ISO 20000 Practitioner Exam bars ITIL Foundation as a pre-requiste. Why?

APMG formally announced on 9th July 2015 to Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs) and accredited trainers that starting on June 23 2015 they banned ITIL Foundation as a prerequisite qualification for taking the ISO 20000 Practitioner exam. Now candidates must hold an ISO 20000 Foundation certificate from APMG or BCS.

I would like to know why this was necessary and what consultation was conducted with ITSM consultants, trainers and ATOs to gain agreement for this change. Also, why were we only told 14 days after the change was made?

I have taught ISO 20000 Practitioner (formerly called ITIL 20000 Consultant) since 2006 and here are my views.

ITIL Foundation certificates are held by about 3 million people in the world and it provides more background to ITSM than ISO 20000 Foundation does. It comprehensively explains and links 22 of the ITIL 2011 Edition processes and 13 of these are used by ISO 20000, too. The depth of ITIL Foundation process knowledge is equivalent to ISO 20000-2: 2012 ("part 2"), so people know more than is required about the 13 processes that are covered at ISO 20000-1: 2011 ("part 1") in the syllabus for the ISO 20000 Practitioner course.

Delegates I have taught have almost universally only held an ITIL Foundation certificate and it has been no problem whatsoever for them to grasp the Service Management System (SMS) concepts during the ISO 20000 Practitioner course and a very high percentage of those people have passed the ISO 20000 Practitioner exam.

Personally, I have found that anyone holding ITIL Expert has absolutely no difficulty in understanding the ISO 20000 Practitioner syllabus - all they have to add to their ITSM knowledge and skills is an awareness of the SMS approach together with an understanding of how to plan ISO 20000 implementation and to be fully aware of the official ISO 20000 audit approach and learn how they should plan their ISO 20000 Scope Statement.

ATOs are going to find that delegates holding ITIL Foundation (and higher ITIL certificates) will not be willing to take the ISO 20000 Foundation course that heavily overlaps ITIL Foundation and therefore they will not bother to take the ISO 20000 Practitioner course since they are not permitted to take the exam. Will we then see an ISO 20000 Implementation course put together by ATOs without an exam that will allow delegates to learn the implementation approach?

Alternatively, consultants holding ITIL Expert could just buy the excellent ISO 20000 textbook by Dugmore and Lacey (developers of ISO 20000 standards) and published by BSI in 2011 to meet the latest version of the standard. Obviously, they should also buy the many other good textbooks from several publishers and of course buy the ISO 20000 standards they would require anyway as part of their implementation plan.

I don't imagine any ATOs are happy with this change so perhaps ATOs should get together and discuss their views with APMG and try to get this reverted back to the original ITIL Foundation prerequisite.

What are your views?

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Geoff Harmer (07/08/2015)

Following ATO concerns, APMG has now from 5 August 2015 returned to permitting ITIL Foundation certificate to be a prerequisite for taking the ISO/IEC 20000 Practitioner exam.

Good work ATOs and thanks.
Geoff

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