The Role of the National Association of Chimney Engineers (NACE)

As Chairman of NACE (National Association of Chimney Engineers), I am often asked by professionals and the general public, why our technical expertise and knowledge base is not easily available or for that matter better advertised.

The Role of NACEPut quite simply, NACE is not a CPS (Competent Persons Scheme) provider nor do we want to be. NACE is neither a free information portal nor a 'one stop shop', but a byword for mechanical and administrative competence in an expert area (controlled services) of the Building Regulations. As such, our knowledge base and guidance documents built up over many years are not generally available unless requested by NACE members, associates, solicitors, enforcement agencies or to support domestic complaint cases (where our considerable experience and acknowledged expert status is retained).

NACE does not court public media to advertise its core business, preferring instead to gain accreditation through our work with consumers let down by a broken system and our excellent record of legal support for those with little understanding of their considerable consumer rights.  NACE also manages seminars, as well as Q&A session work throughout the country, providing local authority enforcement professionals with a credible option to resolve installation and smoke nuisance cases.

NACE through its ICE (Information, Communication, Education) system has drawn up and launched over 26 stand alone CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training modules, covering every aspect of domestic chimney engineering business administration through to liability and litigation, as well as qualified technical interpretation.

NACE represents technical excellence in a very niche element of our industry and where very few have our pedigree gained over 33 years.  As a 'not for profit' organisation, NACE is recognised as the only independent authority on 'controlled services', dispensing advice and guidance based on proven technical as well as mechanical principals and delivering consumer support in cases of non-compliance and where works are in contravention of minimum safety and regulatory requirements. No other professional organisation offers or currently provides this level of service to either consumer or registrant.

Since its formation, NACE, as the single recognised authority on domestic controlled services (Chimneys & Flues) outside of LABC and BCB control, continues to provide specialist expert guidance to a wide range of industry related members, CPS registrants and to local authority enforcement agencies, raising standards and increasing its register of technically competent technicians.

It wasn't always like this as we found in the early 1980's.

During these early years of chimney and combustion appliance installation, a group of highly skilled individuals began to notice the desperate state this particular element of industry was in.  The level of installation work being practiced was extremely poor and training wasn't on the menu or even a consideration at this point. A non-existent training environment was leading to lethal methods and processes being employed by many, without a shred of technical knowledge, fire risk or safety awareness or competency, to have taken on what is, at times, a very complex set of procedures, leaving consumers at considerable risk.

In view of this state of affairs, NACLE (National Association of Chimney Lining Engineers) was formed in 1982 to provide a registered system of recording works to a domestic environment in particular to a controlled service.  Any such work had to then be applied for on a building notice although many were undertaking this type of domestic installation in a dangerously improper manner and without recognised insurances in place.

In 2002 NACLE changed its name to NACE to simplify our methods, internal processes, registration procedures and to widen the scope for membership.

In May 2003 NACE successfully applied for and was granted a recognised type test certificate by GASTEC, for its licensed lightweight CCLS (Cast in-situ Concrete Lining System) and after many years of faultless service within the domestic environment this system continues to be used by many professional chimney relining specialists as one of only a handful of products independently tested, approved and licensed for such use. Our register of competent chimney engineers and technicians, which started in 1982, continue to undertake specialist artisan work on grade listed and buildings of historical importance as well as on high risk fire related environments. Nothing else exists to provide consumers and professionals with this level of technical, mechanical excellence or depth of knowledge and competence.

Our relationship with the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) goes from strength to strength.  Over many years NACE has worked tirelessly promoting NVQ L2 Chimney Engineering excellence through the NACE - SAP (Specialist Apprenticeship Programme).  This is the foremost practical method of entrance which continues to attract applicants and those with an interest in chimney engineering seeking to reach formal  qualification and accreditation in our specialist area of expertise.  Those wishing to apply should realise that the costs involved can be offset by the CITB grant system.

NACE has launched two new levels of membership


This category of membership is open to any individuals who are able to demonstrate a working history of technical chimney engineering support services to the domestic and/or commercial environment.

Members in this category shall;

  • Provide administrative/technical support, and/or

  • Project manage domestic works, and/or

  • Provide qualified interpretation and guidance, and/or

  • Provide a service to design, prepare and issue documentation.

Not be eligible to undertake any installation element, remedial repair or alteration to a domestic or commercial chimney or flue or issue any official NACE installation documentation, unless Installer Member status is applied for.


This category of membership is open to any individuals who are able to demonstrate by experience and/or qualification, related mechanical or construction knowledge from any relevant industry and where such experience and qualification can be utilised to support the consumer.

Members in this category shall;

  • Provide general consumer support services.

  • Provide specialist industry interpretation and guidance.

Not be eligible to undertake any installation element, remedial repair or alteration to a domestic or commercial chimney or flue or issue any official NACE installation documentation, unless Installer Member status is applied for.
Both new memberships allow for easier entry to our profession.  Those applying may then consider moving up to either installer / technician status or apply to join our very busy consultancy arm which undertakes domestic complaint case work as well as inspection and forensic investigation.

NACE has recently received an invitation to provide this current government, in particular its chief Fire & Rescue officer, with specific guidance on safer controlled services in domestic environments.  Furthermore, NACE is also receiving unprecedented requests from enforcement agencies around the UK to provide its technically educational seminar services.  With smoke nuisance, as well as defective installation case work increasing at an alarming rate, NACE is at the forefront of enforcing compliancy whilst recognising the importance of the following;

  • Consumer Rights Act.

  • The Building Regulations.

  • Approved Document . 7 (Materials and workmanship).

  • Bi-Metallic Corrosion.

  • Impact of Topography, Meteorological and Thermal-Dynamics upon fuel burning appliance operation.

  • Working at Height Act.

  • HSE Offenses. Definitive Guide lines on Prosecutions.

  • Particulate and Volatile emissions.

  • BSEN 15287-1: 2007+A1: 2010.

  • The Party Wall Act.

  • DCLG - Housing, Health and Safety Rating System.

  • HSE - Guidance on Carbon-Monoxide.

  • First Aid in the community.

The Role of NACE 2NACE has expanded its interests with the launch of its sister company NACE(2014) Limited.  Those interested in helping us to become the voice of reason, mediation, resolution and proper mechanical guidance may apply for membership and share-holding of this new venture.

I very much look forward to seeing more like minded people 'at the helm' of NACE driving us forward as demand for our technically competent support services and comprehensive understanding of 'Chimneys & Flue Systems' is relied upon more and more each day.
Howard M. Cane
NACE Chairman

For further information Please contact
Telephone  enquiries: 01526 322555
PO Box 849, Metheringham, Lincoln. LN4 3WU
Lincoln, LN4 3WU



Fields with * are required.