ASL Foundation Syllabus


The Application Services Library (ASL® ) provides guidance for the application management domain, which deals with actively economically sound operational management, maintenance, enhancement and renovation of applications. Application management is one of the IT management domains; application management organizations provide services to customer organizations or produce applications that are used by customers, either customized or off the shelf.

This syllabus is based on the book ‘ASL®2 – A Framework for Application Management’ issued in 2009 in Dutch (ISBN 9789087533120) and in 2012 in English (ISBN: 9789087533137) by Van Haren Publishing and the ASL BiSL Foundation. It reflects the Foundation level of examination.

The primary purpose of the syllabus is to provide a basis for accreditation of people involved with ASL. It documents the learning outcomes related to the use of ASL and describes the requirements a candidate is expected to meet to demonstrate that these learning outcomes have been achieved at each qualification level.

The target audience for this document is:
•  Exam Board
•  Exam Panel
•  APMG Assessment Team
•  Accredited Training Organizations
•  Examination Candidates

This syllabus informs the design of the exams and provides accredited training organizations with a more detailed breakdown of what the exams will assess. Details on the exam structure and content are documented in the ASL Foundation Design Document.

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Application Services Library 2 Foundation

2 Foundation Qualification

2.1 Purpose of the Foundation Qualification

The purpose of the Foundation qualification is to confirm that a candidate has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the ASL guidance to work in application management, for instance in a role as an application manager. The Foundation qualification is also a prerequisite for a future Practitioner qualification

2.2 Target Audience

This qualification is aimed at people on the supply side of IT in an organization. Those people may have an operational, managing or strategic role with regard to IT services and the provision of information to the end user organization. This qualification is especially relevant to IT staff working in application management, including the following roles: application manager, software engineer, quality manager, application administrator, service manager, service level manager, information analyst, application designer, application architect and the business unit manager who is responsible for organizing application management.

2.3 High Level Performance Definition of a Successful Foundation Candidate

The candidate should know and understand the principles, structure and terminology within the ASL guidance. Specifically the candidate should understand:
• The background and positioning of and developments in application management and theASL framework
• The statements, goals and topics of the ASL process clusters
• The goals and topics of the ASL process clusters and processes
• The activities and results of the ASL operational and management processes
• The interrelations between the ASL processes

3 Practitioner Qualification

Not currently available.

4 Learning Outcomes Assessment Model

A classification widely used when designing assessments for certification and education is the Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. This classifies learning objectives into six ascending learning levels, each defining a higher degree of competencies and skills. (Bloom et al, 1956, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives).

APMG have incorporated this into a Learning Outcomes Assessment Model which is used to provide a simple and systematic means for assessing and classifying the learning outcomes for APMG qualifications.

This structured approach helps to ensure:

• A clear delineation in learning level content between different qualification levels
• Learning outcomes are documented consistently across different areas of the
• Exam questions and papers are consistent and are created to a similar level of

The Foundation qualification examines learning outcomes at levels 1 (knowledge) and 2 (comprehension). The Practitioner qualification will test learning outcomes at levels (comprehension), 3 (application) and 4 (analysis).

5 Syllabus Areas

The syllabus is presented by syllabus areas. This is the unit of learning which may relate to a chapter from the manual/guidance or several concepts commonly grouped together in a training course module.

6 Syllabus Presentation

For each syllabus area learning outcomes for each learning level are identified. Each learning outcome is then supported by a description of the requirements that a candidate is expected to meet to demonstrate that the learning outcome has been achieved at the qualification level indicated. These are shown as syllabus topics.

All Foundation level requirements are assumed to have been met for Practitioner level and are not directly assessed again, although Foundation level knowledge and understanding will be used when demonstrating Practitioner application and analysis learning outcomes.

Each of the syllabus areas is presented in a similar format as follows:


Key to the Syllabus Area table
1 Syllabus Area Unit of learning, e.g. chapter of the reference guide
2 Syllabus Area Code A unique 2 character code identifying the syllabus area.
3 Learning Outcome (topic header shown in bold) A statement of what a candidate will be expected to know, understand or do.
4 Level Classification of the learning outcome against the APMG OTE Learning Outcomes Assessment Model.
5 Topic Reference Number of the topic within the learning level.
6 Topic Description Description of what is required of the candidate to
demonstrate that a learning outcome has been achieved at the qualification level indicated
7 Foundation/Practitioner Shows at which qualification level the topic is assessed. N.B A topic is only assessed at one qualification level.
8 Primary Reference The main reference supporting the topic.

7 Important Points

The following points about the use of the syllabus should be noted.

7.1 ASL Guide References

The ASL guide references provided should be considered to be indicative rather than comprehensive, i.e. there may be other valid references within the guidance.

The references provided include chapters, sections (e.g. 4.7) and sub-sections (e.g. 4.3.4). Where a specific section is referenced, e.g. 4.9, this refers to that section and the subsections included.

8 Syllabus Exclusions