The Finnish Security Contractors Association
Backgrounds and aims
14 locksmiths founded the Finnish Locksmiths Association in 1970. During the early years the activities were rather limited. In the 80s the membership and the activities increased rapidly.
When the association was founded the uniting factor for the members was locks. Locks still unite the members, but improvement in the area of locksmith industry has dramatically changed the traditional industry. Different alarm and control systems have come along. For members they are already a remarkable part of their marketing.
The Association changed its name to The Finnish Security Contractors' Association in 1994.
The Association actively promotes the business of its membership. It oversees members' common interests in professional, technical and commercial matters and promotes the achievement of high professional skills.
The Association makes sure that the Code of Ethics is respected by members and that all interested parties maintain fair practice in business. The Association opposes all unsound practices in the industry.
The Association represents its members in relations with the authorities and other organizations.
The highest authority is vested in the General Meeting held twice a year. The Autumn Meeting appoints the members of the Board and approves the plan of action for the next year. The Spring Meeting approves the activities of the previous year.
The Board consists of a Chairperson, two Deputy Chairpersons and 6 members. Geographical regions and various company sizes are fairly represented by the members. The Board meets 6 to 8 times annually. The Board has 3 committees: the technical and educational committees and the committee for fair business practice.
The office of the Association is in Helsinki. It employs 2 to 3 persons and is led by a Managing Director responsible to the Board.
The office helps in all kinds of problems relating to business activities in locksmith industry. This counseling is given without charge, mostly by phone or by letter. If necessary, cases are pleaded in court.
Education and training
The Association has created, together with the Department of Education, an Education Program for locksmiths and master locksmiths. The beginners are apprenticed to member companies for 2 to 3 years. During this time the Department organizes all the necessary lessons usually given by skilled locksmiths. After passing the tests the apprentice gets a certificate. The Department and the Association supervise the whole system and course requirements.
The training courses organized by the Association are very much appreciated by the members. The courses are tailor-made for locksmiths. They deal primarily with new technology, revised regulations, legislation, marketing, management or taxation. Some of the courses are open to non-members too, and some are aimed at outsiders, e.g. developers and designers.
The members are informed of current issues and events, which may be of interest, in circular letters mailed once a month.
The Association is one of the publishers of the magazine Turvallisuus ("Security") which is the leading magazine in the field.
The Association is a member of Nordkey in which the Nordic associations co-operate.
The Association is a member of ELF, the European Locksmith Federation that is a European co-operative organization.
The Association is involved in testing the locks and other security products at VTT (The State Technical Research Centre).