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I recently looked into doing the foundation ITIL v3 certification in IT Service Management from EXIN, not because I’ve any desire to work in service desk management but thought I’d like to study something in the new year and it’s no bad thing to have on a CV in Ireland these days.

My investigating stopped when I discovered the fact that you’re not allowed sit the exam involved without having attended authorised training, usually 2-3 days, at a cost of about €1,500.

We at EXIN are doing everything in our power to develop good exams.
A lot of attention goes into quality insurance and exam evaluation.
This is why participating in an accredited training course for IT Service
Management Practitioner and IT Service Management Service Delivery or
Service Support is mandatory, otherwise you will not be allowed to
write these exams. However, accreditation of courses that lead to the
Foundation Certificate is voluntary. In any case, EXIN encourages all
candidates to take their course at an accredited training provider.

What a jip! If this is some attempt to preserve the value of this certification then EXIN are fooling themselves. In the past week I’ve acquired CBT training for ITIL v2, several copies of test prep software with actual recent v3 exams and multiple study guides that sell for $100 plus, all of which I paid ZIP for, including a complete ITIL v3 course from IBM.

Who’s to say I couldn’t use all the above to learn the material properly at my pace and receive a higher mark than I would have done after 3 days in the classroom having someone ram the stuff down my throat and thrusting me into an exam I’m truly not ready for?

Wake up EXIN. As the popularity of ITIL grows in 2008, at least in the case of the v3 Foundations exam, give people a damn choice as to how much they spend
and how and when they learn the material.

Update @ 16/01/08 – Never let it be said that I don’t admit my
mistakes! With the end of year madness over I’ve reread the above quote
from the EXIN site and it seems I jumped the gun just a bit. You CAN
sit the ITIL Foundations certification without course attendance.

However, I stand by the original arguments i.e.

  • far too many IT certifications today have become devalued too easily,
  • self
    study + sufficient practice is often a cheaper and better alternative
    to expensive class based learning in order to get certified,
  • and
    forced classroom attendance as a means of protecting the value of
    certain paths is naive as long as TestKing, ActualTests and the like
    are around.

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