ITIL Certification Requirements: Everything You Need to Know

ITIL Certification Requirements: Everything You Need to Know  - Blog Post

Are you looking for a way to expand your IT career? If so, consider ITIL4 training courses. 

In the late 1980s, the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) developed the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. At the time, it was a set of best practices that government-based IT service management groups could follow to increase their efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The framework has undergone several iterations throughout the years, including the release of ITIL V3 in 2007 and ITIL 4 in 2019. Now maintained by AXELOS®, it includes a personnel certification program that's become known as the gold standard in the IT industry. 

Achieving ITIL certification can help you better understand and implement the ITIL framework and processes. In addition, it can also advance your career and increase your employee value. Today, we're taking a closer look at this certification, including how to achieve it, its relevance in the IT Industry, and its benefits. 


What Is ITIL?

ITIL is an IT service management framework that outlines best practices for IT services managers to follow. By following the systematic approach that ITIL outlines, companies can manage risks, conserve costs, strengthen customer relationships, and improve the overall stability of their IT environment. 


Benefits of ITIL Certification

ITIL offers a personnel certification program designed for individual IT employees. This program is offered through AXELOS and its partners via different levels of training courses. While organizations cannot achieve IT certifications, their IT capabilities and thought leadership are naturally expanded as team members pursue and achieve certification and then put their new knowledge into practice. 

Employees can choose from several different ITIL certification options. These allow them to study different systems to grow their competency in specific areas of ITIL best practices. This makes it easier for employers to identify individuals who can fill their skills gaps and help them meet strategic goals. 

Some of the top benefits and advantages of ITIL certification include: 

  • Increased employment opportunities for individuals
  • Reduced IT costs for businesses 
  • Improved customer satisfaction ratings
  • Improved productivity and better use of skills and experience 
  • Stronger capacity for business growth, scale, and change

Requirements for ITIL Foundation Certification

The ITIL 4 certification scheme covers four levels that increase in difficulty and scope. The first course is the ITIL Foundation Certification.


Types of Certifications

The ITIL V3 certification scheme consists of five different types of certifications. These include: 

  • ITIL Foundation: Basics of the ITIL Framework
  • ITIL Practitioner: How to how to adopt/adapt the ITIL framework to support business objectives
  • ITIL Intermediate: Integrates key concepts, Service Lifecycle and Service Capability modules
  • ITIL Expert: Covers ITIL scheme in its entirety
  • ITIL Master Levels: Applies ITIL principles, methods, and techniques in the workplace

In 2019, ITIL V4 replaced ITIL V3 and essentially condensed the certification scheme. Now, there are four levels. These include: 

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

Our ITIL 4 Training Courses are designed for students pursuing ITIL 4 certification


Prerequisites for Foundation Level

The ITIL Foundation Level certification does not have any prerequisites. Candidates interested in pursuing this certification are welcome to do so. This material covers the ITIL framework's fundamental concepts, components, and terms.

The only criterion to take this course is that all learners must have either an undergraduate degree or a high school diploma. They should also have basic IT training to understand the ITIL framework and understand how to apply it to improve service management.

The Foundation Course is mandatory if you wish to pursue additional ITIL certifications. 


Eligibility Criteria for the Exam

No prerequisites or eligibility criteria are required to take the ITIL Foundation Level exam. However, it is helpful if candidates have some past experience in the IT sector. As you work through this certification course, you can receive ITIL credits as you clear each level through the ITIL exam.

These credits are key to unlocking the next level of ITIL certification course or training that you want to pursue.


Types of ITIL Certifications

ITIL offers several different ITIL certification programs to help you expand your presence and knowledge in IT service management. This includes the Service Management Professional (SMP) and the Managing Professional (MP) extension module. 


Service Management Professional (SMP) 

The ITIL Service Management Professional (SMP) certification program is one of four available ITIL V4 certification streams. Becoming a certified SMP gives you the skills to provide successful IT service management. This includes running IT-enabled products, services, teams, and workflows. 

The four modules offered under this certification include:

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

To meet the requirements and eligibility criteria for SMP certification, you must complete all of the modules in this stream. Key concepts covered in this program include the Five Stages of the ITIL Lifecycle for Services. These include: 

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement

Managing Professional (MP) Extension Module

The ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) Extension Module is designed for IT professionals who handle technology and digital teams. It consists of modules that cover core skills and requirements to succeed in this space, including: 

  • Core IT service management techniques
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • High-velocity IT
  • Strategic planning and improvement 

You can complete the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition Module by completing this ITIL expert certification.  

Technical and Essential Skills Needed to Become Certified

The ITIL certification process covers a range of technical and essential skills, that you will need to work in IT service management. Some of these include: 

  • Knowledge and understanding of the ITIL framework
  • Understanding of continuous service improvement
  • Focus on organizational change management 
  • Mastery of lean, agile, and DevOps concepts
  • Ability to adapt to new and emerging technologies 

These can help you understand and apply the ITIL framework more consistently throughout your IT service department. 

High-Velocity IT (HVIT) Certification Program

The High-Velocity IT (HVIT) Certification Program is a module offered under the ITIL V4 certification scheme. This program aims to show participants how to successfully operate digital organizations and digital operating models in high-velocity environments.

The requirements for this program are simple. To participate, you must have achieved ITIL 4 Foundation certification. 

Expert Level Certification Program

The ITIL Expert Level Certification Program is required for anyone who wishes to progress to the ITIL Master Level, which is recognized as the highest and top certification within the ITIL scheme. 

This certification allows participants to demonstrate their knowledge of the ITIL Scheme. It can support career advancement and progress within the IT Service Management industry. 

To obtain your ITILI Master designation, you must have five years of leadership in IT service management and a demonstrated ability to apply ITIL principles, methods, and techniques in the workplace. While this is the fifth and final achievement, the preceding four levels of ITIL certification, from Foundation to Expert, include: 

  1. ITIL Foundation
  2. ITIL Practitioner 
  3. ITIL Intermediate
  4. ITIL Expert

To pass this level, participants must also complete the ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle Capstone Course (MALC). 

Accredited Training Courses and Qualifications Required for Each Level of Certification

Each level of ITIL certification includes its own accredited training courses and qualifications. These include:

  • ITIL Foundation: Basic ITIL concepts, no prerequisites
  • ITIL Practitioner: ITIL Foundation Certificate, Practitioner Exam
  • ITIL Intermediate: Two years of IT service management experience, Service Lifecycle or Service Capability certification
  • Service Lifestyle Modules: Service Strategy; Service Design; Service Transition; Service Operation; Continual Service Improvement
  • Service Capability Modules: Operational Support and Analysis; Planning, Protection, and Optimization; Release, Control, and Validation; Service Offerings and Agreements
  • ITIL Expert: Must hold ITIL Foundation Certificate, 17 credits from Foundation and Intermediate modules, MALC module
  • ITIL Master Levels: Must hold ITIL Expert certificate and have worked in IT service management for at least five years in leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory level

Exam Preparation Tips

Start early when preparing your ITIL study strategies. Using exam preparation resources to help you learn the core concepts at each level is smart. Most exams are multiple-choice, and some, such as the ITIL Practitioner Exam, are open-book. 

To pass each test, you must get a certain number of questions correct. Each test is timed, so one of our tips is to take a practice exam with sample questions to familiarize yourself with the format and duration. 

Exam Structure and Format

The ITIL Certification Exam format varies slightly at each level. As an example, here are the requirements to receive your Foundation Level certification:

  • Number of questions: 40
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Format: Multiple-choice
  • Passing score: 26 out of 40 questions (65%)
  • Open or Closed Book: Closed book


Achieving different levels of ITIL certification can help you progress in your IT service management career. As this program helps individuals strengthen their personal tech skills, it also benefits organizations. A strong IT service team can improve customer relationships, lower risks, and boost productivity. 

At ProTech, we understand the importance of ITIL, and we're here to help you score as high as possible on each exam. We offer ITIL training courses and programs that include virtual/live classrooms and self-paced e-learning opportunities. To learn more about any of our offerings, contact us today!


Published November 1, 2023