Is ITIL a standard?

A fairly common question that appears in the ITIL Foundation examination, in various forms, is whether it is a standard or not. 

Officially it is not.  Usually the argument is that it is a set of non-prescriptive best practice guidance which you can choose to follow or adapt as best fits your organisation; it is Standards like ISO20000 which are standards and provide prescriptive statements of what you will do.

In reality, however, ITIL is a standard.  It is a set of instructions on how to run an IT Service which if you follow you will achieve ISO20000 and be known as an ITIL company.

So, for the exam ITIL is not a Standard but in reality you should treat it as such if you want to be known as an ITIL company and reap the benefits of that.  In you next job interview you can talk about your knowledge of the ITIL standard which isn't really a standard but it is.