Congratulations Mupet. Exaclty which Australian state are you in? I'm willing to bet you are in NSW or ACT.
Stotts College at this address: http://www.stottsonline.com/website/course/0640.asp
Seems to offer a very nice correspondence course in locksmithing. Further, they state that completion of the course gets you a provisional membership in the Master Locksmiths Association.
Yes, I see it is provisional, however it does seem to be recognized as a trade entry.
Further, the laws differ from state to state. Just as they do in Canada and the US.
It appears that the only regulations in the state of Victoria fall under the Private Agents Act 1966.
In 1999 this act was revisited in a effort to bring it into line with a 1995 decision wherein the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments agreed to implement National Competition Policy. Part of the National Competition Policy Agreement required all State Governments, including Victoria, to review their existing legislation to ensure it is consistent with competition policy principles.
As part of its response to National Competition Policy, the previous Victorian Government agreed to conduct a competition policy review of the Private Agents Act. A private consultant (the Freehills Regulatory Group) was engaged to do a competition policy review of the legislation in early 1999. Following a public submissions process, Freehills finalised its report to the previous Victorian Government in October 1999. The Freehills Report endorsed the basic features of the current legislation, but did recommend some specific changes.
Among those issues, changes and questions raised in the Freehills report was the following statement concering locksmithing in and for the state of Victoria.
The Freehills Report asked whether locksmiths should be made subject to licensing controls in the Private Agents Act. The main argument advanced for licensing of locksmiths was that their continued exclusion from licensing would mean inconsistent regulation of the private security industry within Victoria (other industry segments such as security guards and crowd controllers are licensed). The Report noted that some other jurisdictions, most notably New South Wales, already license locksmiths.
The Report also noted however that it had found no evidence that locksmiths were posing a problem.
Any proposal to license locksmiths would be a significant step, potentially involving a major expansion of the current regulatory system and a change in its basic nature.
The current licensing system is focussed on a set of relatively well-defined occupational groups (security guards, crowd controllers etc) that provide professional security or debt collection services and who also have the capacity, by the nature of their work, to pose significant risks to their customers and others.
Locksmiths are a more diffuse occupational group. There are many locksmiths in Victoria. Locksmiths can range from major firms specialising in safes and security system installation (like alarm and CCTV installers), down to small-scale locksellers and key-makers, who may have their own stores, perform locksmithing as part of an allied business such as a hardware store, or work in shopping centres. While the â€œtopâ€ end of this spectrum, locksmiths specialising in safes and security system installations, appear in principle to pose similar risks to alarm and CCTV installers, it is unclear whether licensing of the vast majority of the industry, smaller-scale local locksmiths selling locks and keys who are essentially mainstream retailing businesses, would be an appropriate regulatory response. This issue needs further consideration.
As we can see from the following statements, (which I might add, were the only statements in the report concering locksmithing) the Victoria government did not at that time feel that locksmiths required specific legislation.
I have yet, at this stage, to find any relevant new legislation which would change this belief.
Furthermore, the licensing of such activities is the purview of the states and territories rather than the central government.
Why did I focus my research on the state of Victoria rather than on New South Wales, or the Capital Territory. The answer becomes abundantly clear when you realize where certain of our Austrailian users are from.
I am certainly not in Australia, and my advice for Aussie's is the same as I would give anywhere else. Seek the advice of a competent lawyer in YOUR area.
What bothers me the most is anyone who comes on here and makes a blanket statement concerning an entire bloody country. I didn't even have to go all that far to find this material, and as I said, I am not in Austrailia. I am positive that with a little time, I could answer with certainty what the legal requirements are to call yourself a locksmith in Victoria.
Furthermore, unless the rules have changed significantly any person at any time may challenge the trade regulatory exams. Failure requires that you are subject to a proscribed number of educational and/or experience units before you may petition to take the exams again. That was how the situation was 7 years ago. What it is now, I am unsure but I can't imagine they would have changed that radically.
If you really want me to spend the time at this I will, just to be sure that our members have the best information available to them outside of a lawyer's office.