At first glance, the new prISM credential scheme seems to be a qualification too far, as I consider improving my ITSM skills by going for the first of my ITIL Intermediate levels.
The take up so far seems to belong to an select group, much like those who piloted the new ITIL Master scheme, and perhaps it is too early for that all important critical mass to make it the “must-have” credential to have.
What is prISM and why is it different?
The aim of prISM is to provide recognition and a skills development structure in the ITSM industry.
It has defined a measurable framework which takes into account an individual’s qualifications, experience and contributions back to the ITSM industry.
So, if you have the ITIL foundation certificate, and a few years in front line roles under your belt, you can get up and running in prISM as an Associate, and use their structured approach to plan your next steps up the ITSM ladder.
But, you pay for the privilege, so why is this worth investing time in?
Matthew Burrows, Lead for Global priSM Advisory Committee (GAC) explained:
“The real reason for prSIM is that the IT industry is starting to mature and become a bit more of a profession rather than a job.”
Just take a look sometime, in various ITIL and ITSM related Linked In groups, and you will see pleas from people who seem out of their depth.
Think of it in this way. How many times do organisations send people onto an ITIL Foundation course, and then expect them to be able to implement major ITSM projects?
“Nothing ever works like that with a skill. You have to practice it and apply it. You have to learn from the mistakes from yourself and others. You have to learn from your successes as well and you refine it over time, and you get better at it by repetition.”
Part of the issue is the lack of a requirement to refresh ITIL qualifications, once gained.
In prISM, each year you submit a Continual Professional Development forms to demonstrate growth and development in order to re-earn your credential.
prISM Credential Levels
- Student in Service Management (SSM) – students with an interest in ITSM
- Associate (ASM) – entry level professionals
- Professional (PSM) – experienced Service Management professionals
- Distinguished Professional (DPSM) – senior, well experienced Service Management professionals and leaders
- Fellow (FSM) – reserved for those senior professionals who have been recognised for making a significant contribution to the profession and its body of knowledge
I see the benefit of tiering the levels like this, and even though my “rock face” experience gives me a broader perspective than if I had only the ITIL Foundation course, this is where the CPD aspect comes in.
The whole point of the profession maturing means that I need to really focus on further certification, but given the cost of courses, I really need to think carefully as to what to pursue.
I have worked in the area of ITIL/ITSM for 8 years now – I know my stuff. Do I really need to pay for more certification AND a credential to prove it?
Matthew believes that prISM should be a nice to have, rather than a mandatory requirement:
“From an employer’s point-of-view it tells me that they’ve been through the experience and qualifications that they say they’ve got, they’re committed to CPD, they give something back, they take their profession seriously.”
In my opinion, this is hard to prove in the immediate short term, without understanding from recruiters if they put any store in the acronyms above.
The Application Process
Step One: Education and Experience
The spreadsheet gives you a broad brush stab at the permutations of education and experience.
I tested a couple of elements and opted years of experience, as my degree was a LONG time ago! Recommended Level: PSM
Step Two: Required Professional Certifications
Here’s where it started to get confusing.
With an ITIL V3 Foundation Certificate (useful) and a TOGAF Enterprise Architecture L1 and L2 certificate (not at all useful, apparently), recommended level: ASM!
Step three: Extra Points
I played about with this out of interest, in terms of ITSM implementation experience, and also in terms of ITSM Review writing – which confused matters even more, because now the summary shows me that I meet DPSM criteria as well!
With the combination of the experience and qualification I could apply now for Associate Membership but with at least one ITIL Intermediate course, I go up to Professional credentials.
Irritatingly, the comment boxes for the Certification sections stays visible after you have marked an entry, which then obscures the entries below.
2) Application Form & CV
You also have to fill in the application form and sign the statement to adhere to the profession’s code of ethics, and you will need to cross-reference the handbook as you go for Professional credentials which sounds like a bit of hassle.
There is a bit of repetition here, having to put in the details of your referee, as well as including your reference (with those same details) as part of the package.
You also have to write your own personal statement, demonstrating your interest in the ITSM profession.
If you are serious about going through this process, I think it is worth updating your CV during this process. It won’t hurt you to pay some attention to your Linked In profile either.
After all, if recruiters are using Linked In more and more, the best way to promote the importance and credibility of this credential is to have it on your online profile.
3) Reference Statement & Evidence
You will have to get someone to write a supporting statement for you, and also find your supporting evidence to match your calculator entries.
- You need to keep PDFs at 1MB per document, and the whole application cannot be more than 25MB. Irritatingly my scanned ITIL certificate and itSMF UK invoice are just over 1MB, but everything else is smaller.
- The pricing is misleading. The handbook states itSMF membership is preferable (and gives a discount) but not mandatory. The application form infers the opposite – so those need to be in sync.
- The handbook encourages you to pay before gathering your references – I would actually get everything together first, then proceed to pay for your appropriate membership, as you then need the proof of payment to zip together to submit.
Matthew very kindly agreed to be my reference, and we decided to let me go through the process (and provide feedback!). so I have sent him a form to fill in and return to me.
I’ll put my (eventual) credential on my LinkedIn Profile, and push out an updated CV to see if there is any immediate change in the type of roles I typically see.
Will it be the prISM credential, or the ITIL Intermediate certification that provides the trigger (if at all!).
Watch this space.