steps to certification
Steps to becoming a Certified service desk and frequently asked questions…
SDI’s Service Desk Certification (SDC) programme is the only industry, standards based accreditation programme designed specifically to certify service desk quality.  
Below are the steps involved in achieving and maintaining Certification:
A preliminary two day Service Desk Assessment provides you with a benchmark for each of the nine Certification criteria.  Specific groups of people are interviewed to obtain a consensus understanding on how the service desk conforms to the Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk (Best Practice Standard).
This essential stage highlights key areas for development and provides an opportunity to make improvements before completing the full Certification Audit. The Service Desk Assessment can also be delivered as a service in itself, independent of the full SDC programme. However this will only give you a benchmark for current performance and does not credit you with a star rating.
The Certification Audit is a full review of your entire service desk operation using interviews, desk-side observations and a review of your service level metrics. Evidence based material is required prior to the audit to confirm the service desk conforms to the Best Practice Standard. During the four day audit, the SDI auditor will ask over three hundred comprehensive questions in order to assess your service desk’s maturity rating.
If you are rated at a ‘Proactive’ level or above you will be awarded Service Desk Certification and a star rating. If Certification is achieved, SDI will arrange a trophy presentation at your premises. The presentation of your Certification award is a real moment for celebration and a great opportunity for the whole of your IT service operation, senior management and wider organisation to share in your fantastic achievement and success!
Once you have achieved Certification, the programme doesn’t stop there! At each stage of the programme your service desk will be provided with a roadmap for continual service improvement (CSI). In order to ensure you can deliver continued service excellence, to retain Certified service status and to remain in the programme, your service desk will have an annual two day Surveillance Audit.
The CSI roadmap provided after each Surveillance Audit will usually target specific areas of delivery to have the most beneficial impact to the organisation. Surveillance Audits also provide an organisation with the opportunity to increase their maturity level and star rating. Organisations should stay in the programme for as long as they would like the expert best practice guidance and the other industry benefits that being in programme provides.


Here’s a list of frequently asked questions regarding the SDC Programme:

Is there any help available before the Service Desk Assessment stage?
Yes, there is a Pre-Certification Workshop that can be delivered at your place of work. This one day workshop is designed to be a collaborate process which can help you gain stakeholder buy in, demonstrate the value of the SDC programme and motivate the whole team in preparation for your Certification journey ahead!
Who is SDC beneficial to?
Any IT service and support operation looking to initiate their continual service improvement (CSI) journey. Some of the reasons different service desks across the globe have joined the SDC programme are:
• To prove the value of their service desk to customers and the wider business.
• To obtain a benchmark for their current maturity level
• To improve service performance metrics
• To enhance the customer experience
• To differentiate their service from competitors
• To gain global recognition for service excellence
What experience do the SDI auditors have?
SDI’s Certification auditors know the ITSM industry and best practice inside out. The strength of our team lies in our ability to work with individual service desks and managers to personalise our support to your needs and business goals.  The invaluable experience and talent of our auditor team means they are able to drive improvement in any IT operation.
At SDI we are extremely focused on our mission of inspiring service desks to be brilliant. To ensure we deliver on our mission we ensure all our auditors are highly experienced experts with significant industry experience that includes areas such as managing service operations, SDI, ISO/IEC, ITIL, DevOps, IT4IT, SIAM, consultancy experience and more.
How does the Certification star rating work?
The SDC star rating system relates to 4 levels of maturity when assessing an organisation’s service desk capability against SDI’s Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk.
The maturity model is based on the EQMF model and includes ‘Proactive’ 2 star, ‘Customer-led’ 3 star and ‘Business-led’ 4 star maturities. There is also the possibility of achieving ‘World Class’ 5 star Certification, although this has only ever been achieved by two organisations globally.
☆☆ Proactive
☆☆☆ Customer-led
☆☆☆☆ Business-led
☆☆☆☆☆ World Class
To achieve Certification at a 2 star rating or above, an organisation must achieve a rating score of 2.3 in each of the concepts and a minimum rating of 2.5 overall. Anything less means Certification will not awarded.
A typical ‘Proactive’ 2 star Certified service desk will have proven it has achieved a high level of capability in areas such as service strategy, processes and procedures, reporting and analysis, service management systems, performance levels, training and staff development, business communications, staffing levels, and service experience.
How difficult is it to achieve Service Desk Certification?
It’s not easy to achieve a ‘Proactive’ 2 star maturity rating or above. The Certification programme is a very comprehensive and robust process. This is why organisations who do achieve Certification, demonstrate their commitment to service excellence along with a dedication to best practice and continual improvement.
How does my service desk become a five star Certified organisation?
Organisations must maintain a four star ‘business-led’ maturity rating for at least two consecutive years before they can be considered for the five star ‘World Class’ Certification Audit.
Based on a rigorous audit and assessment process, the ‘World Class’ Certification award endorses that a service desk has attained, and is maintaining, a truly world class standard in the quality of its IT service and support delivery.
Is Certification awarded company wide or single site?
Each site is independently audited and therefore Certification is awarded to a single site and not across multiple service desk locations.

"SDC has given us competitive edge in our location, improved teamwork across the business, improved staff morale and improved adoption of best practices."

Free online SDC Taster

Benchmark your service against the Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk with this online performance assessment

Questions about Certification?

Use the form on this page to ask us anything about Service Desk Certification (SDC). Or contact one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)1689 889100 to discuss whether Certification is right for your service desk.

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