Our heritage

Our heritage makes us uniquely positioned to anticipate the future of work and learning.

The City and Guilds of London Institute was founded by the City of London and 16 livery companies (the Guilds) in 1878 and granted a Royal Charter in 1900. A registered charity, the Institute remains the awarding body for City & Guilds and ILM qualifications.

We’re proud of our past and excited for our future.

Click on the arrows to see how far we've come since 1878.

Go back to About us >


Ann Limb awarded damehood in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Our Chair of Trustees, Ann Limb DBE CBE FRSA DL, was made a dame in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to Young People and Philanthropy.

City & Guilds acquires Trade Skills 4U

We are proud to say that as an organisation we are keeping to our strategy by strengthening our direct delivery offer and extending our reach in the electrical engineering market.


City & Guilds announces new accreditation partnership with The Prince’s Foundation

In recognition of their shared commitment to the preservation of heritage craft skills, City & Guilds and The Prince’s Foundation announced a new partnership which will see students on a variety of the charity’s training courses receive internationally recognised qualifications accredited by the global leader in skills development.


Kirstie Donnelly MBE becomes CEO

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, previously the Managing Director of the Skills Credentialing businesses City & Guilds and ILM, became Group Chief Executive.


Intertrain joins the Group

Intertrain, one of the UK’s leading training providers for railway infrastructure, joined the Group's technical training business.

City & Guilds Foundation launched

The City & Guilds Foundation launched to help amplify the activity we do across the Group, through high impact social investment, recognition and advocacy programmes.


Gen2 joined the Group

A leading specialist training provider based in Cumbria.


e3Learning joined the Group

A dedicated workforce risk management and online compliance training provider, based in Australia.

Digitalme joined the Group

A digital credentialing organisation that recognises individuals' competencies and supports employers in finding talent for their businesses.

Princess Royal Training Awards launched

An award created to highlight the positive impact that training and skills development can have on business performance for UK businesses of all sizes and sectors. Find out more on the Princess Royal Training Awards website.

Nine Lanterns joined the Group

An award-winning elearning provider based in Australia.


The Oxford Group joined the Group

Providing management training, leadership development, and executive coaching across the globe to businesses, blue-chip companies, and the public sector.

Skills Development Fund launched

The Skills Development Fund is a £5m investment in projects which transform individuals and communities through developing skills. You can read more about this initiative and the projects invested in on the Group website.


New technologies

Launch of TechBac®, a new approach to skills-based education for 14-19 year olds that’s been designed to bridge the gap between education and employment.

New innovations

Kineo launched its Managed Learning Service.

Transforming lives

ILM course registrations exceeded 1 million people.


International growth

Kineo Pacific, based in New Zealand, joined the Group and became part of Kineo.


Kineo joined the Group

Kineo helped over 200 world leading businesses across the globe to improve their performance through learning and technology.


New President

We welcomed HRH The Princess Royal as our new President.

WorldSkills London 2011

We helped to create the UK’s biggest skills and career event and became the premier sponsor.


New technologies

Learning Assistant, a market-leading e-portfolio system designed to transform the vocational education management process, joined the Group and became part of City & Guilds.


Broadening horizons

We partnered with Manipal Global Education to create Manipal City & Guilds in India. We’ve also partnered with the Manipal Foundation to train at least 63,000 people in construction, hospitality and retail in India over a 10-year period, with an aim to get 70% of learners into employment.



Joined our Group and became City & Guilds Land Based Services.


ILM created

Following the merger of the National Examination Board for Supervision and Management (NEBS Management) and Institute for Supervision and Management (ISM).


On the move

We moved into our main office at 1 Giltspur Street, London.


Expanding our global reach

City & Guilds expanded internationally into more than 80 countries.

New acquisition

The Pitman Examinations Institute joined our Group.


Independence day

City & Guilds of London Art School becomes an independent trust.


The Prince Philip Medal

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh became our new President. Every year our Royal President presents this prestigious prize at Buckingham Palace to outstanding individuals who have travelled The City and Guilds of London Institute Path.


New foundations

We created Imperial College.


Royal Charter

Royal Charter of Incorporation granted by Queen Victoria.


King Edward VII

Became our first President when he was still Prince of Wales.


Medals of excellence

We’ve awarded 15,000 medals to outstanding learners and tutors since we launched our programme.

New school

We created Finsbury Technical College and City & Guilds of London Art School.



The City and Guilds of London Institute founded by the Corporation of the City of London and 16 livery companies (the Guilds).