ITIL V4 Certification – A Complete Guide

Are you eyeing a career managing IT systems and infrastructure? The ITIL 4 Foundation certification might be your key to unlocking that ambition. With the employment percentage of computer and information systems managers projected to grow by 15 percent from 2022 to 2032—much faster than the average for all occupations—opportunities in the IT industry are on the rise. Around 46,900 computer and information systems manager openings are estimated to become available each year, on average, over the next decade. The IT industry is booming, offering lucrative opportunities for those skilled in handling technology. The ITIL V4 certification can transform your career, as it can help you understand and excel in managing IT services.

This guide talks about the basics of the ITIL V4 certification, explaining its value in the IT landscape. Whether you are a professional or simply beginning your career journey, let me help you understand how ITIL 4 can transform your career and open doors to exciting possibilities in IT Service Management.

Understanding ITIL V4

Released in February 2019 by AXELOS, the latest update of ITIL, known as ITIL 4, brings a fresh perspective to IT service management. The framework integrates contemporary trends in technology and service management, providing a crucial foundation for organizations amid digital transformation.

1. The Four-Dimension Model:

  • Organizations and People: Everyone plays a role in building value and understanding their responsibilities in the organization.
  • Information and Technology: Managing services requires the right information, knowledge, and techniques.
  • Partners and Suppliers: Collaboration with partners involves contracts and agreements, contributing to service delivery.
  • Value Streams and Processes: Clearly defined processes improve productivity and ensure efficient product and service delivery.

3. ITIL Service Value System (SVS):

  • Guiding Principles: Rooted in creating value, these principles guide actions benefiting customers and the organization.
  • Governance: Monitoring and controlling organizational performance to make sure goals and objectives are met.
  • Service Value Chain: A series of interlinked activities businesses undertake to ensure useful products and services can be delivered to consumers.
  • Continual Improvement: An iterative approach to enhance performance and meet evolving customer expectations.
  • Management Practices: Comprising 34 different practices, these are tools and methods designed to help organizations achieve their business goals.

ITIL V4 Certification Levels

The ITIL V4 certification scheme offers a structured progression for IT professionals to enhance their skills and expertise in IT service management. The ITIL V4 certification levels are as follows:

1. ITIL Foundation:

As the entry point for higher-level ITIL certifications, the Foundation level involves a comprehensive two-and-a-half-day preparation course. This foundational training equips IT professionals with essential knowledge of ITIL 4 concepts, covering aspects such as the four dimensions of service management, guiding principles, the service value system, and the service value chain.

2. ITIL Managing Professional:

Geared towards those engaged in IT projects, the ITIL Managing Professional certification consists of four modules. These modules delve into the intricacies of organizing teams and projects within a company, emphasizing the utilization of ITIL-supported technical skills. The modules include:

  • ITIL Specialist Create, Deliver and Support
  • ITIL Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL Specialist High-Velocity IT
  • ITIL Strategist Direct, Plans, and Improve

3. ITIL Strategic Leader:

Open to IT and non-IT professionals, the ITIL Strategic Leader certification focuses on the impact of IT on business strategies within organizations. It comprises two modules: ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve (shared with Managing Professional) and ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy. Completing these modules provides a holistic understanding of aligning business and IT strategies in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

4. ITIL Master:

At the apex of the ITIL certification hierarchy, the ITIL Master certification requires a minimum of five years of experience in IT management. This unique certification stands out by not involving coursework but instead centers around a project proposal. Candidates are tasked with showcasing how ITIL knowledge and techniques were instrumental in achieving success in real-world IT scenarios. The project proposal is a tangible demonstration of the practical application of ITIL concepts to address genuine business challenges.

Preparing for ITIL Exams

Preparing for ITIL exams requires a structured approach and a solid understanding of IT service management concepts. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare effectively:

Understand the ITIL Framework: Understand the core concepts, principles, and components of the ITIL framework well. It includes the service value system, service value chain, guiding principles, and the four dimensions of service management.

Choose the Right Study Materials: Utilize official ITIL study materials provided by accredited training organizations or resources recommended by AXELOS. These resources will help you understand and work towards the exam objectives, providing comprehensive syllabus coverage.

Enroll in an Accredited Training Course: Consider enrolling in an accredited ITIL training course. These courses, available online or in-person, provide structured learning and often include practice exams to assess your understanding of the material.

Practice with Sample Exams: Practice exams are invaluable for familiarizing yourself with the exam format and assessing your readiness. Many training providers offer sample questions or practice exams that mimic the actual test conditions.

Create a Study Plan: Have a study plan that covers the vital ITIL concepts. Allocate specific time slots for studying, review sessions, and practice exams. A well-organized study plan helps ensure comprehensive coverage and effective retention of information.

Collaborate with Peers: Engage with peers who are also preparing for ITIL exams. Discussing concepts, sharing insights, and working through challenges together can enhance your understanding and motivation.

Focus on Weak Areas: Identify your weaker areas through practice exams or self-assessment. Spend additional time on topics that you find challenging to ensure a well-rounded understanding.

Forge Exam Conditions: Practice under exam conditions to simulate the real test environment. It builds confidence, improves time management, and reduces stress on the day of the exam.

Review and Reinforce: Regularly review the material you have covered to strengthen your conceptual understanding. Focus on key concepts, principles, and processes to ensure in-depth knowledge.

Choosing the Right ITIL V4 Certification Path

With four distinct certifications to choose from, making the right decision requires thoughtful consideration. Here’s a strategic guide to help you choose the ITIL V4 certification path that aligns with your goals:

  1. Assess Your Professional Goals:
  • Identify your current job role and responsibilities within the IT landscape.
  • Consider your long-term career aspirations and the skills needed to achieve them.
  • Evaluate how each ITIL certification aligns with your professional development objectives.
  1. Talk to Colleagues:
  • Engage with colleagues who have pursued ITIL certifications within your organization.
  • Seek insights into their experiences, including the impact of certifications on their roles and career progression.
  • Discuss the relevance of specific certifications to different job functions within your team or department.
  1. Understand Certification Content:
  • Explore the details of each ITIL V4 certification, including the ITIL Foundation, Managing Professional, Strategic Leader, and Master.
  • Assess the focus areas, modules, and skills covered in each certification.
  • Match the content with your job responsibilities and areas where you aim to deepen your expertise.
  1. Consider Organizational Needs:
  • Evaluate your organization’s goals and initiatives in IT service management.
  • Determine which ITIL certifications complement and contribute to your organization’s strategic objectives.
  • Align your certification path with the needs of your team and the broader organizational context.
  1. Weigh Benefits Against Costs:
  • Examine the tangible benefits of each certification, such as increased knowledge, skills, and potential salary enhancements.
  • Consider the associated costs, including study materials, exam fees, and training.
  • Examine and interpret the Return on Investment (ROI) by checking if the benefits outweigh the time and financial commitment required to complete this certification.
  1. Plan Your Certification Journey:
  • Develop a roadmap for your ITIL certification journey based on your assessments and considerations.
  • Establish a realistic timeline for preparation, study, and exam completion.
  • Consider pursuing certifications incrementally, starting with the foundational level and progressing to advanced certifications.

Benefits of ITIL Certification

Clearing the ITIL exam brings forth a host of advantages, enhancing your professional standing and opening doors to new opportunities in the realm of IT service management. Here are some compelling benefits of achieving ITIL certification:

  1. Comprehensive Knowledge Base:
  • ITIL certification provides you with a comprehensive understanding of IT service management practices, ensuring you are well-versed in the principles, processes, and terminology essential for effective IT service delivery.
  1. Professional Recognition:
  • ITIL certification is a recognized benchmark in the IT industry, validating your commitment to excellence in IT service management. It distinguishes you as a professional with a structured approach to managing IT services.
  1. Career Advancement Opportunities:
  • With ITIL certification, you enhance your eligibility for a wide range of IT service management roles. It allows you to access new career paths and increases your marketability, making you a sought-after candidate for various positions.
  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities:
  • ITIL principles emphasize a systematic and proactive approach to problem-solving. As a certified professional, you gain the skills to identify, interpret, and address issues in a structured manner, contributing to smoother IT operations.
  1. Salary Increment and Recognition:
  • ITIL certification often translates to tangible rewards. Certified professionals frequently experience salary increments, additional perks, and increased recognition within their organizations, reflecting the value placed on their enhanced skills.
  1. Global Recognition and Portability:
  • ITIL is recognized globally, making your certification portable and applicable across different industries and geographic locations. This global recognition enhances your career mobility and opportunities.

Maintaining ITIL Certification

A crucial change has been introduced for ITIL certificate holders from January 1, 2023: the mandatory renewal of certifications every three years. This adjustment, outlined in PeopleCert’s new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, aims to keep ITIL professionals abreast of the latest technological updates and industry developments.

Maintaining ITIL Certification Process Overview:

Certified before June 30, 2020:

  • If you obtained your ITIL certification before June 30, 2020, you are required to renew your certificate before July 1, 2023, irrespective of when you initially earned the certification.

Certified after June 2020:

  • If you received your ITIL certification after June 2020, the renewal process is associated with the date of the certification award. You must renew your certificate within three years of the date it was initially awarded.

Options for ITIL Renewal:

To renew your ITIL certification, you must complete any of the following qualifications, encompassing all modules, including ITIL Foundation certification renewal:

Retake the ITIL Exam:

  • You have the option to retake the ITIL exam before the expiration date of your certification. It ensures you demonstrate a current and comprehensive understanding of ITIL principles.

Take Further ITIL Courses:

  • Engage in different courses within the ITIL product suite before the expiration date. This contributes to your professional development and ensures your skills meet the evolving IT service management domain demands.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points:

  • You can collect and log Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. CPD points can be earned through various professional development. This includes attending workshops, conferences, or webinars related to IT service management.

Success Stories

The ITEL success story is a compelling saga of evolution, resilience, and unwavering dedication to service excellence. Let us see how:


NOKAS, a key player in physical security and ATM services in Norway and Sweden embarked on an ITIL implementation journey to boost service delivery and customer satisfaction. As the project leader, my focus was clear: adopt a structured IT service management approach.

Starting with a dedicated team, we assessed existing IT processes, pinpointing gaps. The remedy? Implement ITIL processes, service agreements, and objectives. A standout achievement was seen in change and capacity management. These processes empowered the IT team to control the environment, ensuring smooth business operations.

Of course, challenges arose, notably resistance to change. Close collaboration, thorough training, and ample resources were key to overcoming this hurdle. Another significant challenge was aligning the entire IT segment with ITIL processes, involving changes to the IT infrastructure. A well-thought-out plan minimized disruptions and facilitated a seamless transition.

Despite challenges, my leadership paved the way for the project’s success. Understanding business needs and applying ITIL expertise resulted in a tangible improvement in service quality. NOKAS emerged as a reliable and esteemed provider of physical security and ATM services.


The venture onto the American stock exchange marked a triumphant milestone for Spotify, and the journey towards improvement has been relentless. A pivotal catalyst in this ongoing success has been the increased staff interest in ITIL since its introduction, showcasing the tangible value of this framework.

Post-assignment, Olingo delivered formal ITIL training at Spotify, solidifying the understanding of ITIL principles among the team. While the adoption of ITIL is an ongoing process, Spotify has already taken significant strides in refining its processes. What sets Spotify apart is its realization that processes should serve a purpose beyond mere compliance—they should actively contribute to organizational goals.

At Spotify, the adoption of ITIL is a pathway guided by best practices and common sense. The organization acknowledges that processes, when aligned with objectives and constraints, become invaluable tools for achieving success. Spotify’s approach reflects a deep understanding that there are no strict rules for process design, emphasizing flexibility and efficiency.

Final Thoughts

Entering the field of IT service management is a smart move, and the ITIL 4 certification is your key to success. With a projected 15% growth in jobs for IT managers, the certification aligns well with the rising demand for skilled professionals in the IT industry. The certification hones your IT service skills and transforms how your company operates. It is not limited to IT—its principles apply across project management and business development. By adopting ITIL V4, you streamline processes, boost collaboration, and hit strategic goals effortlessly.

Ready to kickstart your IT career? Enroll in the KnowledgeHut ITIL V4 Certification Course today to fast-track your career. Gain essential skills, enhance your resume, and dive into real-world success stories, engaging activities, and case studies to gain practical insights into the dynamic IT domain. Don’t just aim for a job; aspire for a career enriched with hands-on expertise. Seize this opportunity to shape your IT future—enroll now with KnowledgeHut!


How long does it take to study for ITIL V4 certification? 

The time required to study for ITIL V4 certification varies on prior knowledge, the study approach, and the level of certification.

  • ITIL® Foundation Level:
    • Estimated Time:20-30 hours
  • ITIL® Intermediate Level:
    • Estimated Time:3-6 months per module
  • ITIL® Expert Level:
    • Estimated Time:18-24 months (including Intermediate and Managing Professional)
  • ITIL® Master Level:
    • Estimated Time: Highly variable

Can you self-study for ITIL 4? 

Yes, it is possible to self-study for ITIL 4. There are various self-study resources available, including official ITIL publications, online courses, practice exams, and study guides.

What is the salary of ITIL 4 certified? 

The average salary for ITIL 4 certified professionals is approximately $107,000 in the United States. However, salary figures vary on geographic location, level of experience, specific job roles, and industry.


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