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ITIL® & ITSM Qualifications

There are several different levels of ITIL and ITSM qualifications available, but what do these qualifications cover and what study options are there?

We aim to answer these and more questions below. All of the information on this page is aligned with the 2011 edition of the ITIL qualification scheme.

For more information on any of our training courses, please call our helpful and friendly customer service team who will be able to help with any queries you might have.

On this page:

Available ITIL Qualifications

The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is supported by a comprehensive certification scheme for professionals. There are currently 4 levels of ITIL qualification: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master. On this page we will look at each level of qualification, who each qualification is suitable for and provide study aids, books and training courses for you to attend to help you pass your ITIL exams. Read more about the full range of ITIL Classroom Training here.

ITIL Certification Scheme

In 2009 the APMG, the accreditor of the ITIL certification scheme, launched a complementary qualification scheme to the core ITIL qualifications. The aim of these is to allow candidates to develop a specialism within ITIL and service management. Find out more about ITIL complementary qualification scheme.

Interactive Diagram of ITIL Certification Scheme

This interactive diagram links directly to the official study material for each component of the certification scheme.


Core Study Materials for ITILv3 Qualification
ITIL Master
ITIL Expert
    Managing Across the Lifecycle    
Lifecycle Modules   Capability Modules
ITIL v3 Foundation for Service Management


As of June 2007 the APM Group became official accreditor for the ITIL exams, offering and administering the ITIL exams through Examination Institutes, such as ISEB, EXIN and CSME.

ITIL Foundation Certificate

Who is this course for, and what does it cover?

The ITIL Foundation certificate is the introductory qualification for IT service management according to ITIL. The Foundation syllabus covers the terminology, processes and concepts of ITIL, to provide a good grounding in ITIL principles.

The ITIL Foundation exam is a closed book, 60-minute, multiple choice, 40-question exam. In order to pass the exam you must score 65% or more (26/40). It can be taken online, through an examination centre or as part of a training course. Examination centres are located worldwide, and you can purchase a voucher online, which can be redeemed online to book your exam. This certification provides 2 credits toward your ITIL Expert certification.

ITIL Foundation Study Guides and Aids

There are a number of study guides and textbooks available for those taking the ITIL Foundation exam. We recommend the following:

  • ITIL Foundation Exam Essentials - A concise quick reference to the ITIL Foundation exam. This pocket guide by Claire Agutter, a highly experienced ITIL trainer, will help you to pass the exam at your first attempt.
  • ITIL Foundation Handbook - 2011 Edition 'Little ITIL' - Endorsed by itSMF, this key study resource covers all the content of the ITIL Foundation syllabus and acts as a quick management-level reference tool. An essential purchase!
  • Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam - 2011 Edition - Officially accredited by the APM Group, this official study guide provides a mock exam with answers, allowing you to practise prior to taking the exam.

ITIL Foundation Classroom Training

Unique 2-day ITIL Foundation Training Course

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

ITIL Foundation Distance Learning

For some it can be difficult to find the time to take a classroom course due to personal and work commitments. This is when using a distance learning or eLearning course becomes a pragmatic and cost-effective solution.

ITIL Intermediate Certificates

Who is this course for, and what does it cover?

The Intermediate qualifications assess an individual's ability to assess and apply the concepts of ITIL. The qualifications are organised around two streams, which are:

  • Lifecycle stream – this is organised around the five core ITIL publications in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite. It allows individuals to gain knowledge within ITIL. By completing a Lifecycle stream course you gain 3 credits toward the ITIL Expert certification.

The five qualifications that make up the Lifecycle stream are:

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement
  • Capability stream – the Capability stream is built around four practitioner-based clusters. Each of which allows individuals to gain knowledge around specific processes and roles. Upon completing the relevant Capability stream course, you will receive 4 credits toward your ITIL Expert certification.

The Capability stream qualifications are:

  1. Planning, Protection and Optimization
  2. Service Offerings and Agreements
  3. Release, Control and Validation
  4. Operational Support and Analysis

Qualifications from each stream count toward your ITIL Expert certification (you can take courses from either, or both, streams).

Upon amassing 17 credits toward the ITIL Expert qualification (2 credits from Foundation 15 from Intermediate courses), it is necessary to progress on and take the mandatory Managing Across the Lifecycle course and pass the corresponding exam if you wish to become an ITIL Expert.

The ITIL Intermediate exams are 90-minute, multiple choice, 8-question exams. The exams are closed-book. In order to pass any of the exams you must score 70% or more (28/40). If you are taking an Intermediate exam in a language that is not your first language, then you are allowed 120 minutes, plus the use of a dictionary. 

ITIL Intermediate Study Guides and Aids

The key study guides for your Intermediate studies for the Lifecycle stream qualifications are the books in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite. Each of the five core books, Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement, are the recommended study materials for the corresponding Lifecycle stream qualification of the same name.

The TSO have published a series of pocketbooks to aid individuals with their ITIL Capability stream studies:

One study guide that should be essential reading for anyone taking either a Lifecycle or Capability stream course is Passing Your ITIL Intermediate Exams (available in a variety of formats). This title covers the key competencies that you’ll need to comprehend in each of the exams. It also offers advice and guidance on how to prepare in the correct manner, with an additional quick re-cap of information learnt for the Foundation exam.

ITIL Intermediate Distance and eLearning:

IT Governance has assembled a range of accredited eLearning courses for the Intermediate exams. Each of these courses is delivered online and you are able to access each course for a period of 60 days. The courses are available from the IT Governance online store:

Lifecycle Stream Courses:

Capability Stream Courses:

ITIL Expert Certificate

The ITIL Expert certificate is automatically awarded to those who have achieved a total of 22 credits. The 22 credits have to include credits from the mandatory Foundation and Managing Across the Lifecycle units, the other 15 credits coming from a variety of other Intermediate units prior to study for the Managing Across the Lifecycle exam. Gaining the ITIL Expert certification demonstrates an individual’s superior knowledge of the ITIL Service Lifecycle in its entirety.

For those looking for a flexible way to gain their ITIL Expert certification, having not attained the necessary credits from the Managing Across the Lifecycle course, you can now purchase a 90-day online subscription from the IT Governance online store for a Managing Across the Lifecycle eLearning course. You can also pay for your Managing Across the Lifecycle exam online.

The ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle exam is a 120-minute, multiple choice, scenario-based, 10-question exam. The exam is closed-book. In order to pass the exam you must score 70% or more (35/50).

ITIL Master Certificate

The ITIL Master qualification is aimed at service management practitioners and consultants who are highly experienced at applying, managing and improving IT service management.

To be eligible for the Master certificate you must already possess an Expert certificate and have worked in IT service management for at least five years in leadership, management, or higher management advisory level.

The Master certificate will require candidates to explain and justify how they selected and applied a range of principles, knowledge, methods and techniques from ITIL, and other supporting management techniques, to accomplish business goals in multiple practical assignments.

For further information on the Master certificate, you can contact us on 00 800 48 484 484 or email us

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