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MLA Membership Sectors

What is the Master Locksmiths Association Member Sectors?

As the UK’s largest trade association for locksmiths, the Master Locksmiths Association comprises of the following membership sectors that you can join.

For specific information about the MLA please visit our about us page.

British Locksmiths Institute (BLI) – Training SectorBritish-Locksmiths-Institute-Logo-BLI

The British Locksmiths Institute is for the training of individuals who wish to gain competence and progress from Student Member to Advanced Student Member of the BLI and then to become Members of the Master Locksmiths Association, or to gain a certificate in locksmithing.

It is for individual members who wish to be part of a professional body, who meet the Association’s requirements for membership and, as stated above, it has two levels of membership.


  • Age: for persons sixteen and over who are studying for the Institute’s Entry Examination.
  • Experience: Should be receiving, or intend to receive, adequate practical training as locksmiths.


  • Age: for persons aged 16 and over, who have served at least twelve months in the locksmith’s trade and intend to study for the British Locksmiths Institute Examination.
  • Experience: should have received or been receiving adequate practical training as locksmiths and to have passed the Entry Examination.
  • Advanced Student is the highest category of membership of the British Locksmiths Institute.

A person can only hold the classification of Advanced Student for four full calendar years, during which time that person should pass the BLI Examination.

A success in the BLI Examination awards a entitles that person to become a Personal Member of the MLA and to work towards the Institute’s most prestigious award – Fellow of the British Locksmiths Institute.

MLA – Membership SectorMaster Locksmiths Association Logo MLA

This Sector is for trading companies and individual and, therefore, has two distinct levels; Approved Company and Personal Membership


  • Only for individuals who wish to belong to a professional organisation and who are employed by others or individuals who own their own locksmithing business, which has been assessed as an MLA Approved Company, and also wish to retain their personal membership. In all cases, the individual must have successfully taken the relevant BLI Examination.

To become a Personal Member of the Master Locksmiths Association

The locksmith must have first passed the BLI Examination – a rigorous test of both locksmithing knowledge and practical skill.

The most prestigious title is Fellow of the BLI – this examination tests the locksmith’s skill to the utmost.

2. APPROVED COMPANY MEMBERSHIPMaster Locksmiths Association MLA Approved Company Logo

Approved Company Membership is awarded to those companies having successfully undergone an inspection by the Association’s Inspectorate.

All Approved Companies are permitted to display the MLA Approved Company logo on any advertisement, letterhead or other media displaying the company name.

This is the `trading’ sector of the Association and its membership is promoted to the public, police, insurers, Government and all potential customers.

All MLA Approved Companies can be found on our Find a Locksmith page.

3. AFFILIATE MEMBERSMaster Locksmiths Association Affiliate Member Logo MLA

Affiliate Membership is for Companies, Manufacturers and/or Distributors of materials, equipment or services to, or in connection with, the locksmithing industry and who wish to support the Aims and Objectives of the Association.


This category is available to Companies, Manufacturers and/or Distributors of materials. equipment or services to, or in connection with, the locksmithing industry and who wish to support the Aims and Objectives of the Association.

  • Membership can only be awarded to Trading Names/Companies and not to Groups or Holding Companies.
  • A representative must be nominated; this representative having one vote on behalf of the Affiliate.
  • All communications will normally be directed to the representative.
  • Applicants are required to complete the relevant application forms.

Affiliates will be authorised to display the MLA Affiliate member Logo on any advertisement, letterhead or other media displaying the Affiliate’s name.

The MLA Affiliate Division includes such well-known names as Mul-T-Lock, Yale, Union, Era, Abloy, Banham and Bramah.

In May 1992, following a number of requests, the MLA’s rules were amended to allow companies connected with the Locksmith industry, as opposed to directly involved with it, to become Affiliate Members – thus companies such as insurance companies etc, now join the Affiliate Division and benefit from the expert advice that is available from the nation’s Locksmithing professionals.

The Guild of Keycutters


Many key cutting outlets wish to be part of a recognised body; in order to meet this need, the Guild of Key cutters was formed as a separate sector within the MLA.

A prime objective of membership of the Sector is the promotion of improved standards in the key cutting industry through professionalism and training.

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