Having successfully passed the ITIL Foundation exam, many of our candidates ask us for advice about the next steps they should take to get the most out of their qualification.

‘The ITIL Foundation Certification is a pre-requisite for the next level of certification: The ITIL Expert. For this you will need a total of 22 credits. Two of these will come from the successful completion of the ITIL Foundation Certificate exam. Fifteen credits will come from the successful completion of courses in either the Intermediate Lifecycle or Capabilities Streams. And the last five points will come from the mandatory capstone course called ‘Managing Across the Lifecycle’.

The Lifecycle stream contains five courses each focusing on a specific Lifecycle phase. Each of these courses gives you three credits toward the Expert Certification. The courses include Service Strategy, Service Delivery, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. These courses cover the management and control of the activities and techniques within each lifecycle phase, but not the detail of the supporting processes.

Each of the Lifecycle courses includes 21 contact hours of instruction over a three-day period and requires 21 hours of personal study outside of the classroom. The target group for the Lifecycle courses includes anyone involved in the on-going management, coordination and integration of activities within the Service Lifecycle phases; individuals working in roles within a lifecycle stage who are seeking an understanding of the concepts, processes, functions and activities involved; or individuals just requiring a deeper understanding of that specific Lifecycle stage.

The Capability stream includes four courses each focusing on a particular cluster of processes, and in the case of Service Operation, the functions. Each of these courses gives you four credits toward the Expert Certification. The courses are:

Operational Support & Analysis (OSA): Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Problem Management, Access Management, Service Desk, Technical Management, IT Operations Management and Application Management.

Release, Control & Validation (RCV): Change Management, Release & Deployment, Management, Service Validation & Testing, Service Asset & Configuration Management, Knowledge Management, Request Fulfillment and Change Evaluation.

Planning, Protection & Optimization (PPO): Availability Management, Capacity Management, IT Service Continuity Management, Demand Management and Information Security Management.

Service Offerings & Agreements (SOA): Service Portfolio Management, Service Level Management, Service Catalogue Management, Demand Management, Supplier Management, Financial Management and Business Relationship Management.

These courses are intended to enable application of the practices in the specified processes and roles. Each of the Lifecycle courses includes 30 contact hours of instruction over a five-day period and requires 12 hours of personal study outside of the classroom.

The target group for the Capability courses includes anyone involved in implementing or working in a process, function or specific activity, requiring a deeper understanding for their role or activity, or individuals just requiring a deeper understanding of a specific process.

Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) is the mandatory and final course for the ITIL Expert Certification. The intent of this course is to provide the tangible skills required to support all of the service lifecycle stages in the workplace. This course contains 30 contact hours of instruction over a five-day period and requires 30 hours of personal study outside of the classroom. Successfully completing 15 credits (including Foundation and Intermediates) is a pre-requisite for taking this course.

If you have taken the exams with different Examination Institutes you will need to provide all of your certificates to be eligible to take the MALC exam. If you have taken all the exams through the same Examination Institute, certificates should not be required.

Once you have successfully passed the MALC exam the Expert Certificate should be issued to you automatically.

This gives you an overview of each of the courses and the general process. Next you need to determine what classes most fit your needs for your current role and objectives within your organization. For example if you are leading an implementation project for various Lifecycle stages you might want to pursue the Lifecycle courses. If you are leading implementation projects for various processes you might want to take the Capabilities courses. This will help you to determine the courses you will take and in what order.