ITIL v3 - what standard is this based on?

Somebody asked me this question recently: ITIL v3 - what standard is this based on? I thought I'd share (and extend) my reply here.

There is no standard for ITIL, at any version. ITIL is not based on any standard. No organisation can be certified as compliant with ITIL.

Software can (controversially) be certified as ITIL V3 compliant, and people can be certified as ITIL V3 trained, but not organisations.

ISO 20000 is fairly closely based on parts of ITIL V2 (not v3 yet - someone correct me on that?) but it does not claim to certify ITIL. COBIT 4 and 5 both incorporate many ITIL principles too.

Conversely, ITIL does not adopt or base itself on anything. In fact it seems to actively ignore standards: ISO 27001, ISO 15504, ISO 31000 are all examples. BTW, nor does it embrace related frameworks: its own stablemate Prince2 only gets about 1 mention, and many other stablemates go unmentioned entirely (MoR, MSP...). COBIT is barely mentioned either and certainly didn't influence any of it. ITIL doesn't play nicely. [Correction: the ITIL 2011 books all have appendices added which list the related frameworks and standards]

Consulting firms will provide you with a measure of capability or maturity based on their own proprietary assessment "standards".
A notable proprietary framework is TIPA from Luxembourg, which is the closest to an assessment standard, but (a) it is based on ITIL V2 and (b) it is not ratified by any standards body.

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