The concept of Credibility Alliance was introduced in December 2001 in a meeting on "Need for an NGO Consultative Framework", co-hosted by Charities Aid Foundation and Childline India Foundation. The meeting witnessed the participation of a cross-section of Voluntary Organizations which decided to develop ‘Minimum' Norms for Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency of the Voluntary Sector. A working group was formed and it was mutually agreed that the process of defining Norms have to emerge through an inclusive and participatory method, along with sharing of leadership, financial, administrative and secretarial functions on a periodically rotating manner.
At this stage, a need was felt to understand and bring together various parameters developed by Organizations such as Charities Aid Foundation, Childline India Foundation, IndianNGOs.com, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC), Voluntary Action Network of India (VANI), Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA), MACS and MACRIL. Apart from this, processes and criteria of International Organizations from Philippines, USA etc. were also referred. Thereafter, Norms were discussed amongst the group and Sub-Committees were formed to develop guidelines on Good Practices. Set of Norms were developed for the Good Governance in the Voluntary Sector.
In the beginning of 2002, as part of the Consensus building exercise, the norms were circulated to over 15,000 Partners, Members and Affiliates and feedback was solicited. More than 500 Organizations gave their feedback, with more than 94% of them agreeing on the need for Minimum Norms of Governance for the Voluntary Sector.
In July 2002, 78 Organizations assembled at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to discuss the plan of action to disseminate the Norms to grassroot Organizations. As a part of this exercise, more than 20,000 copies of the booklet on Norms were distributed and circulated on internet. In addition to this, 75 Regional, State and District level meetings were held all over India and about 2,000 Organizations participated in the process. The feedback gave an overwhelming mandate for the Credibility Alliance initiative with 96% Organizations agreeing to the need for such Norms and willingness to comply with and be a member of an Organization promoting such Norms.
A National Workshop in New Delhi was held in November 2003 to give an independent institutional structure to Credibility Alliance with formal registration as an Organization for promoting the cause of Good Governance in the Voluntary Sector. Thus, Credibility Alliance was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on May 28, 2004.