Demystifying ITIL / ITSM Training - Part Two - Accreditation
The days of slapping together a slide deck, hiring a few instructors and going through a quick accreditation are over. The rules to becoming an accredited ITIL Training Provider (ATP) have changed and only those who follow the rules will survive.

Now that you are familiar with the types of ITIL training available, I want to take you down the path of ITIL accreditation. This DITY is the second in a two-part series designed to give practitioners and training coordinators a detailed understanding of the components that make up an ITIL training program, along with insight into the process of ITIL accreditation. More information on the topics listed below can be found at the Official ITIL Web site at

Examination Institute (EI) Accreditation

All organizations approved by APM Group Limited (the official ITIL Accreditor) as EIs are audited by independent auditors appointed by APM Group in accordance with the principles of international best practice standards. If the systems used by the applicant organizations align with these guidelines, they will be granted permission to administer the scheme for ITIL accreditation and qualifications and will also be offered a place on the Qualifications Board.

Under the contracts signed with APM Group, EIs are allowed to undertake the following activities:

The selection of an Examination Institute often revolves around its geographic proximity, processes for qualifying and providing examination proctors, and ability to handle special examination requirements. The current Examination Institutes are:

  1. APMG-UKAPMG specializes in the accreditation and certification of organizations, processes and people, offering global accreditation and examination services for training providers.
  2. EXIN – The Examination Institute for Information Science in the Netherlands (EXIN) is a global, independent IT examination provider. EXIN establishes educational requirements and develops and organizes examinations and learning tracks in the field of IT.
  3. ISEB – The Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Computer Society. The ISEB provides industry recognized qualifications that measure competence, ability and performance in many areas of IT, including ITIL.
  4. LCSLoyalist Certification Services (LCS) is a premier deliverer of ITIL certification exams in North America.
  5. DANSK IT – With more than 6.000 members, DANSK IT is a leading interest organization for IT-professionals in Denmark. Its core activities revolve around member networks, conferences, courses, certification programs and IT political advice to the Danish Government and its agencies. Founded in 1958, DANSK IT is among the first IT societies in the world.
  6. DF Certifiering ABDF Certifiering AB (DFC), is a wholly owned subsidiary to Dataföreningen i Sverige, the Swedish Computer Society with 26,000 IT professionals as members in Sweden. DFC's role is to give accreditation to training providers and certify IT. DFC also provides products in the field of Information Security and self assessing tests for e-Citizens.

As the ITIL market continues to spread, additional organizations are seeking accreditation as Examination Institutes, so this list will most certainly change over time.

ITIL Accredited Training Organizations (ATO)

Only ATOs and their affiliates are licensed to offer training courses that incorporate official OGC trademarks, brands and copyright material.

These ATOs have been fully accredited by an approved Examination Institute. The accreditation process involves a rigorous assessment of the organization's management systems, course materials and trainers, assuring the quality of training provided. As stated above, the various Examination Institutes are in turn accredited by the APM Group, OGC's Official Accreditor. ATO’s are often referred to as Accredited Training Providers (ATP), with the slight difference that the ATO has developed the relevant course material, and the ATP may license some of its accredited material from an ATO.

Organizations offering training who are not accredited by an approved Examination Institute or who are not affiliated with an ATO, may be in breach of copyright law.

ITIL Authorized Training Affiliates and Accredited Training Providers (ATA/ATP)

Authorized Training Affiliates (ATA)

Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) may license accredited course materials to third parties to become an Authorized Training Affiliate (ATA) with the ATO's Examination Institute (EI). Use of accredited material does not, of itself, amount to accreditation and such third parties are not authorized to make any statements suggesting any level of approval by the Examination Institute (EI) or be entitled to use EI's logos unless they themselves become accredited.

Under this model, the ATA must identify the course provider as the ATO of record in all marketing literature and advertisements along with routing all requests for examinations or other administrative services through the ATO. Trainers must meet all qualifications set forth by the EI.

Accredited Training Provider (ATP)

Organizations seeking accreditation as an Accredited Training Provider (ATP) using another ATO's course material are required as part of their submission to provide a letter of authorization and a copy of the licensing agreement from the Accredited Training Organization to say that the material is used with its permission. All other parts of the application that relate to training sites and instructors must be submitted to the EI for review and approval. Once approved by the EI, the ATP will be entitled to use the EI's logos along with ordering examinations direct from the EI.


Hopefully the above information has provided some insight into the accreditation process for ITIL certification. This summary along with the plethora of information on the Official ITIL Web Site should provide you the information you need to make an informed decision when selecting an ITIL Training Provider for your ITSM V3 training needs.

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