What Is The Master Locksmiths Association?

If you’ve ever met one of our team, or even read some of our website before, then you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Master locksmiths association’ at least once. It’s something we are very proud to be members of, and as a professional locksmith it’s an absolute essential. But if you’re not in the trade you might not know what it is, what it means or why it’s important for you. So that’s what we’re going to cover for you today.

What Is The Master Locksmiths Association?

The Master Locksmiths Association is essentially the main trade body for locksmiths in the UK. However, it’s a bit more unique than most other organisations. Mainly because it was founded in response to the fact that there was no legislation around locksmithing in UK government. In fact, there still isn’t today! Because locksmithing doesn’t fall under the Security Industry Authority, there is no government licensing or oversight at all, which means that anyone can set up as a locksmith, regardless of background. I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty scary! So did a lot of other people, so the Master Locksmith Association was founded in 1958 as a way to control and regulate locksmithing and keep it safe for everyone.

What Does Being Master Locksmith Approved Mean?

The Master Locksmiths Association has developed its own, non-governmental certification process for any locksmiths wishing to join. Each member is regularly inspected and vetted, including background checks, CRB checks and required to pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and skill. In order to stay a member, they need to go through these checks every few years. There are also some other benefits, like being listed on their website and being able to display a membership logo on your website, van etc, but they are mainly for the members.

Speaking of members, it’s not just a one size fits all thing. There are several different levels of membership within the MLA, and each one means something slightly different. This is to help you figure out what kind of locksmith you need. I’ll keep it brief, but these are the main categories within the MLA:

  • Registered Member – This is the baseline membership level, and locksmiths of all experience levels can hold a registered membership. These members will have been CRB checked and inspected, but will not have taken the MLA exam.
  • Qualified Master Locksmith – A member who has been CRB checked and inspected, and have passed the Master Locksmiths association exam. This means they have proven their knowledge, skill and integrity to a high level.
  • Auto-Qualified Master Locksmith – Any member who has also completed the Auto Locksmiths Association exam, allowing them to work on motor vehicles.
  • Retired Member – Anyone who was an active member of the MLA, but is now retired.
  • Associated Security Industry Member – Someone who is over 16, and who is either in an industry that is actively concerned with locksmithing or security, or for those who are practising locksmiths in other countries, and who have satisfied the MLA of their ability and integrity.
  • Company Member – This status is reserved for any company that has gone through the inspection process as a business, rather than as an individual. So the business holds the qualification and the membership.

Why Work With An MLA Approved Locksmith?

Now, we understand that when you’re stuck outside in your socks, keys on the dining table and cursing that auto-locking door, you might not be too worried about who comes to your rescue, as long as they do! But trust us when we say it’s worth spending the extra few minutes finding an MLA approved locksmith, because:

  • They meet the industry standard – Every industry has standards it’s members should meet, and locksmiths are no exception. The MLA requires a level of skill and experience for membership, and members have to commit to ongoing training and inspections as part of their membership.
  • You know they’re legit – Locksmiths are people you need to be able to trust. They help you access your home, car, business and more, and install security measures designed to keep you safe. But because there is no legislation to govern the practice, rogue traders are a real problem. That’s one of the reasons the MLA was created – to prove legitimacy.
  • They will be CRB checked and insured – Criminal checks and adequate insurance are both pre-requisites for membership to the MLA, and are checked regularly, so you know you’re in safe hands.
  • Your information will be safe – All members of the MLA have to meet strict codes of conduct and keep your information safe. For example, they may need to see some ID to grant access to a property, or open a safe full of sensitive data. An MLA approved locksmith will never record any kind of sensitive personal information, whereas a non-member could, and could use it however they wished.
  • They will likely save you money – There are plenty of individuals out there who offer locksmith services, when actually all they do is come to your house and drill your entire lock out. While this will get you into your property, it also means you can‘t secure it again, and will have to pay for a whole new lock to be installed as well. With an MLA locksmith, you know they have the skill to do the job with minimal to no damage, so you spend less.

So basically, being MLA approved means you’re as qualified as it gets, and you’ve proven you are trustworthy to work with. At My Locks, we are proud to be a Master Locksmiths Association approved company, which means you can be sure that all of our locksmiths are fully vetted and trained. We’ve also collected a fair few other industry certifications, including Which Trusted Trader, Safe Contractor Approved, City & Guild Locksmiths, ABLOY certified and Paxton Access Control certified, just to name a few! So if you’re looking for a locksmith you can trust, just look for the badge! And if you have any questions about our qualifications or the kind of work we can do, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.