An ITIL Certificate is a certification that proves that an individual has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the ITIL Framework. An ITIL Certification is also recognized as demonstrating competence in implementing and using IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices to ensure effective service delivery within an organization.
An ITIL Certification needs to be updated every four years because new and updated books and reference materials are published every four years. ITIL 4th edition will be available in 2022, and any certificates before this date would no longer be valid (under their terms & conditions).
Certification holders without a current certification would need to complete the ITIL Foundation examination again as it is an essential requirement of the Terms and Conditions of the certifications to remain current. This article will go over the reasons why an ITIL Certification needs to be updated and how it may affect you as a Certification holder.
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The ITIL Foundation is a qualification, which demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and terminology within IT Service Management. This certification needs to be updated every 4 years, in which you can register and take the exam anytime during the year. This is the only certification that does not expire. However, you will need to register and take the exam again once ITIL 4th edition becomes available in 2022.
Every four years a new version of ITIL is published. The last release was ITIL 2011 (v3), it has since been replaced by version 5 (a more agile & service-oriented approach) which was published in 2017. If you are studying or plan on taking any ITIL Certification, I recommend that you keep an eye out for the official release of version 5, to ensure that your certification is valid.
ITIL V3 Training & Certification:
Suppose you are currently studying ITIL V3 Foundation training & certification. In that case, it may not be beneficial to take the exam at this point because your certification will become obsolete in 2022, when ITIL V4 is released. Although you may have satisfied the ITIL Foundation requirement, it’s always better to get fresh knowledge through an updated course if possible.
ITIL V3 Terms & Conditions Updates:
All ITIL Certification holders will automatically be subject to the same terms and conditions regardless of when their certification was obtained. In addition to the terms and conditions, if you’ve taken your ITIL Foundation exam after March 19th 2013, you will be required to re-register every four years. If this requirement is not met, you would be in breach of their terms and conditions. Furthermore, if you fail to register within one year of your qualification date, your certification will be revoked.
For instance, if I took my ITIL Foundation exam on March 20th 2013 and failed to register for a new exam by March 19th 2017, my ITIL Certification would be revoked as per their terms & conditions. This is out of my control because registrations are only available online, and I would not be able to register for another exam until 2022.
ITIL V4 Courses:
Attending an ITIL V4 Foundation course/certification will allow you to get a jump start on your career using the latest version of ITIL. The new course places more focus on benefits, Service Strategy and continual Service Improvement.
An ITIL V4 certification would be the more relevant certification to have at this time, especially if you are looking for a career change within the field of ITSM. The latest version of ITIL will be what organisations most recognized and heavily invested in, so having a current certification under your belt will make you much more competitive in the workforce.
ITIL V3 & V4:
Suppose you already have your ITIL Foundation certification and are planning on obtaining the Practitioner level. In that case, it may not be beneficial to take both exams (V3 and V4) until they release version 5 of the exams. The cost difference between the two certifications is about $100 USD, which would be a valuable investment if you stay within the ITIL field.
The other option is to complete your Practitioner certification and then take version 4 of the Foundation examination near 2022 to remain valid as long as possible. If you do not intend on taking any further qualifications, I would recommend completing your V3 Practitioner by the end of 2019 to ensure that your certification is in date. It would be in your best interest to attend an ITIL V4 training course followed by the exam to get a sense of the changes coming with version 5 of the Foundation papers.
In conclusion, if you are interested in ITIL qualifications, now would be a good time to start attending training courses and take the exam(s) as soon as possible to ensure that your certification is valid until 2022. Just keep an eye out for any official release of version 5 of the papers which should come out next year. Furthermore, if you already have your ITIL Foundation certification and plan on working within the IT industry for a while, upgrading to an ITIL Practitioner after obtaining the foundations would be another great investment.