Questions to ask about your ITIL Instructor

Spending money on training is a pretty significant investment. Whether you’re funding your own training or choosing a training provider for an entire department, there are important questions to ask to help make sure you’re getting good value for your money.

Oftentimes, training companies have a few trainers on their roster. It’s up to you to make sure you’re getting their best instructor, so don’t be afraid to ask for the trainer’s qualifications.

Seek the answers to these questions either by asking them directly or reading the instructor’s résumé:

  1. What level of ITIL certification does the instructor hold?
  2. What technical skills and IT experience does the instructor have?
  3. Do they hold any other certifications or qualifications?
  4. Does your instructor have consulting experience, or are they only a trainer?
  5. What is that instructor’s personal pass rate?
  6. What industry conferences has your instructor been a presenter for? How do they keep their certifications and knowledge current?
  7. What educational background does the instructor have?
  8. What is the instructor’s teaching style? Are they all lecture? Do they get students to interact with each other?

Again, don’t be afraid to ask these questions. You’re not being nudgy; you’re being an informed consumer.

 
 
In case you’re wondering how I’d answer these questions, here are my responses. I’m listing these to give you a sense of what types of instructors are out there. :)

  1. What level of ITIL certification does the instructor hold? (I have achieved ITIL Expert, the highest level of V3 certifications. Your trainer should hold no less.)
  2. What technical skills and IT experience does the instructor have? (I have been a hands-on techie since the mid-90s, moving into management exclusively in 2003. Back in my techie days I worked as a deskside support tech, a DBA, a server admin, a network admin, and a Messaging admin. I’ve worked for small mom-and-pop shops and dot-coms, as well as industry leaders like Accenture.)
  3. Do they hold any other certifications or qualifications? (I am also a Distinguished Professional in Service Management (DPSM) and a Master Trainer, in addition to my old-school technical certifications.)
  4. Does your instructor have consulting experience, or are they only a trainer? (I am a seasoned IT Service Management / ITIL consultant as well as a trainer.)
  5. What is that instructor’s personal pass rate? (The last time one of my Foundation students failed was in 2009. Afterwards I gave her one-on-one tutoring, and she passed with a 38/40 on the second try.)
  6. What industry conferences has your instructor been a presenter for? How do they keep their certifications and knowledge current? (I’ve presented at many itSMF conferences, I’m a regular presenter with BrightTalk, and I’m an active member of the IT Service Management forum community. I’m also a published author in the ITIL space.)
  7. What educational background does the instructor have? (I hold a BA in Education, and have served as Instructional Designer and Master Trainer for organizations in the US and Europe. I’m also on the faculty of Villanova University as their ITIL curriculum designer and adjunct professor.)
  8. What is the instructor’s teaching style? Are they all lecture? Do they get students to interact with each other? (I combine lecture, exercises, discussion, and real-world application scenarios; in a fun, techie, professional atmosphere.)
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