An Overview of the ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support (CDS) Book, Course, and Exam

Written by Jade Kendrick

With the highly anticipated debut of ITIL 4 behind us, we can now look forward to an exciting set of ITIL certifications beyond the introductory ITIL 4 Foundation course. ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support (CDS) is a new intermediate course on the ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) certification tract. Let’s talk about the topics covered in this course, who should attend, and why it’s so great.

A Brief Refresher on the ITIL 4 Certification Schema

Before we get into the content of ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support, let’s quickly brush up on where it fits into your overall certification path.

ITIL 4 Certification Schema

ITIL 4 Certification Schema (ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support highlighted in green)



As you can see above, CDS is one of three courses in the new ITIL Specialist module. In order to become an ITIL 4 Managing Professional (an impressive designation, might I add), you’ll need to take all three Specialist courses as well as the universal ITIL Strategist | Direct, Plan, & Improve course. Each of these intermediate courses are three days long and include their own exam. Once you pass those, you can hone in on the Managing Professional certification course and secure lifelong bragging rights.

Learning Objectives of the Course

ITIL 4 Service Value System

ITIL 4 Service Value System


This course is all about integrating different value streams and activities to create, deliver, and support IT-enabled products and services – whilst (yes, whilst) also covering the practices, methods, and tools that support them. For example, one of the most crucial components of CDS is Service Design, an ITIL practice that helps you identify service requirements, devise new service offerings, and improve your existing services. CDS also covers the Software Development and Management practice which incorporates Agile concepts like epics and user stories. Further, you’ll gain clarity on the differences between Release Management and Deployment Management, two practices that are commonly confused.

According to AXELOS, this course is meant to help you improve existing processes, effectively manage IT teams, optimize workflows, align digital services with business strategy, integrate new technologies, and so much more. Below is a complete list of practices covered in CDS:

  • Service Design

  • Software Development and Management

  • Deployment Management

  • Release Management

  • Service Validation and Testing

  • Change Enablement (formerly known as Change Management in ITIL v3)

  • Service Desk

  • Incident Management

  • Problem Management

  • Knowledge Management

  • Service Level Management

  • Monitoring and Event Management

Who Should Take ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support?

CDS is one of the few ITIL 4 intermediates that can be taken by anyone with any job title. If your organization is undergoing a transformation, creating innovative products or services, refreshing current products and services, or looking for new ideas on ways to improve, this course is a great place to start. Anyone involved in development (creating) or in ongoing operations (delivery and support) of an organization’s products and services will gain a lot from this course.

CDS is also ideal for those in management or leadership roles, as one of the key topics it covers is value stream mapping, which gives leaders a holistic view of the effects their activities have on their ability to serve customers.

Here are some of the job titles that are relevant for this course:

  • IT Operations Manager

  • Availability Manager

  • Service Desk

  • Service Managers

  • Service Architects

  • Security Manager

  • Technology Support teams

  • UX/UI Designer

  • Development Managers

  • Developers

  • Testers

  • Infrastructure Operations Engineer

  • Software Developer

Additionally, if you fit any of the following descriptions, you should definitely consider CDS:

  • You manage the operation of digital and IT-enabled services.

  • You manage the end-to-end delivery of products and services, including development, deployment, monitoring, and support.

  • You’re responsible for assuring that services are delivered and supported according to agreed-upon levels.

Let’s Talk About the Exam

The CDS exam has a total of 40 multiple choice questions with a passing score of 70%. This means you must answer 28 or more questions correctly to pass the exam. For those who remember the (not-so-fun) gradient scoring format from the ITIL v3 intermediate exams, that format is gone. These questions have one correct answer, with each right answer earning you 1 point.

Where to take ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support

Okay. Time for the shameless plug. If all of the above sounds like something you’d be interested in, look no further than Beyond20 for ITIL training. Not only are we an accredited ITIL training organization, but we have also been recognized as a global leader in ITIL training by Course Conductor. Even better, our Principal, Erika Flora, is helping to write one of AXELOS’ official ITIL 4 intermediate publications. In other words, we’re as good as it gets with ITIL training. Check out our schedule for ITIL 4 Specialist | Create, Deliver, & Support. Hope to see you in class.

Ready to Create, Deliver, and Support?

Take a look at our upcoming dates for this intermediate ITIL Specialist course.
View Course Page

Originally published January 01 2020, updated November 11 2020