The originally named Association of Certification Bodies was founded in 1984 in response to a UK Government request that certification bodies should work together to provide a collective input to the newly established National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies (NACCB). In 1992 the Association adopted its current title and was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1996. ABCB is recognised by Government, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), and a wide range of organisations as the lead UK trade association for nationally accredited third party certification bodies.
ABCB actively promotes nationally accredited certification and works with government departments, trading standards, purchasers and specifiers, UKAS and other stakeholders to promote its benefits. Membership of ABCB is restricted to certification bodies that are accredited by UKAS, or another recognized national accreditation body, or that are actively seeking national accreditation.
ABCB is a Member of UKAS.
ABCB represents the interests of its Members internationally, through its membership of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
Within Europe, ABCB is represented through its membership of the European Federation of Associations of Certification Bodies, EFAC, which was founded on the initiative of ABCB in 2002. This enables ABCB to have input into European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA).