Locksmith Regulations and Trading Standards
Locksmiths offer an essential service to customers, whether that is getting them back into their home when they have been locked out or helping to secure their property if their front door lock breaks. The most important aspect of calling out a Locksmith is being able to trust them. With that being said, the Locksmith industry is not regulated in any way by the UK government or a governing body which means there are no formal requirements to trade as a Locksmith. This can make it hard to know that when you are calling out a Locksmith that they can be trusted and will provide a good service.
Are Locksmiths Regulated?
As mentioned above, the Locksmith industry is unregulated which means that anyone can offer Locksmith services without any prior experience, training, or knowledge. The Private Security Industry Act 2001 introduced a set of new licensing requirements for those involved in the security industry where they need to obtain a licence from the Security Industry Authority but currently this does not apply to Locksmiths and there are no other requirements to trade as a Locksmith.
Locksmith Trading Standards
Although there are no formal regulations for a Locksmith to follow, they still need to conform to fair trading standards as set out in the Consumers Rights Act 2015 to continue to operate as the act applies to all businesses selling a product or service. This act essentially protects you as customers against faulty goods, unreasonable services and unfair terms as you can report unlawful businesses to Trading Standards which is a government run service who investigate complaints and hold businesses accountable where need be.
For example, there are no formal guidelines for Locksmith prices so no two Locksmiths will cost the same however they should reflect fairly on the service they are offering and be up front about all of the costs. For further guidance about estimated Locksmith pricing, please visit our guide.
What Does an Unregulated Locksmith Industry Mean for Customers?
With no formal requirements, regulations, or guidelines in the industry this means that you can never be quite sure of the quality of work that you might receive from a Locksmith or even if they know what they are doing!
As there is no formal way to identify a professional Locksmith this has led to rogue traders, or ‘cowboys’ as they are referred to in the industry, who provide sub-standard services to customers and often do more damage than good whilst charging outrageous prices.
However, in most cases professional Locksmiths do try to combat any uncertainty that a customer might have by proving that they provide an expert service to set themselves apart from those rogue traders.
Locksmith Quality and Safety Assurances
To combat uncertainty by customers and rogue traders there are a few things that Locksmiths will do to show that they are reliable, trustworthy, and professional. Listed below are a few ways in which professional Locksmiths show that they are experts and are safe to use, but for more advise on how to choose the right Locksmith please visit our Customer Advice Hub.
Membership to an Association
Although there are no governing bodies for the Locksmith industry, there are memberships to associations which allow you to identify the high standards of a professional Locksmith. For example, an NGCL member has to undergo a vigorous vetting process to ensure that they meet the high standards of the NGCL and provide customers with an unmatched service.
Qualifications and Accreditations
Although there is no requirement for official training, anyone in the industry will tell you that it is strongly recommended. Therefore, most Locksmiths will hold an accreditation in Locksmithing or even a Qualification where they have been taught and assessed by an educational governing body to gain their certificate.
Although not mandatory, a Locksmith with an accreditation or qualification is a form of assurance that they have the knowledge base to carry out Locksmith services.
The Keytek locksmith training academy is one of the first centres in the UK to offer the official locksmith qualification.
A disclosure and barring service (DBS) check, or CRB check as it is formerly known, is a government check of an individual’s criminal record to see if they are suitable for a particular job role. With the sensitive knowledge base of a Locksmith, such as being able to gain entry and knowing the security measures of a customer’s home, one way that a Locksmith can show they are safe to use is through a regularly updated DBS check.
Find out more about DBS Checked Locksmiths here.
Industry Regulation Updates
Recently there have been developments within Locksmith training, where the UK’s first official Locksmith qualification has been introduced. Before now there have been many courses that offer an accreditation for those looking for Locksmith training, but recently a few select training centres now offer a full Locksmith Qualification. This hopefully is a step in the right direction to a more regulated Locksmith industry. Read more about whether the Locksmith industry should be regulated.