Friday, January 26, 2007
APMG, EXIN & ISEB
Today I heard that the three exam bodies have managed to come to an agreement and will now work together to promote the current ITIL certification program. Furthermore, APMG, EXIN & ISEB have also committed to collaborate on the refresh of the ITIL exams once ITIL v3 is published later this year. Good news!
So much for Gartner’s predication of a crisis and split in ITIL certification! Come on chaps, this was always going to be worked out - couldn’t you see that?
However, I also hear that the 100% harmonization of standards and procedures that I had hoped for may not now happen. What I’m hearing is that each examination institute (EI) will continue - at least for the time being - to be permitted to devise their own proctoring processes, as well as set their own standards for how the training providers and Trainers are accredited. To me, this has always appeared odd. Wouldn’t you expect that if you sat a Foundation examination from EXIN and your colleague sat the “same” examination but from ISEB then:
1. The exams would have been proctored the same way?
2. The Training organizations and courses would have been accredited to the same standards?
3. The Trainers would have the same qualifications?
Not so. EXIN and ISEB have always had different standards and procedures for the above. Going forward, even though APMG are responsible for overseeing the ITIL certification program and all EIs, the two biggest EIs - EXIN and ISEB - have convinced APMG to allow them to continue operating according to their “old” ways - at least for the time being.
Up to now I’ve been impressed with what I’ve heard from APMG regarding their vision for “cleaning up” the ITIL certification program, but I think they’re missing a big opportunity here to establish greater consistency and customer confidence.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
There’s been lots of gossip lately about the OGC’s decision to switch management of the ITIL certification program to APM Group (from EXIN & ISEB). For the past few years at Pink, we’ve directed most of our exam requirements to EXIN. They’ve done a very good job of responding to the market needs and opportunities (for example, developing and then re-developing the Practitioner level, as well as offering examinations in a host of langagues). Come July 2007, however, the current arrangements will expire and the official ITIL certification program will be managed by APMG. Pink, along with all of our competitors, will have ITIL examinations provided by APMG and it’s growing network of Examination Institutes.
In my view there’s “good news” and “bad news” evolving as a result of this change.
First the bad; this change - and all it’s implications - have not been communicated very well to the wider industry (practitioners and the vendor community). This has allowed lots of speculation, rumour, mis-information and confusion to fester.
As for the good; here at Pink we welcome the vision for a more consistent and robust certification program. In the past, having two certification bodies (ISEB and EXIN) operate independently with gaps in their standards and approach has been a litle frustrating at times. While the exams and certifications have been harmonized between the two bodies (which happened in 1998, if my memory serves me right - I was on a working party that made this happen), there have been some unsettling differences in deployment which always left us a little bemused. For example, at various times over the years both exam bodies have had different policies for: proctoring of exams; maximum numbers of attendees at courses; and qualifications for Trainers. One of those bodies even had different policies for different countries - hardly a global standard! APMG have promised to address all these discrepancies and define a single set of standards applicable across the globe. Additionally they have committed to raise the bar when it comes to ensuring that only Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) deliver exam-supported courses, and that Trainers and courses are regularly assessed and accredited. Bring it on!