The British Council (originally called the British Council for Relations with Other Countries) was established in 1934 to promote a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom abroad, to promote the knowledge of the English language, and to develop closer cultural relations between the United Kingdom and other countries. In the UK it maintained centres to provide services for visitors from overseas.
The British Council Whitley Council Staff Side (BCWCSS) was formed, following the dissolution of the British Council Staff Association (BCSA), in 1976. It was organised according to the Civil Service Whitley Council system and took over the BCSA's responsibilities and assets. The constituent unions of the BCWCSS, at foundation, were the Society of Civil and Public Servants, the Civil and Public Services Association, the Institution of Professional Civil Servants, the First Division Association and the Civil Service Union. The name of the organisation was changed to the British Council Whitley Council Trade Union Side (BCWC TUS) in 1980.