The initial certifying organization, originally called the Guild of Guide Lecturers, was founded to identify qualified tourist guides for the Festival of Britain in 1951. After being renamed several times, it became the Guild of Registered Tourist Guides and more recently the British Guild of Tourist Guides. In 2002, the Institute of Tourist Guiding was established to accredit tourist guide training programmes, assess qualifications and language proficiency, accredit trainers, and award badges.
The Institute of Tourist Guiding examines and accredits guides in England. In Scotland, the Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) sets the standards and accredits all the training courses. All Blue Badge guides must pass the Institute's exams or the STGA's exams. They study for up to two years at university level, taking a comprehensive series of written and practical exams which qualify them to become Blue Badge Tourist Guides.
- The blue badge identifies a tourist guide who has qualified for guided walks, guiding at sites, and guiding in moving vehicles, in a specified region.
- The green badge identifies a tourist guide who has qualified for guided walks and at sites in a city, town, borough, or area of the countryside.
- The white badge identifies a tourist guide who has qualified for either guiding at a specific site or for a guided walk along a fixed route.
- Campbell, Sophie (26 November 2011). "Doing the Knowledge - without the taxi". The Daily Telegraph. pp. 108-109.
- "Institute of Tourist Guiding". About the Institute. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
- "Katrine Prince". The Independent. 22 October 2004. p. 40.
- "The Guild of Registered Tourist Guides - Britain's Blue Badge Tourist Guides". Blue Badge Guides. Archived from the original on 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- "Institute of Tourist Guiding". Our Qualifications Explained. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
- British Guild of Tourist Guides
- Heart of England Tourist Guides Association
- The Driver-Guides Association
- Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association