The Kenya National Examinations Council (also referred to as KNEC or the Council) was established in 1980 under the Kenya National Examinations Council Act Cap 225A of the Laws of Kenya. This Act (Cap 225A of 1980) was repealed in 2012 and replaced with KNEC Act No. 29 of 2012.
KNEC was established to take over the functions previously undertaken by the defunct East African Examinations Council and the Ministry of Education to conduct school, post school and other examinations. The establishment of the Council followed the breakup of the East African Community and the need for an institution to take over control of such examinations to ensure their validity and reliability; and to ensure conformity to Kenya's goals and changes in Government policy relating to the curriculum and examinations.