Master Locksmiths Association

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Master Locksmiths Association
Master Locksmiths Association (logo).gif
Founded 1958
Type Trade association
Focus Locksmithing
Area served
United Kingdom
Method approval through vetting and inspection

Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) is a not for profit trade association representing and approving Locksmiths in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1958 and now has 1400 members.[1] In 2008 the MLA was referred to by the then Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Maria Eagle, as the "principal trade body representing locksmiths and promoting standards within the industry".[2] It is also the association referred to by the Association of Chief Police Officers in their Secured by Design program.[3]

Background and operation[edit]

Whilst in the United Kingdom the Security Industry Authority manages the licensing of the private security industry as set out in the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (which covers manguarding,(including cash in transit, close protection, door supervision), vehicle immobilisation and key holding),[4] locksmithing does not come under this act and there is therefore no government based licensing of locksmiths. This in effect means that anyone can trade as a locksmith irrespective of background, motive or competence. In 2009 it became possible to get a true background check on a locksmith (unless employed full-time by a school/hospital etc.). This occurred when the Exceptions order for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was changed in July 2009 following debates in the House of Commons[2] and the House of Lords[5] whereby the MLA was added to the list enabling it to get standard level CRB disclosures.[6]

Because of this lack of government regulation, various organisations have their own systems; the MLA run an approved company licensing process whereby companies have to be vetted, regularly inspected, and employ a professionally certified locksmith.[1][7]

The MLA also run an annual three-day trade exhibition, the MLA Expo, which takes place in Telford.[8]

Other activities[edit]

The BBC One Rogue Traders has used the MLA to provide expert input.[9] It was with the help of the MLA and expert witness services by one of its members that a rogue locksmith was convicted and sentenced for fraud in 2010.[10]


External links[edit]