APMG took its first steps as the new ITIL accreditaton body. Rigorous accreditation schemes are announced, most likely chasing many small trainers from the market. Competition in the IT Service Management exam market seems inevitable.
Computing, the UK IT magazine, brings the latest news from APMG. Richard Pharro, managing director of APM Group, said that the company was taking a more rigorous approach to assessing training firms offering Itil certified courses.
"Every trainer we accredit, we check on the quality of the course and physically see them train," Pharro said.
Given the enormous growth of ITIL in 50 or more countries all over the world, it will most likely take until far in 2008 to finish such a program. And the cost of the program will no doubt be charged to the training bodies that would apply for accreditation.
Pharro: "Every training company we've spoken to is in favour of this level of assessment as they object to organisations that are offering Itil training that are not accredited."
It seems logical that large companies – the ones APMG will have spoken to – are in favour of requiring a hard regulation of accreditation. APMG will support their market position by removing many small but nasty competitors from the field. And why would they object to that?
Pharro: "... we expect a lot of people qualified on version two will want to upgrade, so we want the exams available as soon as possible."
As the content of ITIL V3 will be rigourously changed compared to ITIL V2, this will require each trainer to make considerable cost:
1- each individual trainer may have to take the exam they are going to teach, to prove their knowledge
2- the content of ITIL V3 is completely reshuffled compared to V2, so they will need to develop a complete new set of training products
3- they will have to pay a considerable fee for the accreditation (including the cost for the assessment as described above).
ITIL-V3 emphasizes the lifecycle approach and loses the process approach. So, if a trainer would find a customer that wants a process-based training, they’d have to follow the ITIL-V2 structure. Which sheds an entire different light on the idea that ITIL-V2 would be phased out soon after the publication of ITIL-V3. It is not unlikely that ITIL-V2 will maintain a serious position in the market. EXIN, the global ITSM exam provider, already announced that they will at least offer this exam until 2008.
APMG will try to enhance the numbers of people that take the Manager’s exam and will do so by finding a replacement for the long exam essays that are partially blamed for lower figures. Pharro: "... less than 10 percent were upgrading to the highest manager level qualification, at least partly because the exam is based on lengthy essays."
The 10% may however be largely caused by a much more simple phenomenon: the audience for the Foundation training is found at the (starting) tactical level and especially at the operational level of the company, and the audience for the manager’s certificate is found at the tactical/strategical level of the organization. The ratio of 10:1 is a common figure for the quantities of people working at those levels…. What would life look like if all network managers and helpdesk staff would be qualified in the arts of organizational change?
And then there is the endless negotiation between APMG and the ISEB/EXIN Alliance. APMG has offered the exam bodies a sublicense to accredite trainers and to continue to offer ITIL exams. ISEB & EXIN may accept that if the terms suit them, but they can continue to offer the exact same exams to the market, whatever APMG does. The only difference is that they may have to change the formal titles of the exams when using the reference to ITIL. So in the end it will be just a fight over brands: APMG’s "ITIL" versus ISEB&EXIN’s "ITSM" based on ITIL. The acceptance of alternative brands will eventually determine the survival of APMG in this market, given the lack of global infrastructure of APMG: the international ITIL/ITSM exam market is completely dominated by ISEB&EXIN, ad they are not expected to just hand that over to APMG.
Striking news: APMG is against competition in the ITIL exam market. Pharro: "There is an opportunity for all of us to co-operate and benefit from Itil. If we don’t reach an agreement [with ISEB and EXIN] then they are likely to compete outright with a different set of general service management qualifications. An agreement would be beneficial as it would enable continuity and clarity in the market. The last thing the market wants is competing products."
This must be the most striking news of 2007, and the year is just 13 days old.
Anonymous sources at ISEB and EXIN were quoted to show that these exam bodies may be offering the ITIL-V3 exams in future, if they come to a suitable arrangement with APMG, but as professional and experienced exam bodies they will continue to develop and offer other, broader, and improved material to the market.
Read the entire article at Computing UK