There are many ways to find jobs as a UK locksmith but there isn’t much in the way of regulation when it comes to who is allowed to be use industry tools regardless of education or lack thereof. In the US, there is a process for locksmiths to be licensed and this provides a level of regulation that the Master Locksmith Association in the UK does not provide. In fact, the organisation is basically a social network for locksmiths that collects dues from its members whereas the Associated Locksmiths of America offers resources, education, and (most importantly) the tools to go through the process of becoming a licensed locksmith. As you read on, you’ll find why the leaders of the industry in the UK urge governing bodies to regulate further and allow locksmiths to be licensed as they are in the US.
1. The End of Rogue Locksmiths
Without the regulation of licenses, any UK locksmith can say he/she is a professional no matter if they work with a company, have insurance, or are operating at a sub-par skill level. These people may have no education on the subject or could even be using the idea of being a locksmith as a cover for more nefarious means and give a bad name to everyone else who is educated and professional. A license allows separation between the real locksmiths and those that are playing at it.
The US doesn’t really have rogue locksmiths, because there is more required of anyone who wants to identify themselves by the profession. Without a license, US locksmiths don’t have much of a chance of joining a reputable company or building a client base when there are other locksmiths out there that can prove they are educated and professional.
2. Training and Continuing Education Support
If UK locksmiths had the same resources with the MLA that the US has with the ALOA, more professionals would have the option to apply for scholarships for training and support for continuing education to keep up their license and credentials. A locksmith should be constantly updating their skills as the industry develops and a licensing board would be able to regulate that, ensure that it is enforced with any locksmith that wants to stay licensed, and provide the certification for clients and companies that want proof that the locksmith is updating their training regularly.
3. A Voice in the Industry
The MLA doesn’t offer members a way to voice their opinions or keep up with legislation that will affect the industry, quite possibly because they can’t discern who is a serious locksmith in the UK and who is a hobbyist or pretender. A license provides a reason for locksmiths to claim a right to their voice in the industry by giving them proof that they’re serious, they have the correct skills, and they’re security minded when it comes to discussing what’s next for the industry.
The ALOA in the US allows licensed locksmiths to have a voice like this and even has a clear space for professionals to keep up with what’s happening in security legislation that will affect them. As seasoned and skilled locksmiths, they have the proof of a license to show they’re educated and know what they’re talking about.
4. Regulation of Industry Tools
There’s more to the tools of the locksmith than just being able to include the MLA logo on them. If locksmiths in the UK are not educated and operating on a specific code of conduct, they shouldn’t be allowed to use and acquire these tools. A license provides more regulation of the tools of the trade so that the hobbyist or the rogue locksmith won’t have access to tools that could allow them to continue pretending they know what they’re doing.
In the US, there is a lot more regulation over who is allowed to own and operate tools that give them access to locks and safes. This means that if a customer calls a licensed locksmith, they can be sure that not only will this person have the necessary tools to get the job done but they can also be assured that the person showing up to their house is actually a locksmith and not just someone who knows how to get into their house at any time.
5. Marketing and Networking
Without licensing, locksmiths in the UK can call themselves professionals without education and regulation. This makes networking and marketing very difficult for those that really are educated. A license provides the necessary certification and resources so that locksmiths can network and create communities that help each other without worrying that the people they’re talking to might be looking for other reasons to learn how different kinds of locks work.
The MLA provides a lot of resources for marketing but the problem is that they provide these services to anyone that registers and pays dues. In the US, a locksmith must be licensed to be registered with industry professional websites and organisations so they earn their marketing privileges. A license means that when a customer comes looking for a registered locksmith in Leicester, they’ll know that this person underwent the required education and certifications instead of simply paying for the service.
Make it About Education Instead of Money
Organisations in the UK like the MLA shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves a “master locksmith association” when anyone can join. These organisations only ask for dues and continued payment for other services in order for a person to call him/herself a locksmith. It’s confusing for customers and for locksmith companies who want an easier way to ensure that the people they’re hiring are educated. Introducing a licensing board in the UK, similar to the way it’s done in the US, will allow industry professionals to prove that their skills are legitimate and give customers and companies that want to hire them peace of mind that the person they’re getting really knows what they’re doing. The idea is beneficial to everyone involved and is the next step to moving the industry forward.