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I have been on many Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 2 courses and I have benefited enormously, but still have a way to go to complete my full qualification. But with the introduction of ITIL version 3, is my work so far now defunct or is there a way to transfer my credits?

Rick Firth, managing director of Parity Training

The first point to emphasise is that ITIL version 2 and version 3 operate on the same principles, the main difference simply being that version 3 has a greater emphasis on aligning IT to the rest of the business. This core similarity is reflected in the new ITIL v.3 qualification structure which is built in a modular fashion where credits can be acquired towards the new ITIL higher qualification (initially referred to as the ITIL Diploma; however this name is under review).

Holders of ITIL v.1 or v.2 qualifications are well catered for with various bridging (upgrade) syllabi already released or due for release soon. The manager's course is a bridge for those with an existing Manager's certificate that qualifies them for the Higher qualification (from November 2007); the Practitioner’s is bridging for those with a Practitioner Certificates so they can convert these to version 3 credits towards the higher qualification (expected 2008). Finally, there’s a foundation bridging course (already released).

Brian Rowlatt, consultant, LogicaCMG

The good news is that the core material (ITIL v2’s ten processes and the Service Desk Function) is relatively little changed in v3 – so the reason for getting the training (being able to do your job better) is totally protected. However, the lifecycle approach in ITIL v3 means a much broader curriculum: it brings together concepts from the other five ITIL v2 books with processes and organisational and strategic aspects that are quite new.

In terms of protecting your qualifications, this expansion is covered by ‘bridging courses’ at Foundation and Managers/Diploma (but not Practitioner) levels. To achieve this protection, the v2, v3 and bridging courses now have ‘credits’ towards the higher levels of qualifications.

The challenge will be (and this is still being finalised) to ensure that the appropriate ‘credit-rating’ is given to the v2 qualifications – particularly for the Practitioners Certificates, which integrate with the v3 Service Capability Stream.

Abigail Waudby, team leader, Project Partners

ITIL, like many other technical programmes, is continuously being developed and upgraded. However, this doesn’t mean that your work to date is now obsolete. As you state, you have benefited from the training enormously and the skills you have learnt will also have helped in progressing your own professional development and career.

With regards to transferring your credits from ITIL v.2 to ITIL v.3 the best way to find this out is to contact the organisation that you are conducting your training through – they will be able to advise you on the best way forward and the possibility of transferring your credits.