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Choosing The Right Locksmith Training Company

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in locksmithing, it pays to develop your skills with the help of a locksmithing training course. These courses take very little time and will equip you with the key knowledge and practical skills needed, to kickstart your role as a professional locksmith. However, with a fair number of locksmith training companies offering these courses across the country, how do you know which one to invest your time, money and effort with?

This guide will offer tips and tricks to help you with your research, with the key things to consider when looking for the best quality locksmith training company.

Assess their offerings

The first thing to look for when comparing the different locksmith training companies, is what they offer as part of their training courses. Some providers may promote just one course that covers the basics, whereas others will divide their training into a number of condensed courses. These courses will allow you to focus your efforts on the basics to begin with, to then develop more expert skills over time.

It’s well worth taking the time to assess each provider and to make a note of how they approach the training. What works for one person might not necessarily work well for you, so it’s important to know how they go about their training and to see which scheme is best for your own development.

You should also take a look at how the courses are actually taught. As you’re looking to gain new locksmithing skills, then a practical approach to the course is likely to be much more useful to you. If you are looking to use the course to set up as a self employed locksmith then it’s also worth seeing if the course covers any other aspects such as business and marketing.

Do they have any accreditations?

Some locksmith training providers have been assessed and approved by professional bodies, such as City & Guilds, to showcase the quality of their training courses. These accreditations act as a seal of approval from these organisations and are a sign that you, as a customer, can trust the services they provide.

When comparing the different locksmith training companies on offer, look out for any accreditations they have and rule out any companies that haven’t yet achieved this seal of approval. Their accreditations should be displayed on their website, so it shouldn’t take too long to rule out any providers that haven’t yet reached this level of quality.

What industry experience do the trainers have?

As a beginner in the field of locksmithing, it makes sense to be trained by professionals in the industry who have years of practical experience behind them. You won’t receive the same quality training by someone who has minimal experience, or who has never worked in the field before.

Take our trainers, for example. Each of our professionals have spent decades working in the locksmithing industry, so have plenty of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to teach beginners like yourself. Some still work as a locksmith, so you can rest assured you’re in the right hands.

Do other people recommend the course?

Reviews and recommendations play a crucial role in establishing whether or not a locksmith training company is worth its salt. You’ll never have a better understanding of how well a provider performs, than from the words of those who have taken their training courses in the past. Here at MPL Locksmith Training we use an independent review management company to ensure our reviews are collected fairly, and the feedback is effectively used to improve our courses wherever possible.

Once you have narrowed down your list of training providers, take a look through the reviews they have received, to see if any come highly recommended. Don’t limit your research to the reviews displayed on their website – check out the likes of Google Business reviews and forums, for completely unbiased reviews that will give you a true picture of the quality of these courses.

What have others done since taking the training course?

Once you have read through some reviews and perhaps found a training provider that you might be interested in signing up with, why not try to find out a little more about previous trainees and what they have done since? Whether that’s through commenting on their review or searching for their LinkedIn profile, you could find out whether they have made something of their locksmithing career and use this to assess how beneficial the training course could be for you.

By making the effort to research each of the locksmith training companies you’re interested in, you could end up picking the best of the bunch and investing in a programme that’s exactly what you were looking for, if not more. Spending time, money and effort with a quality locksmith training company is key to starting a successful career in the field, which is what makes this initial research extremely worthwhile.

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How to Toe and Heel a Door

A quality uPVC front door will last for many, many years, but over time it’s normal for these doors to suffer from a slight drop or lean. Whilst one side of the door is fully supported by hinges, the other side – the lock side – isn’t quite as sturdy, which is what causes this lean over to occur over a number of years of use.

This drop or lean can then lead to further problems, including trouble with locking the door, or even a gap that can cause drafts or leaks into the customer’s home during bad weather. Alternatively, the door could begin to rub against the frame and cause further damage, that might lead to a replacement being required. As such, it’s beneficial to act early and to take the steps needed to correct the door’s drop or lean and to prevent as much damage as possible.

A simple and effective way of correcting the door’s drop or lean is to toe and heel the door. This is a common method used by many locksmiths and uPVC repair engineers with troublesome door drops, especially when attempting to adjust the hinges doesn’t work. By correctly toeing and heeling the door, you should be able to realign to door with the frame and correct any leaning that has occurred.

If you’re new to the toe and heel process, continue reading to find out how to carry out the task and you’ll have the uPVC door in question looking just right in no time at all.

First things first – double check for any drop

It makes sense to carry out some measurements to begin with, to clarify that your customer’s door has indeed dropped. Professionals typically call a door that has dropped as being out of square.

It’s incredibly simple to check for any drop. Simply measure the door from corner to corner, diagonally. So you would be measuring from the top left corner down to the bottom right, followed by measuring from the top right corner down to the bottom left. Make a note of each of the measurements and, if they do not match, you’ll know for sure that there’s a definite drop in the door.

Toeing and heeling your customer’s door will reposition your customer’s door so that these measurement are once again equal.

Have the right equipment to hand

As with any other door maintenance tasks, it’s beneficial to have the right equipment ready before going ahead with toeing and heeling the door. You don’t need too many tools or accessories and what you do need, you’ll probably already have in your tool box:

  • One or two stiff putty knives – these will be used to remove the beading strips
  • A glazing shovel – this will help you to lift the door frame
  • A selection of packers and shims – these are readily available in many DIY stores
  • General purpose clear silicone

Begin to toe and heel the door

Once you have your equipment ready, the process of toeing and heeling your customer’s door can begin. It’s a relatively simple process so it shouldn’t take up too much of your time.

  1. Kick things off by removing the beading strips that hold any glass or panels to the door. It’s best to start with the longer strips and finish with the shorter strips. Simply place your stiff putty knife in-between the beading strip and the frame, about halfway down the strip. From there, gently work the knife as a lever until the beading strip breaks away.
  2. Once the beading strips have been removed, you can now remove any glass or panels from the door. From there, look for any packers that are within the frame and remove them, before reinstalling the glass or panels into the door frame. When you fit the glass or panels back into the frame, move it as close to the locking side of the door as possible, so that there’s a gap on the hinge side. From there, you should measure the distance between the glass or panel to the top of the frame and the distance between the glass or panel to the hinged side of the frame. Make a note of these measurements.
  3. Using the measurements detailed above, take two packers that are both half of the total width of the measurement (e.g. for a 8mm gap, your packers would need to be around 4mm each). Again, using the measurements detailed above, another two packers should be half of the total height measurement (from the glass or panel to the top of the frame). Once you have these packers ready, you can begin to position them within the frame.
  4. Using the clear silicone, place one of the width-based packers and one of the height-based packers within the bottom left corner of the frame. Each of the packers should be positioned around 50mm away from the corner, further along the longer door strip. These packers will help to distribute the pressure evenly. From there, you can add the glass or panel back into the frame.
  5. The glass or panel will naturally lean slightly towards the locking side of the door, which can be corrected by placing the glazing shovel into the lock side and gently pushing the glass of panel towards the hinged side. To hold this in place, add the second width-based packer to the top right corner of the frame, again, 50mm down from the corner.
  6. Now you will need to use the glazing shovel on the top of the lock side of the door, and work it gently to lift the frame into place, before adding the second height-based packer to the top right corner of the frame, 50mm left of the corner.
  7. Once all the packers are in place, you will need to check that the frame and the door panels are level with one another, as well as testing whether the door opens, closes and locks effortlessly, before refitting the beading strips.

Top Tip: For additional strength and security, you can add two further packers to each side of the door.

By following these 7 steps, you should have a level sitting uPVC door again in no time at all.

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How to become a locksmith

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a locksmith, it’s well worth doing your research beforehand. There are a few things to consider, including how to kickstart your career with the different training options available, as well which route to take further down the line. That being said, once you’re satisfied that a you’ll be happy working as a locksmith, you can expect a rather successful career, wherever it takes you.

See our post on why locksmithing is a great career choice for 2018

We’ve provided plenty of information here, on what it takes to become a professional locksmith, as well as additional things to consider for the future to be able to make the most of your new career.

Is there a nationally recognised qualification available?

There are no legal requirements to practise as a locksmith within the UK, however getting accredited with a scheme such as City & Guilds, who only allow centres with the best training standards to offer their qualification which is recognised across the world and backed by a Royal Charter, will be helpful in showing the level of your skills to either potential employers or customers.

We would absolutely recommend taking part in a training course before offering your service to potential customers, as this will help you to build a solid reputation for doing a good job.

The decision between employed or self-employed

The majority of students that we train choose to take the self-employed route of locksmithing. By taking the self-employed route you’re able to undertake a wide variety of work, including but not limited to:

  • warrant and repossession work (often a good continuous source of work)
  • work from local estate and letting agents who are looking for a local, reliable and knowledgeable locksmith service
  • insurance companies (often dealing with break ins, burglaries and general repairs)
  • police forces
  • local authorities

Whilst the self employed route can be extremely lucrative, as with any new business it’s important that you’re prepared to be aggressive with your marketing and hunt for work when you first start out. Here at MPL we cover a wide range of marketing topics on our locksmith courses in order to give you the best possible start.

The costs associated with being a locksmith

Unlike a number of other careers, there are some costs associated with working as a locksmith, which is a rather important consideration before choosing whether or not to pursue this career.

Firstly, there’s the cost of training and learning the skills to carry out your day to day jobs. This is a one-off cost, but you may need to pay for another training programme if you choose to become more specialise further on down the line.

Then there’s the cost of your tools and stock, from locks, hinges and handles, to lock picks, screwdrivers and chisels, to name a few. These form the base of your job and, without then, it’s impossible to be able to work as a locksmith. Make sure you have the financial backing to invest in the appropriate tools and stock before investing in training.

A particularly large cost is the vehicle you will need to head from one job to another, and that includes:

  • The cost of the vehicle
  • Fuel
  • Tax, MOTs or servicing required
  • Insurance

Having access to a vehicle is an imperative part of any successful locksmith’s job, so make sure you will be able to provide this for your own benefit.

You may also want to consider marketing or advertising, especially as a self-employed locksmith, which will help to promote your business and get your name out there. These promotional tactics can be costly at first, but the return on investment may well outgrow the cost.

Key business decisions to make as a self-employed locksmith

Starting your own business as a locksmith can provide plenty of work and a well-earned salary year after year. Although it takes a lot more time and effort to succeed in, it’s well worth the investment once your business is successfully up and running.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a self-employed locksmith, there are a number of factors to consider whilst building your business model:

  1. Is there a specific locksmithing niche in your area that hasn’t been exploited? For example, are crime rates high or is there a lot of development occurring in the region? Whilst there is a constant demand for locksmiths in all areas of the country to service the repair market, there can be great opportunities in further specialism such as auto or safe locksmith services.
  2. Will you cover a certain aspect of locksmithing or will you want to offer a variety of different services? With additional training, you could see yourself working on safes, car security and electronic key card locks, for example.
  3. Are you willing to offer a 24-hour service or would you rather limit yourself to more sociable hours? Bear in mind that you may have a few competitors in your local area who offer a 24-hour service.
  4. How do you plan on winning your first few customers and how will you grow your business over time? Having an in-depth plan in place will give your business a much bigger chance of succeeding than if you were to take it as it comes. We provide plenty of advice and guidance on how to market your business, as part of our locksmith training services.

Last but certainly not least, it takes plenty of desire, determination and ambition to make it as a successful locksmith, along with a friendly and approachable personality. If you’ve considered all of the above and think you have what it takes to pursue a career as a helpful professional in the field, why not get in touch with us and book your spot on one of our training courses?

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Karl Pearson

I really wanted a change from the job I was in and didn’t want to work for anyone else, I wanted to be my own boss. I looked into becoming a locksmith for a few months and eventually took the plunge.

The best thing I ever did. I chose MPL Locksmith Training course has all the reviews I read from all the other training schools, MPL is by far the best. I really enjoyed the course and the trainer really takes his time with you to make sure you get the best from it.

The after care once you have done the course is also brilliant. If I have any problem there is always someone there on the other end of the phone to help with the job you are doing. They helped me with marketing my business too to get me fully on the right track. With all the advice and training I got from MPL I did exactly what they told me to do and I earned my training fee back within 7 weeks.

I now work Part time in what was my full time job and also work for myself, but hopefully not for long. I recommend MPL Locksmith training centre to anyone wanting a career as a locksmith.

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Colin Power

From the moment I rang MPL I had nothing but satisfaction from the accommodation and training at Thornes park at the end of January.

Having been open minded about the course and how difficult this would be,our fears were put at ease by the friendliness, professionalism, knowledge and experience of the staff.

Books were provided to show and explain the tools necessary and gain entry. Based more on the practical side we still made notes in the books. I totally recommend MPL to anyone thinking of doing the course. You meet the staff and likewise students attending for which there are no more than six students at a time, to demonstrate our skills passed on to ascertain we are able to do this to a satisfactory level, whilst feeling comfortable you are all getting the full attention and at the same level.

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