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ITIL/ISO 20000 Knowledge base

ITIL Foundation – all you need to know

Author: Neven Zitek

ITIL Foundation is a training course followed by an exam, which upon completion will award you the ITIL Foundation certificate, a valued asset in your personal and professional advancement.

The first step into the IT service-oriented world starts with ITIL Foundation. It describes how IT resources should be organized to deliver business value, documenting the processes, functions and roles of IT Service Management. So, think of it as an overview, an introduction, or better yet – a foundation to the core principles that lay behind IT Service Management itself.

Many companies have recognized the value of ITIL practices and assign extra points to applicants for job positions if they own the ITIL certificate. And, if an organization (especially a service provider) has already adopted ITIL best practices – it’s reasonable to assume that all IT personnel will end up at least ITIL Foundation certified. You can read about the reasons behind this on this blog post: Why ITIL?.

Who should attend ITIL Foundation?

  • Those who require a basic understanding of the ITIL framework and how it may be used to enhance the quality of IT service management within an organization.
  • IT professionals working within an organization that has adopted the ITIL framework, and who need to be informed about, or contribute to, an ongoing service improvement program.
  • IT Professionals, Business Managers and Business Process owners.
  • Anyone interested in IT Service Management best practices, whether choosing a career path or improving current competences.

ITIL Foundation benefits

There are numerous benefits for you, aside those mentioned before, which are IT organization related. ITIL is globally recognized qualification within the IT industry, and with IT service providers in particular. It’s a valued asset for your professional career development and advancement. By adopting ITIL, you may expect either quicker advancement in your workplace, higher pay, or an easier time finding a new job.

You will also learn a common language and terminology that is used globally within the ITIL community. Even if your organization is service based, using in-house processes and their own terminology may lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

ITIL Foundation will teach you how to do your job better. There is always a need to find smarter ways of doing a job, and ITIL Foundation experience will help you. It’s designed to change the behavior and focus your attention on customer needs and experience.

What will you learn in ITIL Foundation?

If you decide to enhance your knowledge with ITIL practices, the first thing you’ll learn is the terminology used and definitions: what are services, service management, service lifecycle, resources, capabilities, etc. A general overview of Service Management with its processes, roles and functions, key principles and framework models are also covered within ITIL Foundation training. However, it’s not recommended that you attempt to implement those practices based solely on ITIL Foundation, without further guidance.

So if you plan to continue your further advancement in the ITIL Qualification Scheme, it’s worth mentioning that after a successful examination, you’ll be awarded the ITIL Foundation Certificate and 2 ITIL qualification credits (points) used for higher certification levels. More information about the ITIL Qualification scheme is available: ITIL Certification Path – list of all available ITIL trainings, exams and certificates.

Training and examination options

For the ITIL Foundation Level, you can take the exam without completing the training itself. However, please note that this is not the case for any other ITIL module. In any case, it’s strongly advised that you take your ITIL training courses and exams through the network of ITIL Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) only.

ITIL Foundation training and examination can be performed both online and offline. Each of these is a unique experience, but the content provided is the same.

ITIL Foundation online training. In order to take the online ITIL Foundation training and exam, all you need is a computer with an internet connection and a webcam (for the exam only). Select any ATO that offers online ITIL courses and exams (not all of them offer online courses), and follow the training at your own pace. They’ll provide you with digital course materials that include books and videos. Based on your subscription level, you can get access to the instructor via email or chat functions. Sample examination questions that will help you prepare for certification may also be provided. Once you feel ready, you can go for the online examination, for which a computer with a webcam is required.

ITIL Foundation classroom training. For classroom-based ITIL Foundation training, make sure you can spare 21 work hours spread over a 3-day course. Experiences in classroom trainings vary depending on the classroom itself, the lecturer, the number of participants, etc. Materials handed out are generally hard copies, and the biggest advantage is the ability to ask questions and request clarification from the lecturer on the spot.

The exam is not part of the training process, but if you wish to take the examination right after the training, the lecturer will give you access to sample examination questions and perform the examination process at the end. In this case, the examination is performed online as well, but there is no requirement for the computer to be equipped with a webcam, as the physical presence of the lecturer guarantees that ITIL Foundation exam regulations are enforced.

For those interested, the next step in ITIL Qualification is ITIL Intermediate – the next step into the ITIL world.

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