MLA Master Locksmiths are Vetted Inspected Qualified


What qualifications do I need to be a locksmith?

locksmith qualifications

There’s lots of talk about locksmith qualifications and what certain training companies can offer and why you should choose them over others etc.

On this page, we will cover is there such a thing as a qualification in locksmithing after completing a training course and can you become fully qualified after attending a 3-day course.

We are the UK’s largest locksmith association so hopefully, our advice should be able to help.

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    What qualifications do I need to be a locksmith?

    There are no qualification requirements needed to become a locksmith.

    The only requirement we ask for to attend our training courses is for a Basic Security Check due to the nature of work involved in locksmithing.

    To read our guide to becoming a locksmith click here, which covers in-depth everything you need to know.

    Are there qualifications in Locksmithing?

    OFQUAL Regulated Locksmith Qualification

    Official OFQUAL Level 4 in Locksmithing Qualification

    Yes, we currently offer an Official OFQUAL 4 Level Certificate in Locksmithing for those who pass the MLA Exam.

    To receive this locksmithing qualification requires locksmith experience, we recommend at least 2 years experience before taking the MLA Exam to gain this official locksmith qualification.

    Our History in Locksmith Training

    The MLA has always been involved in training and improving skill levels within the industry, for all of its 60+ years of existence.

    It was the first to develop a nationally recognised qualification in locksmithing with the NVQ over 20 years ago.

    We were also the first City & Guilds approved centre for locksmithing, funded and led the development of the nationally recognised qualification for the Apprenticeship (in conjunction with HABC).

    A Company claims I will get a qualification in locksmithing, this is true?

    There will be claims about some awarding body accreditation’s, but they are mostly all tailored awards, not actual qualifications in locksmithing.

    What are Tailored Awards in Locksmithing?

    Tailored awards are when a training centre will pay to get something accredited.

    City and Guilds Qualified Logo

    A “tailored award” NOT a qualification

    How do we know about tailored awards?

    We once ran a City & Guilds level 3 tailored award for locksmithing, but unfortunately, these awards seem to be all about numbers.

    Unless you’re putting loads of people through (and therefore paying good money) then a lot of providers are not that interested in continuing them.

    Locksmithing is not a get rich quick scheme

    Harry enfield loadsamoney

    Locksmithing is not a get quick rich scheme

    With a number of companies saying their short training course will make you a fully qualified locksmith that can earn £60-100k per year.

    It takes years to learn the knowledge required and even then you never stop learning.

    Locksmithing is a long-term career and should be promoted as such.

    A 3-day course can make you “fully qualified”- really?

    With an apprenticeship taking at least 12 months then surely it’s curious that these short courses can make you “fully qualified”.

    For questions about training please read our FAQs page below, where we answer over 20 questions:

    What next – Questions to Ask Yourself

    As those in the trade know, and we say elsewhere on this site, there’s a lot more to running a locksmith company than going on a short course!

    • Where are you going to be based?
    • How many locksmiths are there already in that area?
    • What type of locksmith work is required? ( i.e domestic/commercial, areas of specialism ( auto, safes, access control, emergency etc… )
    • What investment is required?
    • What about the business skills – do you have them or the budget to buy them in?

    Who to get your training from is something that needs to be thought about when considering becoming a locksmith.

    Choosing a Locksmith training provider

    Locksmith training thinking

    Thinking of training to become a locksmith…..

    Once you’ve done your research and have decided that locksmithing is a viable career path, careful consideration needs to go into choosing where you get your training from, as there is a lot of good quality training out there, but unfortunately a lot of poor quality training too.

    1. Choice: Choose a training provider wisely, don’t just go for the one nearest to you.
    2. Price: Don’t just go for the cheapest.
    3. Discounts: Be wary of any courses offering huge discounts, there will be discounts for a reason! Most likely lack of interest! Value is what’s important!
    4. Research: what is included in the price of the course. For example – accommodation, food & drinks.
    5. Tools: Being provided with locksmithing equipment/tools may not be as beneficial as first thought. For example, tools will depend on the kind of locks you encounter, which in turn is determined in a lot of instances by geographical location. You may, therefore, end up with tools that you never use.
    6. Hype: Don’t believe everything you hear (yes, including from us – we may well be biased!)
    7. Testimonials: Get testimonials, visit the company, ask questions and find out what is going to work best for you.

    If you are interested in taking a training course, we run a number of beginners locksmith courses here at MLA HQ.


    There are no qualifications required to become a locksmith.

    Any mention of “City and Guilds / NCFE” in locksmithing tends to mean a tailored award rather than a nationally recognised qualification.

    To take the next step to start a career as a locksmith we’d recommend reading our pages below, we cover everything you need to know.

    Further Reading

    Why use a MLA Approved Locksmith?

    All locksmith companies approved & licensed by Master Locksmiths Association are:

    Vetted Locksmith
    All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


    Our Locksmiths are criminal record checked.
    How we check our locksmiths

    Locksmith Inspection
    All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


    Our Locksmiths are Regularly Inspected.
    How we inspect our locksmiths

    Locksmith Qualification
    All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


    Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA exam.
    Read about MLA Exam here

    Vetted Locksmiths In the UK

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    Become a MLA Member

    Join the UK's largest locksmith association, all levels of membership available for those new to locksmithing to trading locksmiths.

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