is frequently used as a method of preparation for achieving ISO/IEC 20000 certification.

On this page we present general information on ITIL, the relevant books and tools, and the various qualifications and training options available. To discuss your ITIL requirements call us on +44 (0) 845 070 1750.

What is on this page:

ITIL 2011

Following an extensive review project, updated versions of the core ITIL books were released on 29 July 2011. The idea behind the 2011 ‘refresh’ is that the guidance becomes easier to navigate, learn, read, teach and adopt. However, the ethos and original principles behind the ITILv3 framework have not changed.

You can order the 2011 updated versions of the ITIL books from the IT Governance Webshop in various formats here: ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite (Updated 2011 Version).

ITIL Beginner's Guide

Where do you start if you're new to ITIL?

Firstly, ensure that you use only genuine ITIL books, courses and tools. Unofficial publications, websites and toolkits are not guaranteed to align with best practice and in tackling ITIL you don't want to waste time using non-aligned, unaccredited books, courses or toolkits.

If you are new to ITIL, IT Governance suggests the following books as a good place to start. We also have useful green papers that you can download for free.

Benefits of using ITIL

ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organisations throughout the world, including NASA, the British National Health Service, HSBC bank and Disney™.

ITIL is a best practice framework, presenting the consolidated experience of organisations worldwide on how best to manage IT services to meet business needs.

Key benefits of adopting ITIL are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased staff retention
  • Increased ROI in terms of IT
  • Improved staff morale
  • A more transparent approach towards IT costs and assets
  • Improved delivery of third party services.
  • Supports business change and continual improvement
  • Enables flexible and adaptable IT services whilst managing risks.

History of ITIL

ITIL was originally developed during the 1980s by the UK’s Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA). The CCTA created ITIL (version 1) as an approach independent of vendor technology, able to cater for organisations with differing technical and business needs. The CCTA (later the OGC) has now become part of the Cabinet Office who, as the owner of the ITIL library copyright, updated it and published version 2. There was another refresh in 2007 when the library was republished as Version 3. It subsequently underwent an extensive review during the course of 2010 and early 2011, and the new versions of the ITIL core books were published in July 2011.

On 1 July 2013, AXELOS® was launched as a joint venture company, formed by the Cabinet Office with Capita Plc., to run the Best Management Practice portfolio, including ITIL. AXELOS owns the intellectual property of the Best Management Practice portfolio, which has now been renamed the Global Best Practice portfolio. It also assumes the management of all existing licensing schemes, accreditation and support of examination institutes, training organisations, and consulting organisations with an emphasis on quality of delivery.

ITIL has been widely adopted across the world, in both the public and the private sector, and is now recognised as best practice for service management. It is deployed in organisations of all sizes and types.

As an official distributor for TSO (the official publisher), IT Governance distributes the full range of official AXELOS ITIL publications from our sites. The core ITIL library is made up of five books, all of which are included in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite.

ITIL Resources

The most useful resources for anyone adopting ITIL are, of course, the books in the ITIL 2011 Lifecycle Publication Suite. The books in this set form the core guidance to the ITIL methodology, and are essential for any organisation adopting ITIL, or for students who are doing the Intermediate exams.

Useful links:

IT Governance also recommends these titles for anyone considering adopting ITIL:


The table below contains quick links to the official books & pocketbooks, plus other worthy titles:

Publisher Service Strategy Service Design Service Transition Service Operation Continual Service Improvement
TSO ITIL: Service Strategy ITIL: Service Design ITIL: Service Transition ITIL: Service Operation ITIL: Continual Service Improvement
TSO ITIL: Service Strategy Key Element Guide (Single Copies) Key Element Guide: ITIL Service Design - 2011 Edition (Single Copies) Key Element Guide: ITIL Service Transition - 2011 Edition (Single Copies) ITIL: Service Operation Key Element Guide (Single Copies) ITIL: Continual Service Improvement Key Element Guide (Single Copies)
Various The ITSM Iron Triangle Release, Control and Validation Intermediate Capability Handbook Catalogs, Services and Portfolios The Definitive Guide to IT Service Metrics.


We offer a wide range of titles from third-party publishers supporting the methodology. We also offer a huge selection of ITIL Foundation and Intermediate eLearning and computer-based training courses.

ITIL & ITSM Toolkits

Adopting IT service management best practice within an organisation can be a difficult task. At IT Governance we have a range of toolkits to simplify the process and enable you to achieve adoption on your own:

  • ITSM, ITIL & ISO20000 Documentation Toolkit: Easily adopt ITIL and achieve ISO20000 certification quickly and cost-effectively with the most up-to-date toolkit on the market.
  • ISO20000 Documentation Toolkit: This toolkit contains a set of policies, procedures and templates to assist any organisation to implement key elements of an ISO20000 service management system.

ITIL Training & Qualifications

ITIL has a comprehensive qualification scheme which allows service management professionals to gain recognition of their level of ITIL and service management competency. The syllabuses for the ITIL qualifications are all based on the books in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite.

The Official Accreditor for the ITIL examinations is the AXELOS. AXELOS administers the ITIL certification scheme through Examination Institutes such as EXIN, ISEB, CSME.

There are currently four levels of certification:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • Master

In order to gain ITIL certification you can opt for distance learning, or use an accredited course. Distance learning options are offered for both the Foundation and the Intermediate exams. There is also a wide range of classroom-based courses for both the Foundation and Intermediate exams. Many of the above courses are accredited by the Official Accreditor or one of the Examination Institutes.

CSME and APMG accredited distance learning options are ideal for all those who prefer to learn in their own time and at their own pace. Other options include classroom training for those who prefer a more structured and guided learning programme.

See our Interactive Diagram of the ITIL Certification Scheme.

To support your ITIL certification studies, it is always wise to invest in a range of materials that will guide your learning process and give you the best possible chance of passing the exam, or exams, you have chosen to take. IT Governance offers a leading range of study guides for both ITIL Foundation and Intermediate studies:

ITIL Foundation

Unique 2-Day ITIL Foundation training Course

IT Governance has created an innovative and unique ITIL Foundation (2 day) training course, designed to provide delegates with the knowledge and skills required to pass the ITIL Foundation examination at the very first attempt. This classroom course has been specifically designed to ensure delegates acquire the ITIL Foundation certificate at the lowest cost and with the least time away from the office.

ITIL Intermediate

The ITIL Intermediate exams are structured around the Lifecycle and Capability streams. Read our ITIL and ITSM Qualifications page for more information on the Intermediate qualifications.

We offer a range of Intermediate distance learning courses.

ITIL Certification For Organisations

ITIL is a framework of best practice for IT service management. It is not a standard or specification in which organisations can gain certification to meet or demonstrate certain criteria.

The standard to which organisations can be certified to demonstrate the maturity of their ITSM processes is ISO/IEC 20000. By implementing the standard and meeting the specification within Part 1 of ISO/IEC 20000, organisations can gain certification of their ITSM processes to show they follow best practice.

You can find further information on ISO/IEC 20000 here.

ITIL, IT Service Management and ISO20000

The practical relationship between the various books and guides to ITIL , IT Service Management, and ISO/IEC 20000 is shown below:


IT Service Management


Although they are integrated, ITIL and the ISO20000 series serve different purposes. Primarily, the ISO 20000 series is to provide an independent best practice standard suitable for independent third-party certification audits.

The purpose of ITIL is to provide advice on best practices in IT service management. It includes options that may be adopted and adapted by organisations according to business need, local circumstances and the maturity of the service provider. ISO20000 sets the standards that service management processes should aim for.

The ISO20000 Practitioner Training course is ideal for anyone preparing to implement ISO20000. Covering the interpretation and application of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard, delegates completing this course receive the APMG accredited ISO 20000 Practitioner certificate. This course also features a pass-the-course guarantee. Read more.

Service Level Agreements

Service level agreements (or SLAs) are at the heart of ITIL and are used to describe agreed levels of service between a service provider and a customer.

Become a leader in the ITIL field by using our tools and books to build your ITIL expertise.

Need assistance with your ITSM, ITIL or ISO20000 adoption/implementation?

IT Governance now offers an extensive ITIL, ITSM and ISO20000 consultancy service.

Alternatively call us on +44 (0) 845 070 1750 to discuss your ITIL requirements.

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