National Code of Practice for Chimney Sweeps
Over the last year the UK's two leading professional chimney sweeping trade associations, the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, have been working together and are now very pleased to introduce the "Industry Standard - A National Code of Practice for Chimney Sweeps".
Martin Glynn, President of the NACS said that
"Protecting the consumer is our primary concern. We cannot continue to allow the public to put at risk from untrained or poorly trained sweeps with little or no regulation".
Many consumers are unaware that there is no statutory regulation of chimney sweeps or their work in the UK despite the very real need and there is nothing to stop a completely incompetent and dangerous sweep from working. The Guild and the NACS have recognized the need for unity in this area and worked hard to produce a good basic standard.
What does it mean?
Householders, companies and organisations seeking the services of a chimney sweep should ensure that the individual meets or exceeds the Industry Standard in order to receive the safest, most professional service. After all, professional sweeps are required to advise on many vital safety issues concerning solid fuel use, from ventilation provision right through to the chimney terminal. They are at the front line in terms of immediately dangerous situations as well as the provision of valuable practical consumer advice. Sweeps who meet or exceed the requirements of the Standard will need to prove their position. The consumer will have greater recourse for complaint if a sweep who claims to meet the Standard subsequently falls short.
As the Standard becomes widely adopted, consumers will have a clearer idea of who to engage for their chimney sweeping service and will know what to expect from such a person.
In order to further enhance the Industry Standard, Sweeps meeting the Standard will be required to issue an Industry Standard certificate (the Standard printed on the reverse) and, where necessary, an Industry Standard Warning Notice and Label.
Daniel Hodgson, chairman of the Guild said
"Hardly a day goes by when we don't hear of some issue concerning untrained / badly trained sweeps and occasionally there are tragic consequences. This Industry Standard gives consumers a clear choice and we believe it will be quickly adopted".
The Standard covers:
Training, practical assessment, theory assessment, accreditation of training and assessment centres, competency of assessing organisations , sweeping practice and technique, minimum tool kit including vehicle, safe working practices, prevention or limitation of contamination during sweeping, building regulations and compliance issues, procedures for documentation and recording of work undertaken, procedures for documentation and reporting of un-safe / non-compliant situations, complaints procedures, waste disposal procedures, compliance with COSHH requirements, proof of identity, Personal Protective Equipment requirements and use, insurance requirements.
There are currently two organisations in the UK whose members automatically meet the requirements of the Industry Standard, members of The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and members of The National Association of Chimney Sweeps.
Individual Chimney Sweeps who are not members of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps or the National Association of Chimney Sweeps may sometimes meet the Industry Standard.
A sample of The Industry Standard National Code of Practice and the Industry Standard Certificate can be viewed here.
Please take the time to read through the Standard and the accompanying certificate. Any questions can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.