How many ITIL Examination Institutes is enough?
In an announcement last week, APMG have appointed a ninth Examination Institute. Readers will recall these are the companies that are licensed by APMG and in turn accredit all the 350+ training organisations delivering ITIL training. The EIs also administer the exams using standardised question content but their own tests and their own delivery systems.
PEOPLECERT, a rapidly developing Personnel Certification Body originating from Greece, has recently been accredited as ITIL Examination Institute... delivered in 5 countries (Greece, China, Turkey, Portugal, Albania).
In many parts of the world, you now have a choice of which exam system you sit your test under (just as you did with EXIN and ISEB for ITIL V2, only more so.) In a competitive industry, with ITIL certs becoming more and more a commodity product, what are the competitive pressures on an EI? To provide higher standards? Or higher pass rates?
As EIs proliferate, so too will the geographical dispersion and sheer numbers of EIs that APMG needs to audit and control. APMG have clearly chosen an organisation of good standing in PEOPLECERT ("represents prestigious organisations such as ECDL Foundation and City & Guilds Organisation ... fully meeting the specifications of standards ISO17024, ISO9001, ISO10002, ISO14001 and ISO27001") - this isn't about the specific EIs.
I'm all for choice and competition. But we had that with two EIs. I'm left to wonder whether there is an upper limit to the useful number of EIs, and whether manageability (and hence protection of the value of ITIL certification, whatever is left) wouldn't be better served by an expansion of the existing Institutes rather than an increasing number of independent bodies and systems to be policed. Especially as ITIL extends its tendrils into some of the murkier corners of the world.