ITIL V3 Certification via online training is back on again
[This post has been rewritten. I got it wrong and it contained errors of fact. So one or two of the comments don't quite follow on from the revised text]
Call of a crow!!* What is going on in Castle ITIL? Is there a battle royal between vendor factions? The whole V3 Certification thing is lurching around like a pantomime donkey where the front guy has flatulence. e-learning is now in the syllabus (I am told but cannot confirm that it was not explicitly specified previously). This leads to a dire prediction for ATOs if Castle ITIL decides to cut out the middleman...
Contact hours for certification are now defined as "(hours of instruction, excluding breaks, with an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) or an accredited e-learning solution)".
So the online training providers can compete. Good. That is nearly what the IT Skeptic raved about. But not quite.
1) APMG are still running a closed monopolistic shop by requiring contact time before certification and requiring accreditation of contact providers. You can bet that the low-cost online providers will struggle to get accreditation from an organisation that answers to the high-cost providers. There is zero independance or transparency about the accreditation process.
2) I think certification should be unbundled from training. You should be free to train anywhere you want and still sit the exam from an examination provider.
[Copying some text up here from a comment below:]
If I want to buy training i should be able to buy training (online or classroom, accredited or not, should be my choice as a consumer).
If I want to sit certification I should be able to sit certification.
and if I want a package of certification plus training entirely focused on passing it I should be able to buy that too.
Right now the market only offers the third option because the ITIL industry uses the copyright and trademark of ITIL to force a monopolistic position where alternative providers are threatened with legal action.
If accreditation of an ATO genuinely provides a superior training product then I will buy it. If it is NOT just a revenue-raising rubber stamp then it should not need to force a monopolistic position - the market will seek it out.
Right now it is argued by APMG and the ITIL Qualifications Board that Intermediate level certification requires classroom time as well as an exam. I don't agree with this. Either the exam proves proficiency or it doesn't. In this case they are admitting it doesn't and that somehow classroom time is essential as well. This is patronising in the extreme; many attendees will be more experienced and knowledgeable than the kids-in-suits training them. Any suggestion that those trainers are qualified to sit in assessment of the trainees will go down very badly. So why couple them? See point 1 above.
If multi-choice online exams are a defective mechanism for proving intermediate (or expert) level competence then contact time is not going to fix that. They should change the certification mechanism to written exams or interviews or peer assessment or whatever (but they won't because multi-choice is so cheap and efficient).
At least we are one step closer. Now the earth-bound training providers must deliver some additional value, such as teaching skills or experience, and those without the money or access to (or need for) classroom training have an option. All good.
But a friend has pointed out to me that if you combine this subtle change of policy with the emergence of the ITIL Live website then two plus two equals an ugly scenario for many ATOs if Castle ITIL decides to cut out the middleman. A link from the official ITIL website to official online training from the official publisher combined with official online certification from the official accreditation organisation would be a compelling formula to the majority of buyers, who are after all spending somebody else's money.
* "Call of a crow"? Years ago I worked in an Aussie bar which had a bottle of red wine on the shelf called "Call of The Crow". It was called that because nine out of ten people on first tasting it exclaimed "FARRRK!"