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Organizational Certification Scheme

For information about our ISO/IEC 20000 Organizational Certification Scheme and a full listing of Registered Certification Bodies (RCBs), visit our dedicated website at:

ISO/IEC 20000 Certification

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ISO/IEC 20000 LogoISO/IEC 20000 is an international standard that allows organizations to demonstrate excellence and prove best practice in IT service management.

The standard allows IT service provider organizations to achieve conformance to a service management system which requires them to continually improve their delivery of IT services. ISO/IEC 20000 was first released in 2005 and is now at the second edition. It aligns to the IT infrastructure library (ITIL®) best practice framework.

The adoption of ISO 20000 has grown rapidly in the international arena for both internal and external IT service providers and it has become a competitive differentiator for delivery of IT services.

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What is it?

ISO/IEC 20000 is the international standard specifically for IT Service Management. It describes an integrated set of management processes which form a service management system for the effective delivery of services to the business and its customers.

ISO/IEC 20000 is aligned with and complementary to the process approach defined within ITIL.

ISO/IEC 20000 consists of several parts:

  • ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 (Part 1) is the formal specification and defines the requirements for a service management system. The scope includes:
    • General requirements for a service management system
    • Design and transition of new or changed services
    • Service delivery process
    • Relationship processes
    • Resolution processes
    • Control processes

  • ISO/IEC 20000-2:2012 (Part 2) Provides guidance on the application of service management systems, including best practices for service management processes within the scope of ISO/IEC 20000-1.
  • ISO/IEC TR 20000-3 (Part 3) contains guidance on scope definition and applicability of Part 1.

Various other parts supplement these three with guidance and information on specific aspects and uses of the standard.

Benefits for Individuals

Foundation and Practitioner

  • Understand the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000 standard and ITSM and use best practices in ITSM to apply appropriate methods within an organization.
  • Understand, identify and explain the potential issues regarding applicability, eligibility and scoping to assist in certification readiness assessment and certification audits as well as advising on the implementation of continual improvement processes.
  • Produce a gap analysis supported by an improvement and implementation plan.
  • Describe the scope, aims and use of the ISO/IEC 20000 specification and code of practice, through an understanding of the roles of the component parts of the standard.
  • Recognize the need to plan and implement ITSM processes, report on the IT services and major metrics of the ITSM processes, schedule and conduct regular reviews, assessments and audits and plan for continual service improvement.


  • Become certified as an ISO/IEC 20000 Auditor.

Benefits for Organizations

  • Establish an on-going culture of continual improvement and learning within an organization, providing a target to achieve and maintain. This leads to continual improvement in the quality of IT services provided and increased business and customer confidence in the service provider and their ability to deliver.
  • Ensure that organizations focus on the implementation of a set of integrated processes and solutions that are appropriate, suitable and effective in meeting the needs of the business processes, the customers and the users they serve.
  • Increase the rate of change and the productivity of staff and the use of their skills and expertise. This in turn leads to reduced long-term costs and a reduced risk of being unable to meet business objectives.
  • Enable organizations to adopt a structured approach to service management based on best practice guidance, allowing them to better understand their business and their needs, their roles and their processes. This leads to an improved reputation, relationships, inter-working and communication with their business and customer contacts.
  • Enable organizations to internally assess their processes and activities against international standards as a method of identifying and implementing improvements.
  • To be independently, externally audited for compliance using a scheme and standard that is internationally recognized and respected.

Certifications - 2011 Format Exams

With effect from June 2012, all examinations are based on the 2011 edition of the ISO/IEC 20000 Part 1 and the 2012 edition of Part 2. View the Previous Format Exams for Information on the structure of the 2005 or 2011 ISO/IEC 20000 based standard.

Foundation Level

The Foundation is the entry level of the ISO/IEC 20000 examinations.

The purpose of the Foundation level is to confirm that the candidate has good/basic knowledge of the contents and requirements of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard and understands how the standard operates in a typical IT service provider organization.

The Foundation meets the pre-requisite for entry to the Practitioner certification.

Exam Format

  • Multiple choice
  • 40 questions per paper
  • 26 marks required to pass (out of 40 available) - 65%
  • 60 minutes duration
  • Closed book.

Practitioner Level

Prerequisites - A candidate must hold one of the following certifications to qualify to sit the Practitioner examination:

  • The APMG ISO/IEC 20000 Foundation, or
  • The BCS ISO/IEC 20000 Foundation, or
  • ITIL Foundation

At Practitioner level you should understand and be able to apply the content of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard within currently certified organizations or those considering certification.

Exam Format

  • Complex Multiple Choice
  • 4 questions per paper, 20 marks available per question
  • 40 marks required to pass (out of 80 available) - 50%
  • Three hours duration
  • Open book (a copy of Part 1 is permitted).

Auditor Level

Candidates who pass the Auditor examination will have shown that they understand the principles of IT Service Management and the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 (Part 1).

This is a transition course for experienced auditors. It does not cover the principles of generic management system audit techniques, and for this reason delegates attending the course are required to have a minimum of three years’ experience conducting audits in an IT environment. This may be as a third party auditor or as an internal auditor for an organization. It is mandatory to have attended an APMG-accredited Auditor course in order to take this examination.

Exam Format

  • Multiple choice
  • 40 questions per paper
  • 26 marks required to pass (out of 40 available) - 65%
  • 60 minutes duration
  • Closed book.

View/download our ISO/IEC 20000 Certification Overview Leaflet.