The forerunner of BCS was the London Computer Group (LCG), founded in 1956. BCS was formed a year later from the merger of the LCG and an unincorporated association of scientists into an unincorporated club. In October 1957, BCS was incorporated, by Articles of Association, as The British Computer Society Ltd: the first President of BCS was Dr Maurice Wilkes, FRS.
In 1966, the BCS was granted charitable status and in 1970, the BCS was given Armorial Bearings including the shield and crest. The major ethical responsibilities of BCS are emphasized by the leopard's face, surmounting the whole crest and depicting eternal vigilance over the integrity of the Society and its members.
The BCS patron is HRH The Duke of Kent, KG. He became patron in December 1976 and has been actively involved in BCS activities, particularly having been President in the Silver JubileeYear in 1982–1983.
In 2007, BCS launched BCSrecruit.com — a job site specifically aimed at IT professionals.
On 21 September 2009, the British Computer Society went through a transformation and re-branded itself as BCS — The Chartered Institute for IT. In 2010, an Extraordinary General Meeting was called to discuss the direction of the BCS. The debate has been covered by the computing press