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ITIL® 4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Why do we need ITIL® 4?

Quite simply ITIL® 4 reflects new ways of working that have accompanied the digital revolution.  Service Management, and ITIL® in particular, is still an important toolset but you are now integrating its adoption and use with vast array of new ways of working (DevOps, Agile, SIAM, Site Reliability Engineering).  Since ITIL® v3 in 2006 there are a large number of new and updated technologies (Cloud, Serverless, Software Defined Networking, AI, etc.) that we need to manage.  ITIL® 4 reflects these changes. Barry Corless has given a personal view on this in his blog "ITIL® 4 – A Personal View".   

When are the ITIL® 4 books going to be released?

Axelos released the foundation publication and exams during February 2019.

The “ITIL® 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support” and “ITIL® 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve” publications will be available from October 2019.  Quarter 1 of 2020 see the launch of the “ITIL® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value” and “ITIL® 4 Specialist: High Velocity IT” books.  No date has yet been set for the digital content associated with ITIL® 4 practices to be released.

ITIL® 4 talks about the Service Value System.  Has the Service Lifecycle been ditched?

In a word, yes. The key elements of the Service Value system are set out below.

ITIL 4 Service Value System

Barry Corless outlines the key updates in a webinar.

Should I stop my v3 track and wait for ITIL® 4?  Why?

No.  ITIL® v3 qualifications will still have some standing in the ITIL® 4 scheme.  How that will finally work has yet to be determined.  Many of the subject areas appear in both ITIL® v3 and ITIL® 4 so if you need the skills now…get them now!  You wouldn’t wait for the new model of a car if you needed to drive somewhere today would you? 

Should my organisation switch straight to ITIL® 4?

ITIL® 4 is the latest version. So, it obviously makes sense to take that as soon as it is available in 2019 doesn’t it?  OK, if your organisation has never seen ITIL® or considered it before then ITIL® 4 is a natural starting point.  To steal a well-worn phrase, “Just do it!”.  However, if my organisation has invested heavily in ITIL® v3 it’s a different story.  We’ll be using ITIL® v3 language, we’ll be structured with ITIL® v3 processes in place, we might have our governance, tools and workflows built around the ITIL® v3 service lifecycle.  Going with ITIL® 4 might be like introducing modern day “US English” to an organisation that is speaking “Ye Olde 17th Century English” perfectly!  They can just understand each other but the propensity for mis-communication and lack of clarity increases.  That is amplified if the ITIL® 4 students are junior to their ITIL® v3 trained superiors!  That can be truly dangerous.

My advice is get your IT service management strategists to look at ITIL® 4.  Decide whether the changes justify swapping straight over or utilising a more measured approach.  ITIL® 4 is very different in its approach and philosophy. Tellingly, Global Knowledge have been getting massively positive feedback from ITIL® 4 Foundation courses so far.  If in doubt, talk to us.

So what does the scheme look like?

Far more streamlined!  There are two tracks.  One leading to a Certified ITIL® Managing Professional designation with a more tactical / operational focus.  The other leads to a Certified ITIL® Strategic Leader designation with the name giving you a clue about its focus…It all starts with ITIL® 4 Foundation. 


I see there is a common module between the streams.  Do I need to take it twice?

Thankfully, no.  The Direct, Plan and Improve module will draw on some of the high-quality material in the current ITIL® Practitioner qualification with additions to reflect new Service Value System.

What if I have taken v3 Foundation, should I take ITIL® 4 Foundation?

If you want to continue ITIL® 4 education you must sit the ITIL® 4 foundation. GK have classroom, virtual, digital and blended options available. 

Is there a shorter Foundation bridging exam like we had from ITIL® v2 to ITIL® v3? 

No. Everybody will take the same foundation exam.  However, previous ITIL® knowledge will be recognized in the route that GK suggest for you to get best preparation to assimilate the new material and sit the ITIL® 4 foundation.  We have a more condensed ITIL® 4 foundation bridging course which will lead to the same ITIL® foundation exam.  

What is the ITIL® Managing Professional Transition course? 

October 2019 is the date for your diary when the Managing Professional Transition is released. It provides those IT leaders, practitioners and support staff who already hold the ITIL® v3 expert (or have 17 points under the ITIL® v3 scheme) with a transition to the ITIL® 4 Managing Professional designation.  This will be a 4.5 day course. 

I have 17 credits and am eligible for the Managing Professional (MP) Transition, is there training for that exam?

Yes. You can now book online at ITIL® 4 Managing Professional Transition

I am an ITIL® v3 Expert, where do I begin in ITIL® 4?

Obviously the ITIL® Managing Professional Bridge is the ‘go to’ for you.  However, it depends on your job role, aspirations, etc. If in doubt, contact us.

When can I begin to take ITIL® 4 further qualifications?

November 2019: Launches the “ITIL® 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support” and “ITIL® 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve” from ITIL® 4 Managing Professional Modules

Q1 2020: Launches the “ITIL® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value” and “ITIL® 4 Specialist: High Velocity IT”

Do the ITIL® 4 further qualifications align with v3 Intermediates?  If so, how?

The focus of ITIL® 4 advanced level qualifications has shifted somewhat from previous ITIL® v3 instruction. The deep knowledge of solely the ITIL® processes has been enhanced to allow IT service management professionals to gain a wider perspective of their role and its interaction with colleagues elsewhere.  Any alignment is minimal though the ITIL® v3 Practitioner and ITIL® 4 – Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve contain large common areas of instruction.   

Is there correlation between the Capability and Lifecycle modules when compared to the Managing Professional (MP) and Strategic Leader (SL) streams?

Not really. The designations Managing Professional and Strategic Leader give you an idea of the focus.

Will I acquire credits in ITIL® 4 as I did in ITIL® v3?

No. Just pass the exams in each track to achieve the designations Certified ITIL® Managing Professional or Certified ITIL® Strategic Leader.

Can I pass the ITIL® 4 foundation and still sit the ITIL® v3 intermediates or ITIL® v3 Practitioner?

Yes. Obviously, you may need to do some pre-work to understand the Service Lifecycle.

What are the new course durations?

Outside of the ITIL® 4 Foundation course this is still being decided. Axelos are not stipulating a set number of days rather how many contact hours to deliver the syllabus. The length of course will typically be based on the format you choose with self-paced and flexible options available.  What we currently know is

Foundation122.5 Including Exam
Advanced Managing Professional modules163 Including Exam
ITIL® 4 Managing Professional Bridge264.5 Inclduing Exam

Who can I contact at Global Knowledge to learn more about ITIL® 4?



Tel: 0118 912 1929

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