The Institution was founded in 1863 as the British Association of Gas Managers by the 1100+ gas companies who operated in the United Kingdom prior to nationalization.
The purpose of the Institution was, and still is, to act as a focal point for formulating and standardising codes of practice and technical standards for the industry, to provide a neutral forum for the exchange of technical and managerial information, to ensure that the professional standards of individual gas engineers and those associated with the gas industry are maintained, and to encourage good practice through exchange of information.
The nationalisation of the industry in 1949 swept away the 1100+ gas companies and the Institution reflected this change. However, the deregulation of the gas industry and the opening of the market has meant a return for the Institution to the role it fulfilled pre-1949.
In 2001, the Institution changed its name (and its scope) to the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM).