Unless you work in the industry, you might be unaware that the Locksmith industry is unregulated. This means that there is no official governing body to set the standards of work within the industry and that there is no need for education or a licence to become a Locksmith. This not only leaves customers with no guarantee about who they might be calling out, but also infuriates professional, experienced Locksmiths who must repair the work done by an undertrained Locksmith. So, what is the solution?
What’s the issue with the Locksmith industry being unregulated?
The main issue that absolutely anyone can advertise themselves as a Locksmith even if they have never changed a lock in their life. Now this is not only potentially disastrous for customers, who need professional, fair, and quality services but also can cast a bad light on those in the industry who are competent and provide their customers with an excellent service.
Alongside not being able to ensure standards and quality, another issue remains that independent Locksmiths go largely unsupported by the industry in terms of updates, shared experiences, and continual training. Different Locksmith training institutions will offer brush up courses and regularly update the content of their course when changes in the industry demand it, which is an unused resource for the Locksmith industry however as anyone can claim they are providing ‘Locksmith training’ sometimes it is hard for detailed, supportive courses to be separated from the scams.
Should the Locksmith Industry be Regulated?
Yes. We here at the NGCL fully support the industry becoming regulated because ultimately it will mean that all customers are offered some protection no matter who they call out and Locksmiths will gain a basic level of support which will only help to continually raise the standards of practising Locksmiths. Essentially bringing regulation to the industry would allow our ethos to become true, “Supporting Locksmiths. Protecting Customers”.
We believe that bringing in some form of regulation to the Locksmith industry is needed to help moving the industry in the right direction that will benefit everyone that is involved.
What is currently already in the industry?
Firstly, there are associations much like The NGCL in which Locksmiths can become members of. Within these associations they often will have standard and requirements that a Locksmith will have to meet to become a member, for example, should a Locksmith wish to join The NGCL we have a rigorous vetting process which they must first pass to join and then there is a continual process of assessment to ensure that are standards are continually met whilst attending jobs.
Secondly, the has recently been developments in Locksmith training. Up until now there has been no official Locksmith qualification and accreditation courses have been offered to individuals looking to become Locksmiths. These accreditations are still a great resource and we believe adequate training for anyone looking to come into the industry, however the first Locksmith Qualification has now been introduced in the UK with only a select few offering it at their training centres. This qualification is a step in the right direction in the hope of officially formalising the need for an education before trading as a Locksmith and to also take the first steps perhaps in the potential requirements to become a Locksmith if regulations do come in.
Locksmiths in the US
For some time now a requirement of trading in as a Locksmith in certain states of America has been to retain a Locksmith licence. This license ensures that those who are advertising themselves as a professional Locksmith meet the standard requirements from the state and makes it harder for ‘rogue’ Locksmiths to join a Locksmith association, company or build a client base. This licence allows professional and trained Locksmiths to be separated from those who are less than competent and gives customers the assurance that they will receive a good service at fair prices.
This system in the US seems to be a very adept system in which to create a system that professional Locksmiths can be identified, and customers can have confidence that they will receive a quality service.
At the end of the day ensuring that customers are protected, and that trading Locksmiths have the support and the education they need is essential, so some form of formal regulation and governance in the industry is what is needed to ensure this. We think the launching of the Locksmith Qualification is a step in the right direction and we thoroughly support any further steps to ensure that high standards of practise are always in the Locksmith industry.