ITSM Tool Certification – The PeopleCert ITIL ATV Programme

ITSM Tool Certification

Independent IT service management (ITSM) tool certification is a valuable tool-selection input for any organization looking to procure a new ITSM tool to improve their delivery of IT services. So, if you’re looking for an introduction to the PeopleCert ITIL-Accredited Tool Vendors (ATV) programme, this article is for you.

It explains what the PeopleCert ATV programme is, how it differs from other ITSM tool certification schemes, and why it’s important to both organizations seeking an ITSM tool (to manage services better) and the companies that provide ITSM tools.

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A quick history of ITSM tool certification schemes

Third parties independently certifying that an ITSM tool aligns with ITIL best practices is not new. Most readers will have heard of the Pink Elephant PinkVERIFY certification scheme, which now certifies an ITSM tool’s ITSM-process capabilities rather than its ITIL 4 practice alignment.

There have been other ITSM tool certification schemes, too – such as Serview’s (which has merged into the PeopleCert ATV program) and an earlier one from Axelos – but until recently, the Pink Elephant scheme was the most widely recognized.

These certification schemes have traditionally offered procuring organizations value – highlighting where an ITSM tool’s capabilities meet a set of pre-defined capabilities for each ITIL practice or ITSM process for supporting services.

However, as I’ve said for years, traditional ITSM tool certification schemes only verified that certain ITSM capabilities were available in an ITSM tool. They couldn’t show whether the capabilities would work successfully within YOUR organization. It was similar to a driving license showing that an individual knows how to drive, but it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll consistently drive well.

The introduction of the PeopleCert ATV programme now offers something different from the ITSM tool certification schemes of old – for both procuring organizations and ITSM tool vendors.

What makes the PeopleCert ATV programme different

Several factors separate the PeopleCert ATV programme from other ITSM tool certification schemes.

The first is that the PeopleCert ATV programme is now the only ITSM tool certification scheme that assesses ITSM tools against ITIL service management best practices. This will be relevant to those organizations seeking to ensure that their ITSM tool is aligned with ITIL capabilities and best practices, as well as to the ITSM tool vendors that value the verification of ITIL alignment.

The second is that the PeopleCert ATV programme accredits the ITSM tool vendor, not just the ITSM tool. This is because it looks at the people involved in creating and delivering the ITSM tool, not just the ITSM tool’s capabilities (there’s more on this in the next section).

This approach is not something I’d considered before – although I had pointed to ITSM tool marketing content where authors appear to have little knowledge of what they’re writing about – and this change in perspective should make a significant difference to procuring organizations. To quote PeopleCert marketing, it’s “The only accreditation demanding proper certification of people who design, develop, sell and implement ITSM software.”

The third is that PeopleCert is investing in new mechanisms to help procuring organizations get greater value from their investments in ITSM tools. The accreditation of ITSM tool vendor personnel can be considered just the foundation layer of increasing the probability of ITSM tool selection success.

For example, an early change is that the accredited ITSM tool vendors will get access to focused ITIL content such as practice guides, analytical insights, and other ITIL-related materials to help them to better design, sell, and implement their products after ITSM tool certification.

How the PeopleCert ATV programme accredits ITSM tool vendors and their tools

The PeopleCert ATV program:

  • Uses Accredited Tool Vendor Assessors (ATVAs) to assess a vendor’s ITSM software, for chosen ITIL 4 practices, against specially designed functional ITSM tool certification criteria
  • Verifies that there’s a qualified team, with appropriate ITIL certifications, supporting the quality of the ITSM tool design through to its implementation.

There are five levels of ATV programme ITSM tool certification:

  1. Bronze
  2. Silver
  3. Gold
  4. Platinum
  5. Platinum Global.

Each of these five levels of ITSM tool certification is achieved based on two determining factors:

  1. The number of certified ITIL best practices in the ITSM tool
  2. The number of vendor employees with relevant ITIL certifications.

In terms of the ITSM software certification, there are over 650 criteria for the following 20 ITIL 4 practices (what some will see as service management processes):

  1. Availability management
  2. Capacity and performance management
  3. Change enablement
  4. Deployment management
  5. Incident management
  6. Information security management
  7. IT asset management
  8. Knowledge management
  9. Measurement and reporting, including key performance indicators (KPIs)
  10. Monitoring and event management
  11. Problem management
  12. Relationship management
  13. Release management
  14. Service catalogue management
  15. Service configuration management
  16. Service continuity management
  17. Service financial management
  18. Service level management, including service level agreements (SLAs)
  19. Service request management
  20. Supplier management.

For example, the ATV programme Gold ITSM tool certification requires ten ITIL Practice Manager certificates, ten ITIL How to Implement certificates, five ITIL Sales Professional certificates, and at least nine certified practices (including service configuration management). A simplified version of the PeopleCert ATV programme accreditation requirements is shown below.

PeopleCert ATV Programme ITSM tool certification requirements

There are of course 34 ITIL practices, but some such as risk management, service design, and continual improvement (what some might call continuous improvement) aren’t usually included in ITSM tool capabilities.

To see how rapidly ITSM tool vendors are migrating to the ATV programme (since the scheme started mid-2023), here’s the current list of the PeopleCert accredited ITSM tool vendors.

If you want to find out more about the PeopleCert ATV programme and ITSM tool certification as an ITSM tool procuring organization, here’s the ATV program’s landing page. If you want to learn more about the PeopleCert ATV programme as an ITSM tool vendor, here’s the ATV programme accreditation process landing page.

Transparency statement – While PeopleCert is a client of Quick Content Limited, this article’s content is the opinion of the author.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy some of the related articles listed below.

Stephen Mann

Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.

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