NACS The National Association of Chimney Sweeps
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) formed in 1982 as a professional Trade Association, promoting high standards for the sweeping, inspection and maintenance of chimneys. With over 500 Members, the NACS is recommended by all major fuel organisations, including the Solid Fuel Association, HETAS, and OFTEC.
NACS Members work strictly to the NACS Code of Practice © 1982 and Code of Conduct for the cleaning of chimneys. On completion of work, NACS Sweeps issue an Industry Standard Certificate of Chimney Sweeping, and recommend when future cleaning is necessary.
NACS Chimney Sweeps undertake an extensive training program and have to successfully complete a full assessmentprior to becoming and trading as a NACS Member. All NACS Members must hold valid insurance for Chimney Sweeping, of which they provide a copy of to the Association on an annual basis. They must also have the correct equipment to be able to undertake the job which is checked at the time of their assessment. You can search for a NACS Chimney Sweep in your area by visiting the NACS website www.nacs.org.uk.
NACS Chimney Sweeps are:
-All trained and qualified
-Issue an Industry Standard Certificate of Chimney Sweeping for every Chimney cleaned
-Follow the Industry Standard Code of Practice
-Some are able to inspect and survey Chimneys using CCTV equipment
For more consumer information and guidance on Chimneys and Stoves, please visit http://www.nacs.org.uk where you can also download a free Heat Your Home Safely Guide.
Chimney Sweeping Training
The NACS has its own National Chimney Training Centre based in Stone in Staffordshire where it trains both experienced Chimney Sweeps and novices with theory and practical experience which will enable them to confidently work as a Chimney Sweep and trade as a NACS Member. The 4 day course consists of 3 days at the training centre plus a one day assessment on site with an Area Assessment Inspector. For further details and to book a place please visit the training section at www.nacs.org.uk
HETAS Approved Training Centre
The NACS National Chimney Training Centre in Stone in Staffordshire is a HETAS Approved Training Centre, where the following courses are provided:
H002 – Solid Fuel Regulations & Standards Course
H003 – Dry Appliance Installer Course
H003r – Dry Appliance Installer Refresher Course
H004 – Wet Installer Course
H005DE – Biomass Course
H006 – Internal System Chimneys
Chimney Journal Magazine
The NACS produces a Chimney Journal Magazine twice a year in June and December. Previous copies can be seen on the main website www.nacs.org.uk
Each year the NACS organises the NACS Exhibition, which is highly recognised and is the largest exhibition in the Chimney Sweeping industry.
Exhibitors range from selling chimney sweeping equipment, flue liners, CCTV surveying equipment, stoves, fireplaces and accessories, pots and cowls, vacuum cleaners, and any other related products or services.
The NACS Exhibition is open to both the trade and the public. More details can be found on the NACS website www.nacs.org.uk
NACS have contributed a number of articles to fireplace.co.uk find them below.
NACS Goes Global
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps established in 1982 and based in Stone, Staffordshire. offers a variety of courses to compliment the ever-growing industry of Chimney Sweeping in the UK and now beyond . NACS offers courses and training from rooftop and ladder safety to installation and maintenance.
Here at Fireplace.co.uk we were fortunate enough to catch up with Chris Batchelor, an Australian who had organised a tour of Europe with his wife to coincide with a NACS chimney sweep training course.
Chris has a background in teaching and a Masters degree in Asian Studies and International Development. For several years, he had been travelling around Indonesia implementing educational strategies in their schools and training programmes. This meant that Chris was spending a great deal of time away from his family travelling, followed by long periods back at his home near Melbourne, Australia with nothing to do. Bored, Chris decided it was time to add another string to his career bow.
Assisting a friend with building renovations he was alerted to a potential gap in the market for chimney sweeps during the short but very cool winters that are often experienced in South Australia. Feeling that an on-the-job route into his new trade wasn’t the way forward for him, Chris decided to look toward getting some official training and recognition for his skill. However, after some extensive research, Chris discovered that whilst building regulations in Australia are very stringent, there doesn’t appear to be any organisation that offers accredited training for chimney sweeping. He had to look further afield.
He had a few choices; there were courses available to him both in the United States and the UK. Chris researched them all but says that NACS stood out above the rest for him.
‘They are passionate about their work and willing to share their knowledge’ Chris said when we interviewed him. “You’re your own boss, with no-one to answer to but the client which is why I felt it was important to be properly trained. You are solely accountable for your actions.”
In order to achieve full accreditation Chris would have to perform twenty-five sweeps and be signed off on them after he had finished the theoretical and practical training course in Stone. He worried how he would achieve this as he would be back in Australia soon but NACS solved the problem for him when they offered to go above and beyond the normal training route and set Chris up with the opportunity to complete his sweeps in the UK.
Acknowledging that Australia is perhaps not the perfect climate for a chimney sweep business, with very cold conditions lasting on average just six to eight weeks, Chris has considered expanding his new trade to offer extra services like Carbon Monoxide detector testing, fuel supply and general fire maintenance services.
Of his training at NACS he says “NACS are professional, their course is well delivered and informative and there is always somebody available to offer support and advice, even after the course is complete. The team are approachable and friendly and there’s a real community, both here and within the Chimney Sweep field.”
We wish Chris all the best with his new trade here at fireplace.co.uk.
For more information on courses at NACS you can visit www.nacs-shop.org.uk