Hello everyone todays blogs is a little bit different. Our industry is moving very quickly and has seen some drastic changes this past year with Industry wide Surveys, innovative methods and advertising via Sweep Safe changing the perception of what a members association should be, most Recently HETAS with a way forward providing a Chimney Technicians/ Sweeping Competency and expanding the HETAS Approved Chimney Sweeps Scheme.
As it stands under UK law anybody can pick up a brush and call themselves a chimney sweep, experienced or not, assessed or not, trained or not.
Currently nearly 4000 chimney sweeps are untrained/ unregistered and answer only to themselves. How does the consumer know what they are getting? The other 1500 have been through training/ assessment of which ofcourse we have.
Of 700 applicants joining the new Sweeps Association Sweep Safe only 130 met the pre requisite criteria for acceptance, many of which having no insurance. This is a figure of 19% giving a really scary view of where the industry is currently.
I truly believe the only real way to move the industry forward is for all chimney sweeps to be working under a CPS and having to meet minimum requirements set out by the industry. Very similar to how Gas Safe operate currently. After all Chimney Sweeps are at the front of the line with regard to any solid fuel appliance and need to understand how the combustion systems work ultimately safeguarding the customer, we are far from the pipe cleaners we were 100s of years ago.
Of-course some will not like like this course of action as their well feathered nests could very well be taken away.
But for the Honest Chimney Sweeps who are currently struggling in a over subscribed industry this will set them apart, the pros will have a distinct advantage over the unregistered and unaccountable chimney sweeps. This is also a step in the right direction for a true, legislated, governed and regulated trade. Through recent Polls and surveys it shows that chimney sweeps are worried about the Future of the industry, most of which, want a regulated industry.
Have your say, engage in debate, feel free to share and comment.
Thank you for reading
Danny Hodgson, Hetas Approved Chimney Sweep, Hetas Registered Installer, Sweep Safe Certified Chimney Sweep.