ITIL FAQs

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ITIL® FAQsWhat is the latest news with ITIL4? - We have a separate blog dedicated to just ITIL 4: ITIL® 4 - What’s Happening, What’s New And What We Know…

What does ITIL stand for? - ITIL stands for ‘The Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ and comprises of a number of ‘Best Practice’ books. Now the owner of ITIL AXELOS prefers people to just refer to it as ‘ITIL’.

What is ITIL? - ITIL originally stood for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, but is now just known as ‘ITIL’.It is part of the ‘Best Practice’ Solutions portfolio which is currently managed by AXELOS. ITIL is ‘Best Practice for IT Service Management (ITSM). ITIL originated in 1989 and is adopted worldwide by both public and private sector organisations.

What is the ITIL Methodology? - ITIL is not a methodology. It is a ‘framework’ to be adopted and adapted to individual organisational needs.

What is the ‘Best Practice’ Solutions Portfolio? - The ‘Best Practice’ Solutions portfolio is designed to help organisations become more effective across a range of key business capabilities including IT Service Management, Project, Programs, and Security.

Who is AXELOS? - AXELOS are a joint venture company established between Capita and the UK Government (Cabinet Office) in 2013. They are tasked with developing, managing and growing the ‘Best Practice portfolio.

Who are PeopleCert? - PeopleCert are the single Examination Institute for the Best Practice Portfolio. They manage the accreditation of training providers and provide access to classroom and on-line examinations.

What is ITSM? - ITSM stands for IT Service Management and is the management of quality IT Services that meets the needs of the business. ITSM is delivered by the appropriate mix of people, processes and technology.ITIL is the most widely used framework for implementing ITSM.

Why should we use ITIL? - ITIL has become the de-facto standard for implementing IT Service Management worldwide and have been used both in public and private sector organisations. The ITIL Framework provides both high level and detailed guidance on Service Delivery and Service Support.It offers ‘Best Practice’ guidance on how to implement ITIL and integrate with other frameworks and methodologies. The key advice is to adopt and adapt ITIL for individual organisational needs.

What are the benefits of adopting ITIL? - The benefits of ITIL will vary from organisation to organisation depending on the type of organisation, its size and use of IT, the market it operates in and what its business objectives are. Generally the successfully adoption of ITIL can help organisations improve services by providing ways of helping it to manage business risk and service disruption or failure, improve and develop positive relationships with its customers by delivering efficient services that meet their needs.

Why should I do an ITIL certification? - ITIL is recognised worldwide as the leading IT Service Management framework with over 5 million qualified practitioners to-date. From a prospective employer’s perspective the certification at whatever level ensures that an IT professional knows the best practices and the best solutions in any IT service management situation. The certification scheme was updated in 2000, 2008, 2013 and will be updated again in 2019.

What is ITIL Training? - AXELOS who own and manage the ITIL have developed a training certification scheme which comprises of a Foundation, Intermediate and Expert level training and certification (via exam) delivered by accredited training providers worldwide. ITIL courses can be delivered via public scheduled courses, on-site or as self-paced on-line training. This includes both ITIL v3 courses until at least June 2020 and ITIL4 Foundation courses from March 2019 and more advanced ITIL 4 courses from H2 2019.

What are the processes of ITIL V3? – A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. It may include any of the roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed.

There are 26 recognised processes documented in ITIL version 3 (2011 edition) being:

Service Strategy phase

  • Strategy management for IT services
  • Service portfolio management
  • Financial management for IT services
  • Demand management
  • Business relationship management

Service Design phase

  • Design coordination
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service level management
  • Availability management
  • Capacity management
  • IT service continuity management
  • Information security management
  • Supplier management

Service Transition phase

  • Transition planning and support
  • Change management
  • Service asset and configuration management
  • Release and deployment management
  • Service validation and testing
  • Change evaluation
  • Knowledge management

Service Operation phase

  • Event management
  • Incident management
  • Request fulfilment
  • Problem management
  • Access management

Continual Service Improvement phase

  • Seven-step improvement process

Although processes are documented in one of the 5 'core books' many of the processes run over the entire life-cycle, e.g. Knowledge Management. Other processes may be limited to just one or two life-cycle phases.

What is ITIL Certification? – Can best be described as the issuing of a certificate to confirm compliance to a standard. Certification includes a formal audit by an independent and accredited body in the case of ITIL this is AXELOS who award the certification. It also means that a person has achieved a qualification from an awarding body and holds a certificate to provide evidence.

What are the ITIL Certification levels? – The current ITIL V3 (2011) certifications are:

  • ITIL Foundation
  • ITIL Intermediate (Lifecycle modules x 5 courses or Capability modules x 4 courses)
  • Managing across the lifecycle – MALC (Takes you to Expert level)
  • Manager (assessed rather than examined)

Each module is worth a number of credits.

  • Foundation – 2 credits
  • Intermediate Lifecycle – 3 Credits
  • Intermediate Capability 4 credits
  • MALC – 5 Credits

You will need to gain 17 credits before taking the MALC course. 22 credits makes you an ITIL Expert.

What are the 5 stages of the ITIL V3 lifecycle? – The five stages of the ITIL life-cycle are...

  • Service Strategy – Service Strategy provides guidance on how to view service management not only as an organizational capability but as a strategic asset. It describes the principles underpinning the practice of service management which are useful for developing service management policies, guidelines and processes across the ITIL service life cycle.
  • Service Design - ITIL Service Design provides guidance for the design and development of services and service management practices. It covers design principles and methods for converting strategic objectives into portfolios of services and service assets.
  • Service Transition - Service Transition provides guidance for the development and improvement of capabilities for introducing new and changed services into supported environments. It describes how to transition an organization from one state to another while controlling risk and supporting organizational knowledge for decision support.
  • Service Operation - Service Operation describes best practice for managing services in supported environments. It includes guidance on achieving effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery and support of services to ensure value for the customer, the users and the service provider.
  • Continual Service Improvement - Continual Service Improvement provides guidance on creating and maintaining value for customers through better strategy, design, transition and operation of services. It combines principles, practices and methods from quality management, change management and capability improvement.

What is ITIL Foundation? - ITIL Foundation is the first base-level course for the ITIL accredited training scheme, which is managed by AXELOS. The course is normally delivered over three days and culminated in a one hour simple multiple choice exam consisting of 40 questions. It is possible to self-study and book the exam though PeopleCert the accredited Examination Institute.It is however recommended that delegate take either a classroom or self-paced ELearning course with an accredited training organisation to ensure success in the exam.

What is ITIL Practitioner? - ITIL Practitioner is a course that is aimed at those who are using or are planning to use ITIL to implement IT Service Management Best Practice within their organisation. The course is based on the ITIL Practitioner book and covers implementation of the framework, the use of organisational change management and continual improvement.

What is ITIL Intermediate? – The ITIL Intermediate level of the ITIL training scheme is the next level you would progress to after undertaking the ITIL Foundation training and exam. There are two work streams

ITIL Lifecycle modules – aimed at those who will design, implement and improve the processes within the module. Each is based on one of the 5 core volumes.

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement

ITIL capability modules - aimed at those who participate on a daily basis with the processes within the module. These courses are more applicable for people with hands-on experience.

  • Service Offerings & Agreements
  • Planning, Protection & Optimisation
  • Release, Control & Validation
  • Operational Support & Analysis

Each Life-cycle module is worth 3 credits and each Capability module is worth 4 credits. IT is possible to mix and match the course as appropriate for individual needs. Note, that there is a degree of overlap between the two sets of modules


The ITIL training scheme is likely to change with the release of ITIL 4, but there will no doubt be an overlap of at least 12 - 18 months to allow those already on the road to achieving ITIL Expert an opportunity to complete their courses and exams before the old scheme is discontinued.

The development of this blog page is on-going... and probably never-ending...

NOTE: ITIL is a registered trade mark of AXELOS limited.