ITIL Master Certification – Do I Need the Icing on the Cake?

At a recent course in Canada, I ran across a former student who had achieved her ITIL® Expert certification. She asked me whether she should go for the ITIL Master certification. Her question really got me thinking about the value (or lack thereof) of obtaining this certification.

The ITIL Master certification process was released in 2012 and ITIL Experts are closely scrutinizing it. Unlike the other ITIL certifications, there is no associated training course, exam or fixed syllabus with relevant learning objectives. Before you start opening that bottle of champagne to celebrate, there is a process to follow. You need to be an ITIL Expert (that means you need to have all 22 credits) and you should have at least five years experience carrying out management/senior leadership roles.

The key to success for this certification is for you to be able to identify the key ITIL principles, methods and techniques within your workplace and demonstrate your active involvement in the implementation of the ITIL best practices. Therefore, each submission will be very much dependent on the student’s workplace and the situation he/she chooses to address.

The basic steps are to register with an examination institute, submit a proposal along with a work package and then interview with the assessment panel. If all the stages are approved, then a certificate and pin will be issued.

The cost is approximately $4,000, so we have to balance the cost with the benefit. For a consultant, trainer, or mentor in ITIL, I believe this certification could be ideal to support your work and credibility, but is not mandatory. However, if you’re an ITIL process manager, it’s not necessarily a key requirement as the ITIL Expert certification is more than sufficient.

So what how did I advise my former student?  Well, I mentioned all the points above to ensure she was aware of the work that needed to be carried out.  I also asked her to consider carefully what she wanted from the certification to see if the certification was right for her.

Right now, I don’t see the full benefits of the certification. But I think the popularity will rise for this certification when it becomes a requirement for certain roles within organizations. While I don’t see that happening anytime soon, we all know that the in IT things can change rapidly.

Hitesh Patel

*ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office

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