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ITIL v3 begins retiring in 2021, what’s next?

December 28, 2020 | Emerging Technologies, ITIL
Read Time: 06:00

ITIL is regarded as the ultimate standard in IT best practices and in early 2019, AXELOS launched the latest version of ITIL – ITIL 4. ITIL 4 has been built on all the best things from ITIL to date. It goes on to expand IT & service operations into the future. ITIL 4 is enabling professionals all over the globe to support their organizations to meet their digital transformation goals while being able to offer world-class digital services.

What does ITIL 4 offer?

The latest version of ITIL – ITIL 4:

  • Helps professionals successfully navigate the modern technologically-advanced digital world
  • Provides a wholesome picture of IT-enabled service delivery
  • Reflects on how to engage in continual service improvement
  • Integrates other established ways of working such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps
  • Brings together all the best things about ITIL

ITIL 4 draws the focus on integrating business and technology, working towards changing the status of the IT functions from being cost-centers & support functions to major contributors to the business.

So, is it time to bid adieu to ITIL v3?

Yes, it is.

ITIL v3 will begin retiring in 2021 and will be completely discontinued by 2022. Here are the timelines for the retirement of different levels of ITIL v3 as announced by AXELOS:

With ITIL v3 being retired, upgrading to ITIL 4 becomes quite a necessity.
All professionals who hold an ITIL v2 Foundation certification with an ITIL v3 bridge will also need to upgrade as their certification would no longer be active.
The world around us keeps changing, and as technologies upgrade, professionals would need to keep their credentials up-to-date. Here are some answers for you to help you plan your next steps.

I already have an ITIL v3 certification, what should I do now?

Individuals having an ITIL v3 certification would need to upgrade their credentials to ITIL 4. Depending on which level of ITIL certificate you hold, you would need to either transition or re-certify.

I have an ITIL v3 Foundation certification, what should I do to transition to ITIL 4?

The ITIL 4 structure does not provide for a transition module for ITIL v3 Foundation certification holders. ITIL v3 Foundation certification holders would need to re-certify to keep their credentials current. We would highly recommend them to undergo a complete ITIL 4 Foundation training since there are a lot of new things that have been introduced in the ITIL 4 release compared to ITIL v3. After completing the training, they can appear for the ITIL certification exam and earn their ITIL 4 Foundation certificate.

  • I am an ITIL v3 Intermediate/ ITIL Practitioner certificate holder, what should I do to transition to ITIL 4?You can appear for the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition exam before it retires. Clearing this exam will upgrade your credentials to the latest ITIL 4 Managing Professional level. From here, if you want to go further up the ladder, you can take the ITIL Leader Digital & IT Strategy module and upgrade to being an ITIL Strategic Leader. However, once the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition exam retires, this will no longer be an option, so get going now!
  • I was working towards an ITIL v3 Intermediate/Practitioner and have earned less than 17 credits so far, what should I do to transition to ITIL 4?You can continue earning your credits, and once you earn 17 credits, schedule your ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition exam. Once you clear this ITIL transition exam, you will be an ITIL Managing Professional certification holder. The ITIL v3 scheme retires at the start of 2022, and the ITIL Managing Professional transition exam retires in July 2022, so you will need to plan your timelines accordingly.
  • I was working towards an ITIL v3 Intermediate/Practitioner and already have 17 credits in the v3 scheme, what should I do to transition to ITIL 4?Well, this is the good news for you – schedule your ITIL 4 Managing Professional transition exam as soon as you can. Clear the exam and you will earn the latest credentials of ITIL 4 Managing Professional.
  • I was interested in getting ITIL certified, what should I do to get the latest ITIL certification? If you want to begin your ITIL journey now, work for the ITIL 4 Foundation Certification right away. Enroll for the best ITIL 4 training you can find, and begin preparing for the ITIL 4 Foundation Certification Exam. The retirement of the ITIL v3 scheme doesn’t affect you directly, except now you know for sure what you should be preparing for – the latest version – ITIL 4.
  • How is the ITIL 4 certification scheme different from the ITIL v3 certification scheme? The ITIL 4 certification scheme has evolved and looks a bit different from the ITIL v3 certification scheme. The first step in the journey is still the ITIL Foundation certification. The next milestone is the ITIL 4 Managing Professional certification & the ITIL Strategic Leader certification, where you have different modules like the ITIL Strategist module, ITIL Specialist module, and the ITIL Leader module. And the ultimate milestone on the ITIL 4 certification path is the ITIL 4 Master certification. Below you can see a comparison  of the ITIL v3 certification path and the ITIL 4 certification path:
How can I begin my ITIL 4 certification journey?

If you are looking to begin your ITIL4 Certification Training journey, you have come to the right place. Cognixia – the world’s leading digital talent transformation company is an AXELOS Authorized Training Organization (ATO) and offers the complete portfolio of ITIL 4 training and certification courses. Our ITIL 4 Foundation training course is one of our most sought-after training courses. Delivered by some of the most experienced ITIL trainers, Cognixia’s ITIL 4 Foundation program provides ample hands-on practice to participants to clear the ITIL certification exam in their very first attempt. With this ITIL training program, you also get lifetime access to our learning material & video sessions via our LMS.

Cognixia’s ITIL 4 Foundation training is covered by the 100% moneyback guarantee*, ensuring you get the best value for the resources you invest in upskilling.

To know more about our ITIL 4 Foundation training & certification course, visit

To know more about any of the advanced courses in the ITIL 4 certification scheme or for any other questions, write to us at

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