Benefits of using an MLA-approved locksmith to protect your business

Listed Under: News and Advice

Benefits of using an MLA-approved locksmith to protect your business Full Width Image

If you’re unfamiliar with the Master Locksmiths Association, this article is here to put your mind at rest.

You may have noticed that some locksmiths are listed as MLA-approved, including us here at Grays Locksmiths. So, what is the MLA? And how does it affect a locksmith and their work?

Keep on reading to discover more.

What is the MLA?

The MLA – Master Locksmiths Association – is the largest governing body for locksmiths in the country. It was set up to combat the lack of regulation within the industry and thus drive standards up significantly.

It was founded in 1958 by a small group of locksmiths who met in London. In 1986, it turned into a limited company and was again reorganised in 1994. Membership of the MLA is now worldwide.

The MLA has a motto of ‘skill and integrity’. It operates on a non-profit basis, setting and promoting standards for conduct, practice and materials.

The term Master Locksmith isn’t protected, and so anyone can choose to advertise themselves within this framework. However, MLA-approved or MLA-qualified Master Locksmiths terms are strictly limited to members, so you should always look for mention of the MLA specifically.

What does the MLA do?

To be a member of the MLA, you have to be a skilled and experienced locksmith. Because it sets the standards for the locksmith industry, all members are highly vetted and regularly kept up to date with training. It also has the ability to perform CRB (DBS) checks on any of its members.

Having an MLA membership is in the best interest of any locksmith out there. Seeing that a locksmith is MLA-approved means they’re good at the job they do and perform it reliably and in a trustworthy manner.

There are two main membership types:

  • MLA approved company membership – this is for locksmith businesses that meet the Association’s strict criteria.
  • MLA affiliate memberships – the affiliate membership is for businesses that supply other locksmiths according to the Association’s standards.

Having regulation within the locksmith industry is critical. Having professional standards to be held to keeps the quality of work high and people all around the world feeling secure. The MLA paved the way for this, and we are proud to be an approved member.

Benefits of working with an MLA-approved locksmith

The key benefits of working with an MLA-approved locksmith can be broken down into three main categories. All MLA-approved locksmiths are:

  • Vetted
  • Inspected
  • Fully qualified



All MLA-approved locksmiths undergo a strict vetting process to gain their membership, including criminal record (CRB or DBS) checks. The MLA is the only approved locksmith association to be legally allowed to perform DBS checks on its members. This legislation came about as a result of an MLA campaign in 2009.

The MLA membership process sifts out all the industry’s inexperienced or under-qualified locksmiths and downright scammers, leaving you with a good selection of honest, hard-working, experienced and qualified locksmiths.


Locksmiths are regularly inspected to ensure they’re keeping up to date with standards and practices. This is a conditional part of MLA membership, and all MLA-approved locksmiths must go through it periodically.

Locksmiths are legally required to perform jobs honestly and to the best of their ability and to ensure their customers have every reason to be satisfied. They’re held accountable for their own work.

These regular inspections are listed in the Approved Companies inspectorate. This document means the MLA can show that all its Company Members have every reason to be meeting the highest industry standards. As part of this, locksmiths are expected to often undertake training courses.

Fully qualified

All MLA locksmiths have to pass the MLA exam. It consists of a written module and three practical test scenarios:

1.     Open a British Standard lever lock

2.     Install a Euro-operated mortice lock

3.     Cut a key by hand only

After passing these four modules (in total), the locksmith becomes a Qualified Master Locksmith or QML. Being a QML is a prerequisite for earning the MLA-approved company status. As a result, all MLA locksmiths are qualified and competent in their work.

On top of this, the MLA provides end customers with peace of mind due to its licensing scheme.

Commercial security systems Grays offers

At Grays Locksmiths in Nottingham, we are an MLA-approved locksmith company. All our locksmiths are vetted and provide reliable, trustworthy work to the highest standards.

We offer both residential and commercial locksmith services. Our commercial services include:

  • Emergency callout services
  • Alarm systems
  • Access control systems
  • Roller shutter doors
  • Steel security doors
  • Security lighting
  • Aluminium door repairs
  • Boarding up services
  • Lock fitting
  • Commercial safe installation
  • And more.

For more information about our commercial security systems or our MLA-approved Master Locksmith status, feel free to get in touch with us, either by phone (0115 942 2315) or by dropping into the workshop at 245 Ilkeston Road in Nottingham. Our opening hours are 8.30am to 5pm. We look forward to hearing from you.