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BiSL syllabus



The BiSL syllabus outlines the knowledge that the candidate will be tested on during the BISL® 3 Foundation Exam. It also provides suggestions for preparation and highlights the benefits of taking this exam.



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About Business Information Services Library (BISL® 3)

The Business Information Services Library (BiSL®) offers direction for the domain of business information management (BIM). This involves the proactive management, upkeep, and assistance of both automated and non-automated information systems’ functionality. BIM represents the user organization deriving advantages from this functionality. It assumes ownership of the information system and bears the responsibility for the complete information provisioning within the organization.


The syllabus for the Foundation level examination is based on the book titled ‘BiSL, Een framework voor Business Information Management 3e editie,’ which was published in 2020 in Dutch (ISBN: 9789401806480) by Van Haren Publishing in collaboration with the ASL BiSL Foundation (referred to as “A”).


Therefore the foundation can be for the advanced level is based on the publication ‘BISL A framework for Business Information Management,’ released in 2012 in Dutch (ISBN:9789087536879) (referred to as “B”).and English (ISBN:9789087537029) (referred to as “C”). by Van Haren Publishing, in collaboration with the ASL BISL Foundation However, a significant portion of the Advanced level examination builds upon the supplemental guidance provided the ‘BISL Advanced Qualification’ document, published as a PDF by the ASL BISL Foundation in 2015. The products are available for purchase from the webshop of the Van Haren Group. (


The fundamental purpose of the syllabus is to provide a basis for accreditation of people involved with BISL It outlines the learning outcomes related to the use of BISL and describes the requirements a candidate is expected to meet the anticipated criteria that candidates should fulfill. This demonstrates their attainment of these educational objectives across each qualification tier.

The target audience for this syllabus is:

  • Exam Board
  • Exam Panel
  • Accredited Training Organizations/ Accredited Education Partners
  • Examination candidates


This syllabus guides the formulation of the examinations and provides accredited Education Partners (AEP) with a more comprehensive breakdown of the assessment scope. Details on the examination structure and content are documented within the BISL® 3 Foundation Document and the BISL® 3 Foundation Advanced Document.

BISL® 3 Foundation exam

You first need to have successfully completed the BISL® 3 Foundation exam to obtain the BISL® 3 Foundation Certificate. The exam procedure is explained in this section.

Practical information

You must pass a multiple-choice exam in which your knowledge of BISL will be tested to obtain an BISL® 3 Foundation certificate.

All exam candidates will get access to the online exam environment and will need to answer 40 multiple-choice questions within 60 minutes.

You must answer 65% of the questions correctly (or at least 26 of the 40 questions) to pass. Each question has precisely four possible answers where only one is the best answer.

You will receive the result immediately after the exam. (Digital) Access to your certificate will be given once you have passed.

Registration for the exam can be done by purchasing a participation certificate at


Number of questions:40
Time (minutes) for the exam:60 minutes
% minimal passing grade65%
Open/closed book:Closed
Language:Dutch and English.
Exam format:In-Person and Online
Type of questions:Multiple choice


The BISL® 3 Foundation Certification tests candidates at level 1 and 2, according to the Bloom Revised Taxonomy.

Bloom Level 1: Knowledge
This level requires candidates to recall specific information or facts. They should demonstrate the ability to remember and recognize details, terms, or concepts from their learning materials.

Bloom Level 2: Comprehension:
At this level, candidates are expected to show their understanding of the acquired information. They should be able to interpret, explain, and summarize. Candidates must go beyond mere memorization and demonstrate that they can grasp the meaning and implications of the information they have learned.

Learning objectives

In this section, you can read about how the BISL Exam is structured and which subjects you will be tested on as a candidate. It is also a tool that you can use to prepare yourself for the test.

After successfully certifying in BISL, a professional has demonstrated that:

Candidates should possess a solid comprehension of overseeing, enhancing, and implementing BIM processes grounded in BISL principles. In pursuit of this, they should demonstrate the competencies requisite for the Foundation qualification and, in addition, showcase the ability to:

• Explain the value augmentation brought about by business information management and elucidate the prerequisites that must be fulfilled for business information management to effectively deliver value and meet expectations:
o Evaluate the suitability of introducing business information management (utilizing BISL as a supportive framework) within specific scenarios:

• Define the concept of information provisioning and differentiate between information technology and information provisioning.

• Elaborate on the function of business information management in aligning business and IT efforts.
• Present the factors influencing the placement and structure of the BIM function within an organization and offer counsel on the available options:
o Propose an appropriate model for situating the BIM function within an organization.
o Assess the appropriateness of the organization’s model for business information management.

• Describe the objectives of roles within business information management, correlate them with BISL processes, and outline the responsibilities of the business information administrator, key user, business information manager, and CIO

• Establish the correlation between project roles and the BIM line organization.

• Expound on the potential impacts of contemporary developments such as Scrum and agile methodologies, Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), Consumerization (Bring Your Own Device, Choose Your Own Device, Bring Your Own App, Time and Location-Independent Work), and componentization, on the structure of business information management and the application of BISL:
o Evaluate the suitability of implementing the BIM function and BISL processes within contexts involving these new developments.

Detail how business information management can be enhanced through various improvement strategies aligned with the implementation of BISL:
• Specify the structuring of a self-assessment by comprehending the BISL self-assessment approach, the BISL maturity model, the procedural steps, and the involved roles:
o Evaluate the organization of a self-assessment.

• Recommend the BISL processes ripe for improvement within a specific context.

• Examine the pros and cons of diverse options for instituting a service desk across IT management domains within an organization:
o Suggest the most suitable service desk implementation option in a given context.
o Evaluate whether the current service desk setup aligns with the situation.

• Elaborate on managing the quality of business data.

• Expound the role of business information management concerning information security.

• Describe the intentions and content of key documents within BIM and indicate their integration within relevant BISL processes.
• Outline the applicable methods and techniques for various BIM activities.

• Illustrate the interconnections between the BIM realm, IT service management domains (application management and IT infrastructure management), and the user organization (business).

• Deliberate on the collaborative nature of Management processes, as exemplified in tasks like crafting annual information plans.

• Define the considerations when crafting a business case.

• Clarify the purpose of the Business Information Model for an organization, its relationship with BISL processes, and its integration within the organization’s information architecture.

Exam structure

The exam specifications describe the topics in the subject matter of the BISL® 3 Foundation exam and their relative importance. Questions can be asked during the exam about the following subjects.

The following table is an overview of the topics examined in the certification exam.

#questionsLevel(s) of CognitionCategory
8 (20%)Introduction to BISL®

·        Reason and background of the BISL® framework

·        Introduction to Business Information Management

·        The BISL® framework: structure and coherence

8 (20%)Process cluster user management – the day-to-day management processes

·        Purpose, structure, and coherence of the cluster

·        User support

·        Management of business information

·        Operational chain alignment

·        Operational IT-management

8 (20%)Process cluster functionality management – maintenance and renewal

·        Purpose, structure, and coherence of the cluster

·        Specification

·        Designing non-automated information provision

·        Testing and validation

·        Preparing transition

4 (10%)Connecting processes – executive level

·        Purpose, structure, and coherence of the cluster

·        Change management

·        Transition

8 (20%)Process cluster – steering processes

·        Purpose, structure, and coherence of the cluster

·        Demand management

·        Planning & control

·        Financial management

·        Contract management

2 (5%)Directional processes

·        Purpose, structure, and coherence of clusters

·        Process cluster Development of IT strategy

·        Process cluster Development of IT organizational strategy

·        Process cluster Connecting processes 2 – Guiding level

2 (5%)BISL®: Use and implementation and its relationship to other models and methods

·        Use and implementation

·        How does BISL® relate to…

Detailed learning objectives

Key terms and concepts

The BISL® 3 Foundation Certification uses several key terms, concepts, and definitions in the list below. You can use these definitions to support and clarify topics related to the exam. Pay attention! If you only learn these terms, then you are often not sufficiently prepared to pass the exam.


Key termExplanation
Acceptance testSoftware testing phase to check if a system meets predefined criteria before actual use.
AgileFlexible project management approach focused on adaptability, collaboration and delivering incremental results.
Application managementThe process of overseeing, maintaining and optimizing software applications within an organization.
ASLApplication Services Librabry,
Availability managementThe process of ensuring that IT services are available and accessible to users as required by the business.
Best PracticeA recognized and proven approach, method or technique that is considered as the most effective or efficient way to achieve a particular outcome or goal in a specific field or industry.
Business caseDocument that outlines the justification, reasoning and expected benefits of a proposed project or investment.
Capacity managementThe process of planning, monitoring and optimizing an organization’s IT resources to ensure that they can meet the current and future demands of the business effectively.
Chain partnerExternal organizations or entities that are part of a business process chain, collaborating with the primary organization to achieve common goals and deliver products or services to end-users.
COBITControl Objectives for Information and Related Technologies
Connecting processesThe processes within an organization that facilitate coordination, communication and alignment between different areas, departments or components. These processes help create a seamless flow of information and activities across the organization to achieve common goals.
Continuity managementProcess of planning and managing strategies to ensure the continued availability of critical business processes and IT services in the face of disruptions, emergencies or disasters.
Contract managementProcess of overseeing and administrating the agreements, terms and obligations specified in contracts between an organization and its suppliers, vendors, partners or customers.
Control dataThe data used for controlling, managing and making decisions within an organization. These data help guide and support various processes, activities and functions by providing information for analysis and decision-making.
Demand managementThe process of identifying and managing the business needs and requirements for information and IT services.
Designin non-automated information provisionThe process of planning and structuring the methods and procedures for providing information that is not automated within an organization. This involves defining how non-automated information will be collected, organized, communicated and managed to meet business needs.
Document agreements and procedures (DAP)A document that outlines and records various agreements, protocols and processes within a organization.
FrameworkStructured and systematic approach that provides guidelines, best practices and methods for managing business information processes, IT services and the alignment between business and IT.
Functional managementThe activities and responsibilities related to managing the functionality, performance and usability of IT systems or applications to meet the needs of users and the business.
Implementation calendarSchedule or timeline that outlines the planned dates and phases for implementing a project, system or initiative within organization.
Implementation planDetailed document that outlines the steps, processes, resources, timelines and responsibilities required to successfully implement a project, system, process or strategy within an organization.
Information coördinationManaging the harmonious exchange and integration of information across various organizational functions to enhance decision-making and business processes.
Information lifecycle managementThe systematic management of information from its creation or acquisition through its various stages, including storage, usage, maintenance and eventual disposal or archival, to ensure its value, security and compliance throughout its lifecycle.
InterfacesThe points of interaction between different IT systems, applications. Processes or components within an organization. These interfaces enable data and information to flow between various entities, facilitating the integration and exchange of information to support business operations.
ITILInformation Technologiy Infrastructure Library
LeanTerm used to describe a methodology focused on optimizing processes and eliminating waste in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness.
MasterdataThe core, fundamental data that represents the essential entities and attributes within an organization
Operational layerThe level of an organization where day-to-day operational tasks and activities are carried out to ensure the smooth functioning of business processes and the delivery of products or services.
PerspectiveParticular viewpoint, angle or focus when analyzing or approaching a situation, process or problem within the context of business information management. Different perspectives provide different insights and considerations for decision-making and problem-solving.
ProcesclusterA grouping or collection of related processes that work together to achieve specific objectives or outcomes within an organization’s business or IT management.
ReleaseThe deployment of a new or updated version of an IT system, application or service into the operational environment. It involves planning, testing and managing the implementation to ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption to users and the business.
ScrumAn agile project management framework that emphasizes collaboration, adaptability and iterative development but applicable to various projects, focusing on delivering incremental value and responding to changing requirements.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)Formal contract that outlines the agreed-upon levels of service, performance expectations and responsibilities between a service provider and a customer.
Strategic layerThe level of an organization responsible for setting long-term goals, defining strategies and making high-level decisions that guide the overall direction of the organization.
TransitionThe process of moving from one state, phase or condition to another, often involving changes, adjustments and adaptations. In various contexts, it can refer to organizational changes, technology migrations or shifts in processes.
User communicationThe process of communicating with users of IT systems, applications or services to provide information, updates, instructions and support related to their usage and functionalty.
Yearly plan for business information managementOutlining the strategic goals, initiatives, projects and activities related to business information management that are planned to be executed throughout the upcoming year. This plan provides a roadmap for managing and improving business information processes and services.




Reference literature

Core litrature
[A]BISL A framework for Business Information Management,’
Additional reference literature






BISL – Een framework voor business informatiemanagement




BISL – A Framework for business information management 2nd edition






Exam regulations

General rules
An BISL® 3 Foundation certification is an honorary title, and fraud is not tolerated. Your exam will be immediately rejected if fraud is found to have been committed during or after completion of the exam. As a result, you will not be reimbursed for your examination fees.

If you fail to pass the exam, you will not receive a certificate. This also means that you must purchase and take a new exam for your certification. Every candidate only gets one attempt per exam to succeed.

Sharing of exam questions is illegal
It is not allowed to share exam questions with others or make them public. This is a violation of the copyright and IP of the Agile Consortium and Van Haren Learning Solutions. Doing so can lead to legal action by Van Haren Learning Solutions with potentially harmful consequences.