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Guild of Master Locksmiths  UK


Peace and Unity - Working Together

The Guild of Master Locksmiths UK or the GMLUK was created as more of a peace treaty, an agreement between rival locksmith companies to prevent rivalry and unite the locksmith business owners and to watch out for one another, to aid each other and that we are stronger together than apart.

Being part of the Guild is more than badge or certification. We are a small family of friends who operate the same business model, we have the same principles, bylaws, meet the same criteria and actually care about our customers and profession, we all have the same struggles and we find common ground in aiding each other.


An example of this would be our own 24 hour stock supply chain which means if a Guild member is on a job and is stuck late at night for a hard to find item or out of stock item, we have a member on call who can supply the item to help the locksmith and keep costs down for the customer from having to return or having to locate a part which takes longer and can mean higher costs. This was one way the Guild found to help the customer and its members to operate a better business practice.


We also watch over each others business. If a 24 hour locksmith needs a holiday then they have trusted Guild members who can cover there business area. They know the pricing will be the same, the quality is the same and because we are all vetted under National Security and DBS checked we are all trusted by each other to help maintain a 24 hour service for the locksmith and there customers.


We also come together for further training courses when legislation changes around business, advertising to upgrades on locks and hardware. We are a small committed community of highly skilled locksmith that strive to stand above all other locksmiths in the UK both in skill level, security clearance and the best business practices we can adhere to.


The Guild of Master Locksmiths and Dealing with Rouge Traders!

Sadly today we have “bad” or rouge locksmiths operating outside the good business ethics and who are over charging, paying for fake 5 star reviews online, who also target legitimate locksmith businesses online by paying hackers to attack legitimate locksmith business and mark the business as “permanently closed” on Google listings.

Some of these rouge locksmiths are organised criminals based in other countries or bigger cities and use paid advertising to target areas in the UK. They take away the work from genuine local locksmiths and then contact the locksmith and offer them locksmith work at a reduced rate. Often the locksmith will take £40 or less for doing the job and the rouge company will charge the customer £300 to £500 for the work. When a locksmith refuses they then use hackers to target online locksmith businesses and spam there reviews with fake 1 star reviews in an attempt to destroy the business so they can take over whole areas of trade and then the consumer is left having no choice but to pay extortionate amounts in an emergency.


This is why we, the Guild members come together as we are stronger together than apart.

We have a white hat company that can find these rouge traders information about such people and locate the “bad locksmith” who is causing these issues and report this to our contact in Google to have fake or bad locksmith companies removed from the search engine, to prevent multiple fake Google listings and braking the search engines terms of service which prevents the public from falling foul to rouge traders.


This helps protect the local genuine trade, the local customers and creates an equal playing field for all locksmith trades that choose to do it correctly and fairly.


However this is a task that we can only be done regionally in the areas we have locksmiths and the UK government needs to address such issues with new legislation for online search engine companies to make sure they vet a business owner before they allow them to pay for advertising with PPC Pay Per Click ads which can place a rouge trader at the top of the Google search engine, above the vetted and checked map based listings. This allows the rouge traders to take advantage of the people in need who are looking for a locksmith in an emergency and more needs to be done to prevent this kind of issue and that's part of what we do. 


The Guild of Master Locksmiths UK do work in conjunction with the police and fraud teams to report such rouge traders, we will report them to the trading standards, business ombudsman, local councils and trusted trader groups to help fight the criminal aspect of the locksmith trade.

Our Main Focus is in the Locksmith Training Industry

Q, How do's the Guild Focus on Locksmith Training?


We believe all of the current issues in the locksmith industry as discussed above and many more could simply be rectified by making sure each locksmith is DPA cleared before training, they undertake the appropriate amount of time for training so they have a better understanding of the job and how to do the job the right way which would save the public money.


For example: Many rouge locksmiths will drill a lock and destroy it when they could simply gain entry without a destructive means. However this takes time to master and learn. There is no reason for anyone to drill a lock. It just shows that they have a lack of skill due to a lack of time under training. However in some very rare circumstances drilling may need to happen so its still a skill that needs to be taught but used in a responsible way. For instance if a rouge locksmith attends a job or even a locksmith with only 5 days of training attends a job where they can't pick the lock, they will drill the lock. In some cases the locksmith will pretend not be able to pick the lock as the locksmith will only earn a labour fee. If that locksmith can drill the lock, they then make more money! Its a bad business practice or unethical business practice either due to poor morals or lack of education on how to deal with the issues at hand.


We strive for change in the locksmith training industry.


This is why we created a program and award known as the LTTA certification. You can learn more about the LTTA here.

The LTTA Citified Locksmith Trainer or providers are fully trained in course delivery as they have undertaken  a PTLLS in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector or the new AET level 3 Award in Education and Training.

This nationally recognized qualification carries 12 QCF credits which is the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and demonstrates our competence and readiness to work as a teacher, trainer, or tutor in various educational settings such as locksmith training and further education. 

The LTTA instructor has to come from a higher pedigree of skill, they must have a minimum of ten years of ethical proven successful business practice and have ran that business with financial success which shows a track record of skills in business and they have not failed in the business so they turned to locksmith training. We see a vast amount of poorly trained locksmiths who fail in the business so they go onto sell there skill sets, all be it poor skill sets on places like Facebook market place, eBay and pay per click advertising on search engines. The problem with this is that is creates further poor locksmiths who go one to do the same. That's why all LTTA accredited locksmiths have to have a proven track record of success in the industry. It means in that decade of work they have ten years of real world locksmith experience, the hours served as a locksmith to be bale to offer such skills later as a trainer as the business was a success which means they had a high number of paying jobs and happy clients, contracts and so on.

Training -  We believe that no locksmith training provider in the UK except for the training programs we recommend offer the correct form of locksmith training. We recognise that some will require DBS checks and some have become part of awarding bodies likes of NCFE or City and Guilds. This helps legitimise there training but the training with or without an award is still the same poor training format. That's why the training we champion must meet the Guilds criteria on training.

Training Criteria: 

We have a strict training criteria which we do not share to prevent replication by fraudulent locksmiths who offer training. We can tell you that its often about the length of the course, foundation of the course, the stages of the course and the environment that the course takes place. It is also about training qualifications to be bale to actually teach the public in the key subjects and the delivery of the course with hardly any of the current courses in the UK meeting an educational framework in further learning.

Security Criteria:

Each student must undergo a Date Barring Service Check. We will not train any locksmith with a criminal record. We also require each instructor to be fully vetted by United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV), which is part of the Cabinet Office Government Security Group and the Government Security Function. Before they can teach locksmithing. 

Business and Ethics - In the UK locksmith industry there are no current laws that govern who can be trained to become a locksmith. The UK government last looked at this process over 20 years ago and this could be about to change.


However at the moment its down to the industry to make sure we as a collective only train trusted people.


We do believe that locksmith training providers often unknowingly train unscrupulous traders or rouge traders or in some cases genuine traders who do not make enough money due to the lack of business training and result to crime and overcharging customers as they only see a handful of clients and turn to PPC Pay Per Click advertising to help find work. With such high costs of PPC and having the advantage to appear at the top of search results on search engines allows the public to fall victim to rouge traders.

(BMTA) Business Management Training & Accreditation


This is why we make sure each of our training providers also deliver the business management training known as the BMTA which is an accreditation earned for the completion of a Guild specified business training course for locksmiths in the UK..


They follow a strict training protocol which puts the new locksmith through a series of courses and exams on consumer law to data protection, health and safety and so much more. This is done in stages and will allow the training provider to create a high calibre of locksmith who less likely to fail in the business and result to having to pay for costly and competitive advertising which result in high prices, call out fees and hidden charges.

Business Criteria:

The new locksmith must undergo 15 weeks of business management training. We will not disclose the full list of what the locksmith is trained into to prevent replication. But they must work with a business development manager who's job is to make sure the new locksmith enrols on each course and passes each course. These course are in security to law, financial training in accounting to running there own online business, managing websites, invoicing, stock management and so on. To be able to launch and operate a business each locksmith must have full public liability. They will require all of there locksmith qualifications to be passed to a level 3 award which takes 36 weeks of training under a master locksmith and LTTTA certified instructor.  They will have passed a DBS check with the Data and Barring Services and they can opt to undertake the 3rd degree in security clearance by being vetted by the United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV), which is part of the Cabinet Office Government Security Group and the Government Security Function. They must be registered with companies house to having the correct banking all the way through to the legal aspects of terms and conditions, terms of service and everything in place to protect the public and the locksmith.


Locksmith Training and Education UK, Badge, Award

About the Safe Contractor Approved S.C.A.UK Scheme?

Guild of Master Locksmiths UK Safe Contractor Approved badge, award,
Guild of Master Locksmiths UK

Why did the Guild Create the S.C.A.UK Scheme? 

As part of our efforts to change the ethics of the rouge locksmith or a locksmith with poor business training we created a scheme classified as the Safe Contractor Approved (S.C.A.UK) scheme which sees a locksmith complete a course know as the S.C.A.UK award which allows the locksmith to hold the S.C.A.UK badge so the public can see that this locksmith who carries this badge is a trusted, vetted and security cleared trades person and this a completely free membership for the Guild members as they undertake this as part of there business training package.


It is to also stop the locksmith for falling for trusted trading traps who charge money to be part of a trusted / vetting business model. There is nothing wrong with such vetting businesses if its done correctly and fair. 


Anyone can create a trusted trader vetting based business model. Then market it as a trusted vetting service. They then charge a business a sum of money to be part of that vetting business with no laws around who can vet or cannot a vet a business. 


Many of these vetting business models charge high fees per year to be part of that vetting service. They can then carry that vetting businesses trusted logo and brand and be recommended on the vetting businesses website. However this comes unstuck when the locksmith realises to get more work via that vetting business that they have to pay extra money for this and better advertising. also have a similar business model where they offer a free listing but to get found on you have to pay more money.


Once the locksmith decides to back out of the deal with the vetting business and cancel there membership it all goes wrong!


The trusted vetting business then advises the locksmith to remove all of the vetting businesses logos and branding they have allowed them to use in there promotional materials, marketing and so on.


However this has an unseen high cost impact to the locksmith as they now have to pay a 3rd party to have the vetting logos and branding removed from social media, websites, vehicles and shop fronts with bills running into the thousands.


When the locksmith can't remove all of the marketing material due to 3rd party sources sharing the content online. The vetting business will then threaten them with legal action for the use of trademarked materials, often demanding further money or for them to just come back and be part of the vetting business. This often results in a locksmith been trapped, having to pay yearly fees to the vetting business or the locksmith has no choice but to close down the business and start again.

So the Guilds answer to this was to create a scheme that could be implemented at the very early stage of the locksmiths business creation which meant they no longer have to use a 3rd part business and pay higher costs. This in turn helps the locksmith mitigate loss financially and in turn the locksmith is less likely to end up over charging, using call out fees and becoming a rouge locksmith. 

As part if this scheme the locksmith is still looked at each year. A locksmith will send over any updates insurance, qualifications, awards and we will independently and randomly check up on the locksmiths reviews, social activity and take not of any issues we may see.

More Information about the Guild of Master Locksmiths UK!

Q, What else do the Guild of Master Locksmiths do?


  • The GMLUK is a none profit organisation that operates to create ethical locksmith practice in the industry.

  • We vet locksmiths both ethically, financially and legally to make sure they are trading correctly, have the correct insurances in place, carry the correct qualifications and have been trained by LTTA certified trainers and GMLUK Member. 

  • We make sure that every locksmith that carries a guild badge has undergone 36 weeks of training under an LTTA registered trainer.

  • We help lobby change in the locksmith industry and call for the government to recognise and put in place a recognised qualification for both training and trading locksmiths and the locksmith instructors who operate locksmith schools.

  • We are an arbitrator of peace between rival locksmith businesses and customers that look to find resolve in unfortunate issues that can occur. 

  • We are a free service, none of our members pay anything towards GMLUK to access membership but we do charge a percentage for the GMLUK awards that can be gained during the locksmiths training but that is dealt with by the trainer and not the member.

  • We oversee the training being delivered directly to businesses in UK by locksmith companies to make sure they have the relevant teaching qualifications and carry the LTTBA which is the Locksmith Teaching and Training Business Award which allows an instructor to deliver training to corporate groups. 

  • GMLUK are more focused on the locksmith education and delivery rather than on trying to lobby for security ratings on hardware and locks like other associations. We believe the issues is not with hardware as burglars rarely chose to go through a lock, they will choose to go through an open window so changing lock certifications and making locks and hardware more expensive is just another way to take more money from the public but doing it by making it official through insurance regulations and kitemarks. GMLUK does not get involved with aspects of the industry. We take the stance on locksmith education. We believe to be able to operate as a locksmith you should meet a required standard and that is a minimum amount of training such as 15 weeks under LTTA locksmith instructor and to operate a locksmith business you should have undertaken a minimum of 36 weeks training with 15 week business management course. Protecting everything from the public's data protection to warranties, home insurance and business insurance and preventing voiding policies by fitting incorrect hardware.

  • The GMLUK are about bringing change to the UK locksmith industry to prevent crime, bad business ethics and to help raise awareness of bad locksmiths and how to avoid being caught in a locksmith scam. 

  • The GMLUK is also a set of terms and rules that's laid out for each member that creates a code of ethics for each member to abide by. 

  • We lobby locksmith supply firms, shops and industry to only sell products, tools etc to certified locksmiths to prevent criminals buying such things and operating scam businesses.


Q, What training do they do and why is this different to other training providers?


First we don't train anyone, all training is through our selected members. We currently use Taylors Locksmiths who have been in business since 1948 and are one of the original founding members of the guild as almost all founding members have now sadly passed on and the next generation are keeping the Guild alive. The training Gateshead Locksmith Training provide is still the traditional training as a apprenticeship for 15 to 36 weeks minimum working on real jobs with real customers along with lock lab training and working on training homes and then they enter a full business course. They are then on probation for 2 years as guild members and may carry the guild badge and patch on there works clothing and vans, website etc. We also work with Cornwall and Devon Locksmith Training who provide the same training as the Gateshead Locksmith Training branch. 


  • We don't give away the Guild of Master Locksmiths badge to just anyone. You must agree and meet all of our standards set out by the founding 7 members and have undergone a level 4 award with registered LTTA locksmith training school.

  • As part of that your further training once established is free of charge via that training provider.

  • You must have undertaken a business management program for a minimum of 15 weeks.

  • We don't charge you to carry our badge or for further training.

  • We are a small committed community of Locksmiths that all have the same principles of customer care and service along with the same pricing.


If a locksmith breaks our laws and terms of the GMLUK they will be removed from the guild and all of our suppliers won't sell to them, so they have to work alone and keep a larger stock and order online. It's only fair and stops industrial fighting and price cutting which can destroy the industry.


Q, Does is cost to be part of the Guild of Master Locksmiths?


No, it's free of charge but to be part of it you must have gone through our recommended locksmith training provider to make sure you meet our criteria. Once you have done that you will agree to the terms and bylaws set out in the GMLUK.


The guild and its members will always look out for other guild members, we will be there if a member passes away to help the family, we all come together for meetings and gatherings when new locks arrive on the market, we have demos on how to defeat the lock or hardware and help make sure our industry works together through business to business connections.


We don't recruit members or ask for money, we don't charge anything at all and it is a free membership based on peace and equal opportunity for all members.

Q, Who Operates The Guild of Master Locksmiths?

The Guild is operated by its members who elect a committee and chairman, vice chairman and secretary of the guild. We are a non profit guild and really on volunteers to help operate the guild. For this reason we do not man a phone line. 

Q, Does The Guild Have Meetings?

Yes, we have a monthly meetings online and for members at a set location physical locations for award ceremonies.

We also host members meetings for updates such as a new British Standard update to hardware with presentations on the new hardware to when the UK law changes in ways that it can impact our members. Only members of the guild can attend and ID  is required upon entry. We also work to deliver further training courses for members free of charge via our training providers. When ever we roll out a new scheme such as the S.C.A.UK etc.

Q, Do The Guild Members Work Together?

Yes we all work together, currently we have 136 active locksmiths as of 2024 and 9 hardware supply shops.

We are totally independent in terms of how we operate.

We have our own supply chain for all members that can deliver hardware to any member any time of the day.

We have many ex police, ex military who are members that offer members help dealing with burglary related issues, forensic locksmith issues to simply covering a members phone while that member is away on holiday.

This allows all members to offer a 24 hours service 360 days each year without any interruption.

We have also developed our own apps and much more. 

Locksmith Training schools in the UK
Who can become a guild member? 

Membership Requirements:

  1. You must complete a full 36 weeks of training with our recommended LTTA certified training schools (Gateshead) - (Cornwall) - (Online training)

  2. You must have undertaken the LBDA Locksmith Business Development course where you achieve the following: 

    1. DBS cleared (no criminal convictions)​

    2. S.C.A.UK - Safe Contractor Approved course completed.

  3. You must be a full UK resident 

  4. You must have lived in the UK for over ten years

If you require further information then please let us know!

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