The City and Guilds of London Institute (City & Guilds) is a vocational education organisation in the United Kingdom. City & Guilds offers more than 500 qualifications over the whole range of industry sectors through 8500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide. Two million people every year start City & Guilds qualifications, which span all levels from basic skills to the highest standards of professional achievement (Honours, Master and Doctorate levels equivalent).
Founded on November 11 1878 by the City of London and 16 livery companies – the traditional guardians of work-based training – to develop a national system of technical education, City & Guilds has been operating under Royal Charter (RC117), granted by Queen Victoria, since 1900. The Prince of Wales later King Edward VII was then appointed the first President of the Institute.
City & Guilds is a registered charity (no. 312832). The Institute's president is now HRH The Princess Royal who accepted this role in June 2011 (following her father HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who held the position for nearly 60 years), and the current Chairman of Council is Sir John Armitt, took office in November 2012.