The IT skills examination and training sector is facing a damaging split that will create confusion for technology professionals and their employers, industry experts warned today.
The problem stems from the appointment of the APM Group in July as the new accreditation body for IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) examination and training.
Analyst firm Gartner predicts that this will result in two competing computing training programmes after June 2007.
Gartner warned that there is "little chance of any resolution at all", and certainly not by January 2007 when the contract takes effect.
As a result, APM Group is under significant pressure and is unlikely to have a scheme in place that meets the full demand for ITIL training in January.
However Gartner advises enterprises that this will not create significant problems in the short term because training will be available from BCS-ISEB and EXIN until June 2007.
Simon Mingay, research vice president for IT management strategies at Gartner, said: "The appointment of APM Group has created a division in the IT service management community, with APM Group on one side, the original examination institutes on the other, and the community split between the two camps.
"Their positions have progressively become more entrenched during the past two months, culminating in a press release on 13 November in which EXIN and BCS-ISEB announced their alliance in a signed memorandum of understanding.
"This will effectively create a parallel qualification scheme in competition with the official ITIL-branded APM Group scheme and marks the end of effective negotiations between APMG and EXIN/BCS-ISEB."
The key sticking point relates to the fear that there will be a reduction in the credibility and trust in the ITIL qualifications under the scheme that the APM Group proposes.
Mingay said it is difficult to assess this claim at this stage, but stressed that it is important for IT organisations to be aware that they will be faced with two competing training schemes and to "watch this space" closely for development.
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