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City and Guilds of London Institute

The City and Guilds of London Institute is an educational organisation in the United Kingdom. Founded on 11 November 1878 by the City of London and 16 livery companies to develop a national system of technical education, the Institute has been operating under Royal Charter (RC117), granted by Queen Victoria, since 1900. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was appointed the first President of the Institute.

Unable at once to find a large enough site within the City of London for their Central Institution, the CGLI occupied a building on land alongside Exhibition Road in South Kensington, although its headquarters were in Gresham College in the City. At the time John Watney was both secretary to the Gresham Committee and the CGLI. Evening classes were offered at a school in Cowper Street, off City Road, enabling instruction in chemistry and physics to be provided to those who wished to continue their education after working during the day. The school proved such a success that new premises had to be found in nearby Leonard Street, which was formally opened on 19 February 1893 as Finsbury Technical College. The Institute's director at the time was Sir Philip Magnus, later University MP. Finsbury College was intended as the first of a number of feeder colleges for the Central Institution, but was almost the only one founded. Finsbury College continued its separate existence until 1926.

In 1907, the latter two colleges were incorporated by Royal Charter into the Imperial College of Science and Technology and the CGLI Central Technical College was renamed the City and Guilds College in 1907, but not incorporated into Imperial College until 1910.

In 1973, the Technician Education Council (TEC) was created to unify technical education, eventually taking over the validation of courses in further and higher education. These courses led to Ordinary National Certificates and Diplomas (ONC/Ds) and Higher National Certificates and Diplomas (HNC/Ds), which were previously the responsibility of professional bodies.

In 2005, the Hospitality Awarding Body (HAB) specialists in awards for hospitality and catering became part of the City & Guilds Group. In January 2010, all active candidates were transferred to City & Guilds courses to remove duplicate award provision across the Group.

The qualifications available include National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), most of which are offered at level 2 or 3, although City & Guilds offers NVQs up to Level 7. With 229 NVQs on the Register of Regulated Qualifications (as of November 2016), City & Guilds offers more different NVQs than any other organisation.

City & Guilds offers graduate (level 6) and postgraduate (level 7) diplomas in engineering. These have been designed in conjunction with professional engineering bodies to ensure that holders can apply for professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) with the Graduate Diploma or Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates for professional registration are considered individually through the normal assessment procedures of the relevant professional body for their specific discipline.

Fellowship (FCGI) is the highest honour conferred by the Council of the City and Guilds of London Institute to recognise outstanding professional and personal achievement. Fellows are leaders of industry, education & academia or government & public sector who have achieved remarkable success in their respective fields. Generally, they hold senior roles such as CEOs, board members or specialist employees or consultants at the national or international level. The FCGI is equivalent to level 8 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), the same level as a PhD or Professional Doctorate.