ITIL 4 – The New Certification Scheme

ITIL 4 – The New Certification Scheme


With the ITIL 4 2019 launch being on the horizon, AXELOS has released some new information about the new scheme.  In general, ITIL 4 contains a lot of the same functions that ITIL v3 has, but with some key new additions: DevOps, Lean, IT Leadership and Organisational Change Management are all making an appearance.

The newest update has had the input of thousands of specialists and experts, using their real-world experiences to tailor the framework to suit modern practices. Now we know how the certification scheme will be structured.


The ITIL 4 Certification Scheme

The new certification scheme is split into the following categories:

  • ITIL® Foundation

  • ITIL® Specialist Modules

  • ITIL® Strategic Leader

  • ITIL® Leader

  • ITIL® Master


How to Become an ITIL® Master

Candidates will have to progress through two different tracks in order to achieve the final stage in the ITIL 4 scheme, the coveted ITIL Master qualification. 

After the completion of their ITIL Foundation training, they must complete the ITIL Managing Professional Track, containing four modules, and the ITIL Strategic Leader Track, containing two modules. Only after both tracks have been completed will the candidate be eligible to complete the ITIL Master course.


ITIL® 4 Courses


ITIL® 4 Foundation is set to be released in Q1 of 2019. As with ITIL v3, Foundation is the entry level qualification for professionals who require an understanding of the fundamentals of ITIL and an introduction to contemporary IT service management technique. ITIL Foundation is a prerequisite to studying further levels of ITIL, including the certifications ITIL Managing Professional and ITIL Strategic Leader, giving it value and importance within the ITIL training scheme.


ITIL® Managing Professional (ITIL® MP) is targeted at IT Practitioners who require a deeper knowledge of how to manage successful teams, workflows, and IT projects – all of which have a consequential and direct impact on business efficiency.

The ITIL 4 Managing Professional certification is made up of three specialised modules: ‘Create, Deliver & Support’, ‘Drive Stakeholder Value’, and ‘High Velocity IT’. It also contains an ITIL Strategist module, ‘Direct, Plan & Improve’ - which aims to enhance awareness and knowledge of how to effectively deliver IT projects. This means that should a candidate wish to receive ITIL Master certification they only need to complete one module of ITIL Strategic Leader: ‘Digital & IT Strategy’.



ITIL® Strategic Leader (ITIL® SL) is a certification designed for a candidate who understands the importance of ITIL, not just for IT operations but for all digital IT services. It allows you to gain a greater understanding of how IT directly affects business strategy and efficiency.

The certification is made up of two modules, ‘Direct Plan & Improve’ and ‘Digital & IT Strategy’. ‘Direct, Plan & Improve) is a shared module with ITIL Strategic Leader. Both modules must be completed to gain the title of ITIL Strategic Leader, allowing the candidate to progress to ITIL Master if they have completed ITIL Managing Professional.



Compatibility with ITIL® v3

ITIL 4 training courses remain compatible with ITIL v3 to encourage education beyond ITIL Foundation.

There are a number of routes candidates can take if they wish to transition from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4. The path you choose depends on which qualification you currently have.


ITIL v3 Foundation

AXELOS recommend if you are an ITIL v3 Foundation holder that you take ITIL V4 Foundation due to the amount of new material the syllabus introduces.


ITIL v3 Intermediate

If you are only a few credits into ITIL Intermediate, they encourage you to take ITIL 4 Foundation and an ITIL 4 Intermediate module depending on your area of interest.

If you have 17 credits, however, they encourage you to take the new ITIL Managing Professional Transition Module, providing a fast-track route to ITIL Managing Professional certification.


ITIL Practitioner

If you’ve received ITIL Practitioner, or at least 6 credits after ITIL Foundation, AXELOS think your best option is to keep on collecting v3 credits until you have the 17 required for the ITIL Managing Professional Transition Module once it is available.


ITIL v3 Expert

If you’re already an ITIL v3 Expert then great, you do not need to do anything else right now. You’ll be able to take the ITIL Managing Professional Transition Module as soon as it comes out.

Then you’ll only need to complete one more module, Digital & IT Strategy, to receive ITIL Strategic Leader certification.


ITIL 4 Foundation is expected to be released early 2019, with further levels to follow later.

We’ll keep an eye out for any new ITIL 4 details in future and let you know when we know them.

If you want a say in how AXELOS shapes and develops ITIL, you can join the ITIL Development Group here.

ITIL® - "ITIL® is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.


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