Promoting Security & Public Safety Through Professional,
Ethical & Knowledgeable Practices
(PLAA Mission Statement)
The Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta began as the Alberta Locksmiths Association (ALA) in the mid-1970's. The formation of the ALA was initiated by a small group of people assembled by Robert Lang of Lang Locksmiths in Edmonton, and Chuck Parry, a partner with his brother Wayne in Parry Bros. Lock and Safe of Calgary.
While attending an Associated Locksmiths of America Convention in Minneapolis, the two agreed that an Association was needed in Alberta to draw Locksmiths together for mutual benefits and training. At this time the Alberta Government was considering regulating all persons within the security industry, including locksmiths. It was felt that the Locksmiths of Alberta needed to be a strong united group which could advise the Government regarding matters concerning Locksmithing and physical security.
In 1976, the first planning meeting was held in Red Deer to form the new Alberta Locksmiths Association. Herb McKinnon, who had earlier begun work forming an Edmonton association, became the first president of the ALA. The ALA's primary focus at the time was a proposed legislation which intended to regulate all persons in the security industry; Locksmiths, Security guards, Alarm technicians, and Guard dog handlers. The ALA felt that this was the wrong direction, and that Locksmiths should be not only regulated separately from other disciplines, but educated in such a way that could be recognized by the general public.
The association grew with support from almost all Alberta Locksmiths, holding its first Convention in Red Deer in 1979. The ALA succeeded in lobbying the Alberta government to certify Locksmithing as a trade, and thereby commit itself to an apprenticeship program. Trade certification was designated in November, 1989, and the trade was officially launched in January, 1993.
Renamed the Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta in 1991, the PLAA now boasts over 250 members from Alberta and other provinces and states. The PLAA continues its support of the apprenticeship program today.