What’s Next After ITIL Foundations?

ITIL® is the most widely adopted approach for IT Service Management in the world. It provides a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering, and supporting IT services to your business plan.

The ITIL Foundations course, which was designed for those looking to begin or accelerate a career in IT Service Management (ITSM), introduces students to the key elements, concepts, and terminology used in the ITIL Service Lifecycle. One of the primary goals of this course, obviously, is to prepare students for the ITIL Foundations certification exam. Still, many are often left wondering about next steps. 

Although the ITIL Foundations course covers all the five practice areas of the ITIL Service Lifecycle (Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation & Continual Service Improvement), an IT professional who completes the ITIL Foundation level will need to advance onto Intermediate levels before being able to qualify for service management positions.

ITIL breaks down their intermediate courses into two main streams: Lifecycle and Capability. Essentially, Lifecycle courses are for those individuals working on IT Service Management implementation, while Capability courses are for those individuals working in the daily process activities. Below are additional details about each stream and the associated training. 

The Lifecycle Stream

The Lifecycle stream focuses on executing and implementing a complete stage of the Service Lifecycle, with an emphasis on the phase, process relationships, roles, responsibilities and implementation. Lifecycle certifications are meant for those who are responsible for ITSM implementation. The target audience for Lifecycle stream typically includes: CIOs, CTOs, Managers, Supervisory Staff, Team Leaders, Designers, Architects, Planners, IT Consultants, IT Audit Managers, IT Security Managers, and ITSM trainers involved in the ongoing management, coordination, and integration of operation activities within the Service Lifecycle.

If your end-goal is becoming an ITIL Expert, or if you're interested in the entire journey, then the lifecycle certifications are probably best for you. The below courses cover the basic steps of the processes in each lifecycle stage, as well as related principles, challenges, metrics, roles, and implementation concerns. 

The Capabilities Stream

The Capability stream is built around four certifications: Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA), Planning, Protection & Optimization (PPO), Release, Control & Validation (RCV), and Operational Support and Analysis (OSA). The Capability stream focuses on improving and implementing existing related processes. The associated training is more prescriptive and covers a detailed view of the inputs, activities, concepts, metrics, and outputs of each process.

Capability modules are meant for those that work in the processes and are responsible in carrying out the daily process activities. The target audience for Capability stream typically includes: Business Process Owners, Business Managers, and Operational Staff in Service Portfolio Management; Service Catalog Management; Service Level Management; Demand Management; Supplier Management; Financial Management and Business Relationship Management.

If you're very involved in doing one or more processes—not just managing those who do—then a capability course could be for you. The below courses cover the detailed steps of a set of processes (not always related to just one lifecycle stage), plus related methods and techniques. 

ITIL Practitioner 

Aside from the Lifecycle and Capability streams, there is also the Practitioner stream. The ITIL® Practitioner Certification course will prepare you for the Practitioner Certification exam and centers on applying foundational knowledge and processes to improving IT services and management.

The target student is an IT professional who holds the ITIL Foundation certification and wants to build on that underlying ITIL knowledge and apply the business competencies of communication, metrics and measurement, and organizational change management to their service practices.

ITIL Expert: Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) 

All the previously mentioned courses lead up to the ITIL® Expert: Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) course and exam. The MALC course encompasses the whole Lifecycle approach to service management and consolidates the knowledge gained throughout the qualification roadmap.

This certification completes the Lifecycle and Capability streams and moves students onto the Expert qualification. Students must acquire a minimum of 17 credits from either Lifecycle, Capabilities, or Practitioner modules before they can take the MALC exam.

Some Closing Thoughts

There are many paths you can take when it comes to ITIL certifications, but none can be achieved without first acquiring ITIL Foundations. It’s important to remember, too, that learning is a never-ending process. In fact, that’s something that ITIL very much advocates.

ITIL training from New Horizons is ideal for any technology professionals looking to enhance their PC skills, create a solid foundation for IT service management in their organization or pursue ITIL certification. Ultimately, our ITIL training will help students implement and manage ITIL best practices in their IT environment. Of course, if you have any additional questions for us, please leave a comment below.

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NH Learning SolutionsDebra Novara

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