All your VeriSM Foundation questions answered

VeriSM Logo

Since the launch of VeriSM in 2017, we at ITSM Zone have received a huge amount of interest in this new approach to service management for the digital age. In this article I’ve answered all of your questions about what VeriSM is, fees, certifications, exam types and more.

If there’s a question missing that you’d like me to add, please comment or contact me via the ITSM Zone site. I hope you find it useful. If you’d like to be notified when our elearning for VeriSM is live, you can register your interest here.

Claire Agutter


What is VeriSM?

VeriSM logoVeriSM is a new service management approach to help organizations create a flexible operating model that is adaptable and can evolve over time.  VeriSM describes how an organization can define service management principles, and then use a combination of management practices to deliver value. Through this flexibility, VeriSM allows organizations to build on their traditional service management practices (like ITIL), while leveraging new ways of working like SIAM, DevOps, Agile and Lean.

VeriSM recognizes that every organization is now a service provider.  Even organizations selling products need to add a level of service to them. For example, consider online shops where the physical product is a commodity and the service is the distinguishing characteristic of the organization. Recent years have seen an explosion of different service management practices, leaving organizations confused about the best way forward.  VeriSM describes a service management approach which is:

  • Value-driven
  • Evolving
  • Responsive
  • Integrated
  • Service
  • Management

Who wrote VeriSM?

VeriSM was written by a global team of 70+ contributors. You can read some of their profiles here.

What is the VeriSM Foundation?

The VeriSM Foundation is the entry level qualification in the VeriSM certification scheme.  Studying for and achieving VeriSM Foundation certification demonstrates a commitment to keeping your service management knowledge up to date. Achieving VeriSM Foundation certification means that you have an understanding of what VeriSM is, where it has come from, key concepts, and how it can be used to help an organization. Since the VeriSM launch, there has been huge global interest from end user organizations, suggesting that VeriSM Foundation will be a highly desirable certification.

VeriSM Foundation Modules

The VeriSM Foundation is also available as two separate modules.

VeriSM Essentials provides an introduction to service management, looking at why it’s so important, how to build a service culture, and how to deliver organizational change successfully.  At the end of VeriSM Essentials, there is a 30 minute exam. Passing this exam will lead to the VeriSM Essentials certificate.

VeriSM Plus provides an introduction to the new management practices (DevOps, Agile, Lean, SIAM etc.) that are important for service management, and also emerging technologies like cloud and serverless that service management professionals need to be aware of. To take VeriSM Plus, you need to hold the VeriSM Essentials certificate or an existing IT service management qualification such as the ITIL or ISO/IEC 20000 Foundation. VeriSM Plus provides a way for existing service management certificate holders to bridge across to the VeriSM scheme, again with a 30 minute exam.

Who is VeriSM Foundation certification for?

The VeriSM Foundation certificate is suitable for anyone who works with (or wants to work with) products and services enabled by technology.  You don’t need any prior experience to take the course. Examples of possible VeriSM candidates include:

  • School leavers/graduates wanting to work in IT, service management or with digital services
  • People wanting to move into IT or service management from another career
  • Technical IT staff who want to move into a more service-oriented role
  • IT or service management staff who use ITIL, but want to be able to use other management practices like DevOps, Lean and Agile
  • IT or service management staff who are looking for a new role

Where can I read more about VeriSM?

You can purchase the VeriSM manual from the publisher, Van Haren, or from sites like Amazon.

Who owns VeriSM?

IFDC logoVeriSM is owned and maintained by a non-profit organization, the International Foundation for Digital Competences (IFDC). You can learn more about IFDC at their website.

Who else is involved?

IFDC owns and governs the VeriSM content and certification scheme. IFDC doesn’t provide training or sell exams.  Instead, it accredits organisations called Examination Institutes (EIs) who sell exams on its behalf.  The VeriSM EIs are EXIN, BCS and APMG.

The EIs all offer the same exams based on the VeriSM materials.  They differentiate based on price, geography and delivery methods for exams.  A VeriSM certificate from one EI isn’t worth more than one from another EI – the certification you receive is exactly the same. The EIs in their turn are responsible for accrediting and managing Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs).  ATOs choose an EI to work with, and their EI will check they meet the minimum requirements.

Unaccredited training organisations selling training are known as ‘grey’ training providers.  From a customer’s perspective, you have no guarantee that the material they are using is correct or meets the syllabus requirements.

How can I prepare for the VeriSM Foundation exam?

There are a number of different ways to prepare for your VeriSM Foundation exam.  The one you choose will depend on your budget, your requirements and your experience. It’s not mandatory to take a course before you take your VeriSM Foundation exam.

Study methods include:

  • Using free material from the internet: there is a danger that this is inaccurate, so be careful
  • Using a book: you can use the VeriSM manual, and an official study guide will also be available soon
  • Taking a training course: you can train online, in a virtual classroom or face to face in a classroom.  Choose your training provider carefully and make sure they are accredited.  If you’re studying in a classroom, check that your trainer has experience and knowledge to bring the material to life.  If you’re studying online, ask for demo access to the course.

How hard is the VeriSM Foundation exam?

If you’re prepared, the exam should be fairly simple.  Use sample exams to gauge your readiness –get them from your accredited training provider.

Where/how can I take an exam?

VeriSM exams are available online (using a remote proctor or a software proctor) and via training providers.  You may take your exam online, or on paper in a classroom.

You can take a VeriSM exam in any country in the world.

Who can sell me an exam?

You can purchase exams from an accredited training organisation or from an examination institute.

How much does the exam cost?

The exam cost will vary depending on where and how you take it.  The cost may be paid separately, or bundled into your course. Your training organisation or one of the VeriSM examination institutes will be able to give you an up to date price.  Prices vary by geographical region.

Do I get a paper certificate?

Paper certificates are available, but some examination institutes charge an extra fee for them.  If you want a paper certificate in addition to an electronic certificate, check with the organisation that is supplying your exam.

My results didn’t arrive!

If you take an online exam, you will see your provisional result immediately.  This will then be verified by your exam institute before being confirmed.  You will then be issued with your e-certificate and, where applicable, paper certificate. If you take a paper exam, your results may take a little longer to be processed.

If your results don’t arrive and you took your exam with a training company, you should contact them first.  If you took the exam directly via an exam institute, you should contact their customer service team for support.

How do I prove I passed the exam?

If someone asks you to confirm that you have passed the exam, you can:

  • Show them your e-certificate or paper certificate
  • If you’ve lost your certificate, contact the exam institute to ask them to verify your result or reissue your certificate

What certifications should I take after the VeriSM Foundation?

After the VeriSM Foundation certificate, you can take higher level VeriSM certifications or expand your knowledge into other areas of service management and project management. VeriSM Professional will be available in 2018.

The Course Guides at ITSM Zone offer more information on topics including SIAM, OBASHI, DevOps, RESILIA, ISO20000 and COBIT.

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