As with any tradesman, you would ideally like to use approved locksmiths. There is currently no government legislation concerning the locksmith trade, so anyone can call themselves a locksmith whether they have years of experience, just completed a quick course or never undertaken any training at all.
One way of confidently selecting a locksmith you can trust is to look for one approved by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). Established as a not-for-profit trade association in 1958, and identified by their cross-keys logo, the MLA licenses its approved locksmiths through a system of regular assessment and vetting. Their goal is to ensure ongoing quality of service from their approved locksmiths thus providing you with the peace of mind that you are using the services of a professional with high standards.
Why Should You Select an MLA-Approved Locksmith?
The MLA is not motivated by commercial concerns as it is a not-for-profit organisation. Their focus is on proper trade regulation and maintaining high standards of service.
The only way locksmiths can obtain standard criminal record disclosures is through MLA membership.
They provide ongoing training to their members to ensure they are kept up to date with current industry practices and new equipment.
The MLA is recognised as an industry authority by the following:
- The police
- Home Office
- Building Research Establishment (BRE)
- RISC Authority – the UK property insurer’s technical group.
- British Standards Institute (BSI)
Arbitration/complaints handling services. If you are in any way unhappy or are in dispute with an MLA-approved locksmith, they follow proper channels to investigate complaints or disputes and take any required action.
Pricing. Approved locksmiths adhere to a policy of providing fair and transparent prices and full, not roughly estimated, quotes before work commences.
Service provision. Members pledge to provide full a full service based on knowledge and experience, recommending products fully fit for purpose and to provide professional installation and maintenance services.
Security Initiatives. Some discounts are available from participating members for certain initiatives.
Customer Charters. The MLA’s customer charters are available to read on their website, and member locksmiths agree to adhere to them. This gives you a full understanding of the scope and possible limitations of the service you can expect. The charters cover all aspects including call out pledges and pricing.
For example, it is made clear that in the event of a lock-out an MLA member is expected to estimate the price of attending based on what the customer tells them. If, however, the price has to be revised once the locksmith has assessed the situation on arrival then full details of the reasons for a revised price will be explained before work commences.
Insurances. MLA members are checked to ensure they carry the correct insurances for the level of service they provide.
Finding an MLA-Approved Locksmith
The MLA website provides an online search facility and a freephone telephone number to help you find an approved locksmith. The distinctive cross-keys logo should be displayed clearly by an MLA-approved locksmith on their promotional materials and website.