In response to massive demand, the British Computer Society has introduced online IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3 examinations.
Though the ITIL standard has existed for 25 years, V3 is a relatively new addition, after 10 years of standardisation on V2. This has created a backlog of experts needing ITIL V3 accreditation, with an estimated 4,000 people now wanting to sit their exams in this discipline.
On 31 March, the BCS Information Systems Examination Board made it possible to sit the exam online. The new facility allows students to sit their exam and receive their results on the same day.
The popularity of ITIL, which is regarded as the world standard in IT service management best practice, has expanded from a UK government philosophy to becoming a widely adopted global framework for service management. Around 35% of organisations in many northern European countries have adopted part of the ITIL philosophy, according to estimates by users' forum the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF).
Another exam body, EXIN, is also thought to be setting up online certification testing in response.
"It's one of the most important qualifications in the IT arena and it's important to have it to gain visibility," said BCS examinations spokeswoman Carol Hulm.
"There are many people out there with practitioner level skills that need to get the foundation level qualification, so they don't need to wait to do a training course."
Almost 450,000 people have taken ITIL examinations since the early 1990s. They range from people starting their career or acquiring new knowledge through to senior staff who want to keep their skills up to date in line with their professional development.