What is BCC accreditation?
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accreditation system is designed to evaluate and improve the performance of local Chambers of Commerce. The system entitles those Chambers of Commerce that meet the standard to become a member of the BCC accredited network of Chambers of Commerce across the United Kingdom.
Accredited Chambers are required to display a ’BCC Accredited’ mark, providing assurance to business users that they have met an important and continuously updated quality standard.

What are the benefits of BCC accreditation?
Accreditation defines the quality standard for the operations of the Chambers of Commerce who form the BCC network. Accreditation helps to identify and promote good practice. The standard differentiates accredited Chambers of Commerce who provide all the products and support services required by their business members to be successful, from non-accredited chambers and other local business organisations, who do not offer the same level of business growth support. The BCC accreditation system has also been used to help develop Chamber accreditation in other countries.

How does BCC accreditation work?
There are a range of criteria against which the performance of BCC Accredited Chambers of Commerce is  assessed. This takes the form of an independent external assessment every two to three years. Following a review, from 2012 future assessments will focus on three criteria:

1 Governance
This covers the legal arrangements and procedural systems used by Chambers of Commerce to manage their business. It also ensures that Chamber governance follows the principles of member ownership and independence from external influence.
2 Resources
A measure of how well Chambers of Commerce manage their budgets, finances, human and other resources.
3 Member Services
Refers to the ‘product offer’ Chambers of Commerce provide to businesses either directly or indirectly. Services evaluated include international trade and the processing of trade documentation, networking and events, representation and lobbying, and the provision of other business support products and services to members.

How is evaluation of assessor accreditation reports undertaken?
The results of each external  assessment is reviewed by the BCC Accreditation Board, comprising Chamber representatives from around the United Kingdom, including  business non-executives, Chamber chief executives and a BCC board representative.

What are the likely results?
Each Chamber is provided with a comprehensive report back from the BCC Accreditation Board. The BCC Accreditation Board has the right to decide whether a Chamber should stay in accreditation or not. If a Chamber is removed from accreditation, then their territory (the area in which the Chamber has executive rights to recruit members, but no other special privileges) is opened to others in a competitive process, with the result of this process being determined by the BCC.