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What is an ITIL® Practitioner?

C. Martin
C. Martin

An ITIL® practitioner is an individual who has completed ITIL® training and certification to the second of three certification levels. The qualification held by such a person is officially known as the ITIL® Practitioner Certificate in IT Service Management. ITIL® stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is a registered trademark of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), originally devised in the United Kingdom and now utilized by governments and corporations throughout the world.

The ITIL® practitioner certification is obtained at ITIL® version 2 (v2). In order to obtain a v2 ITIL® certificate at practitioner level, the candidate must pass a foundation ITIL® exam followed by at least one of the three following intermediate exams: "Release and Control," "Support and Restore," and "Agree and Define." The practitioner's certificate is usually considered to be an indication that the candidate has a deep understanding of one of the ITIL® processes.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The ITIL® Practitioner – Release and Control (IPRC) path to certification focuses on change management, release management, and configuration management. Incident management, service desk processes, and problem management are the focus of the ITIL® Practitioner – Support and Restore (IPSR) path. The ITIL® Practitioner – Agree and Define (IPAD) path focuses on the following processes: service level management, and financial management.

An individual who has successfully passed one of the three examinations at practitioner level usually will have completed a five day training course. The course is normally followed by a multiple choice examination consisting of 40 questions. The candidate must answer 26 of the 40 questions correctly in order to obtain a pass mark.

Each of the ITIL® examinations, when passed successfully, also gives the candidate credit points which may be used towards the next level of ITIL® certification, ITIL® Expert in Service Management. In ITIL® version 3 (v3), the three practitioner modules were replaced with nine different courses, four in "Service Capability" and five in "Service Lifecycle." Both the ITIL® V2 Practitioner qualifications and the new "Service Capability" and "Service Lifecycle" qualifications give successful candidates credit points towards the ITIL® Expert in Service Management certification.

An individual who has successfully attained this certification may be listed on the ITIL® Successful Candidate Register provided on the official website. This register shows interested parties the date and training provider for successful candidates who have chosen to be publicly listed.

Discussion Comments


@Mammmood - I've started with ITIL and never left it. Right now, ITIL v3 is out and I think that it has a lot to offer. It expands on prior implementations and also offers web services, too.

I do understand that some people have developed their own custom solutions for IT services management, but ITIL will ensure that you cover all the bases, like incident management, event management, asset management and other managerial operations for the IT services desk.

It also will explain concepts behind the Service Level Agreement, what you should put in it and so forth. I think the standards are important in this regard.

It’s not that you can’t figure this stuff out on your own. I just think the framework is a proven guide to ensure that your business is using your IT resources in a way to make it as competitive as it can be.


I’ve worked in IT for quite some time and am familiar with ITIL foundation. Actually they are only one of many different organizations with which IT professionals have become conversant with; you need certifications from a lot of different companies, like Microsoft, Sun, etc.

But the ITIL certification helped me get my foot in the door with some government agencies that were using it to provide a framework for how they manage their IT operations. I found ITIL practice exam questions online which helped me get the certification.

Some people don’t like ITIL because they think it’s a little outdated, or that its adherents are a bit too rigid in how they apply its principles. However I think it’s a good quality control standard, at least for starters, for IT implementations within a company.

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