ITIL Capability Service Offerings and Agreements Certification

The ITIL SOA Certification is only accessible once you get the ITIL Foundation Certification. It is one of the 4 modules of the ITIL Capability Lifecycle. It concentrates on offers and agreements for IT Service Management. Proper Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and contracts with suppliers prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smooth and timely delivery of services.

To pass the exam, you will also need to be accredited to a certified training center meaning that you can’t study by yourself. The certification price is around 274 euros + the cost of a certified training center. Normally, most of centers include in their price the certification so you only pay a full package (course + certification).

The exam is made of 8 questions with multiple choice answers based on a scenario (1 question with 4 answersbased on a scenario) and you have only 1h30. The best answer gives you 5 points, the second 3 points, the third 1 point and the bad answer 0 point. You need to have 28 points (70%) to be certified.

Following the exam content:

  • Overview of SOA processes and basic principles;
  • The value to the business of SOA activities;
  • How the SOA processes rely on a good business case;
  • How the SOA processes rely on a good understanding of return on investment (ROI);
  • Processes across the service lifecycle pertaining to the service offerings and agreements.
  • Service portfolio management, which provides documentation for services and prospective services in business terms;
  • Service catalogue management, which is concerned with the production and documentation of the service catalogue from a business and a technical viewpoint;
  • Service level management, which sets up a service level agreement (SLA) structure and ensures that all SLAs have an underpinning support structure in place;
  • Demand management, which identifies patterns of business activity to enable the appropriate strategy to be implemented;
  • Supplier management, which ensures all partners and suppliers are managed in the appropriate way and includes contract management;
  • Financial management for IT services, which includes ensuring understanding of the service value and the management of all financial considerations;
  • Business relationship management, which ensures the customer’s requirements are correctly identified.

For my study, I also bought the book “Service Offerings and Agreements: ITIL 2011 Intermediate Capability Handbook” (about 12 euros) at the Axelos website.

First of all, before to start to study, what I did was to download some free exam samples at the Axelos website or just clicking ITIL V3 SOA sample exam and I did them, just to know how would be my score with only my experience and my knowledge, by this way, getting the minimum points or higher, it made me more confident but it didn’t mean that I was ready to pass the real exam.

After that, I started my course with the training center. It was an online video course so I was able to study it everywhere and whenever I wanted. Once I finished the course, I made the sample exams provided by the center. It took me something like 2 half days.

Then I read the book, once finished, I made the sample exams and others that I was able to find for free on internet. It took me something like 1 day.

Then I rested until the next Monday and I restarted again my routine. I was doing that until I felt ready for the real exam, something like 1 month. Of course, the fact to repeat the sample exams, for some questions, I remembered the good choices but for each one, I should answer to the question “why this one ?”; by this way, I guaranteed myself, that I chose the correct answer because I knew the reason and not because I had it in my memory.

The exam I did it at home with APMG International (in partnership with my training center). It was through a video surveillance, I mean there was a guy watching me during the full exam via my laptop camera so no way to cheat but before, the guy took control of my computer checking if all are OK, asking my passport to make sure that I was me, asking me to use a mirror (because my camera is integrated to my laptop) in order to show him that there were nothing on my keyboard and on the screen borders and to show him 360º my room. Currently, there is only 1 official exam center for all ITIL certifications who is PeopleCert.

Once all are OK, I started my exam, I finished before the limited time, with enough time left to re-read everything and to check again my answers. My score was displayed right away and fortunately, I passed it and I waited 3 working days before to get my certification.

My advices:

  • This certification is very focused on the ITIL Service Strategy (ITILSS) and ITIL Service Design (ITILSD) so you can use the sample exams of this ITIL Service Lifecycle module to prepare you. Clicking here, you can download for free my materials that include my notes and exam samples for ITIL SOA
  • Doing the sample exams, if you choose the wrong answer, read the explanation of your answer and the one of the correct answer, take a time to understand why you are wrong (some free samples don’t explain anything so it will take you a little effort)
  • Practicing the sample exams is very important, it will provide you some useful tips to avoid some tricks
  • Make sure that you feel ready to take the exam but try to do it before June 2010
  • During the exam, if you are not sure about the answer, skip it, you will have time to come back

The ITIL Capability Service Offerings and Agreements is only available for the ITIL V3 so if you are coursing for the ITIL 4, this certification doesn’t exist so you will have to choose one of the modules of the ITIL 4 Managing Professional (ITILMP), so why get certified ? For that, check my other topic ITIL 4, the new ITIL for 2019.

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