Choosing an ITIL Training Provider

April 13, 2015

In recent years the ITIL training market has expanded considerably and become more complex. Choosing the right training provider and the right kind of training for you can be crucial in ensuring success.

This article takes a look at how to choose a training provider and discussed the different types of training available. This will help you to make sure that you get value for money and pick the training style that is most suitable for you.

“Do I need ITIL training?”

This is the first question to ask – and the answer is – probably!

If you wish to take the Foundation exam, you do not need to have formal training. If you want to sit the Foundation exam without purchasing a training course, there are lots of resources out there.  From free websites, to books, to You Tube videos – there is a lot of support available.

For all the exams beyond Foundation level, it’s mandatory that you take a course with an accredited training provider.  You must prove this (for example by presenting a course completion certificate) in order to present for an exam.

If you’ve not had much exposure to ITIL before or you’d like to follow a structured syllabus, then you can purchase a Foundation course from an accredited training provider as part of your exam preparation.  Your training provider can also usually organise your exam for you, so it’s one less thing to worry about.

How do I find a good ITIL Training Provider?

This is the next question to consider.  Luckily, the answer is simple!

AXELOS owns the intellectual property of the whole Best Management Practice portfolio, including ITIL. They accredit organisations known as Examination Institutes – these are authorised organisations who administrate and provide ITIL exams.

The full list of ITIL Exam Institutes is here
- The Examination Institutes also accredit ITIL training companies to allow them to become Accredited Training Organisations or ATOs.

The full list of ATOs is here
- Each Examination Institute normally has a list of their own ATOs on their website.

If you are buying an ITIL Intermediate training course, check your provider is accredited.  If not, your training is not valid and you will not be able to present for an exam.

If you are in any doubt at all, check with the ATO and then check with the Examination Institute.

Accreditation is your guarantee. Accreditation means that:

  • The training company is a valid business
  • They have had their Quality Management System and customer service audited
  • Their courses meet all of the official ITIL syllabus requirements
  • Their courses will prepare you for your final ITIL exam
  • Their tutors and lecturers are qualified and certified in the relevant ITIL courses

What type of ITIL training should I choose?

There are four main types of training available:

  • Online self-paced
  • Virtual classroom
  • Blended
  • Classroom

There are pros and cons of each method – the choice is entirely personal! Remember, all these methods are available from accredited ITIL ATOs.  They are all excellent – but some may be more suitable for you than others.

Online Self-paced

Online self-paced material allows you to study when you want, where you want.  This type of course normally offers high quality video content, exercises and downloadable documents to give you a good study experience.   Tutor support will be available via email or phone, and you may also have access to other students learning at the same time as you.

Online ITIL Training is flexible, self-paced and very convenient.  It’s often cheaper than traditional classroom training as no physical space is needed.  However, you will have to be disciplined to make sure you complete your studies.

When selecting an Online Self-Paced provider, make sure that you see samples of the training materials and videos to ensure that you are happy with the style and quality. You can also ask for pass rates to see how well the ATO performs.

Virtual classroom

This type of training allows you to study where you want, but not necessarily when you want.  A lecturer will present the course via webcam, so the class will be scheduled and you will need to attend at that time.  Students may have the opportunity to interact with the tutor and each other during the session.

Virtual classroom gives you much of the flexibility of online training, but it will tie you to a schedule so make sure you understand this before making a purchase.

Blended training

This uses a mixture of online and face-to-face training.   For example, you might complete a course before spending a day in the classroom with an instructor to go over exam technique and any questions.

Again, you’ll need to understand the timetable and location of the face-to-face sessions before making a purchase.


Traditional classroom training is still very popular.  Although it can be a very expensive option, it will provide you with structure to make sure you complete your training.  Taking time out of the office can help to make sure you focus and don’t get distracted.
The syllabi for most of the ITIL courses are very comprehensive.  Check the syllabus before you attend the course and try to carry out some pre-reading in the ITIL core volumes – it will be very helpful.


So, that’s an overview of the different types of training available.

Think about you, your budget and your schedule before making your choice:

  • Is it easy for you to take days away from work?
  • Are you disciplined?
  • Do you need time to absorb new ideas?
  • Do you learn best alone or in a group?

Then pick the training option that suits you.

The bottom line: ITIL Training is an investment in your future – please choose wisely!

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One comment on “Choosing an ITIL Training Provider”

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