We are asked on a daily basis; what make a guild sweep any different to any other?
There are three answers to this question
- Consistent high standards
- Very high levels of training
- Ongoing access to Industry Knowledge
It is the opinion of the Guild that in order to be considered a competent sweep, a certain level must be achieved and this unfortunately takes time. In years past a chimney sweep would have spent 2 years apprenticeship with a master chimney sweep before going out on their own. In reality nowadays this is not practical and does not allow for the necessary classroom theoretical element. To accommodate both theoretical and practical the Guild training program for new sweeps consists of 3 days theoretical training at the Sure-Fire technical centre http://www.surefire.org.uk/, followed by several weeks with a master mentor on our work based mentoring program. This Mentoring program is an industry first as it gives much of what an apprenticeship does without the long time scale. This program is designed to give a sweep the necessary knowledge to be able to undertake the job safely and professionally.
We are often asked why do you require so much theoretical training to be a chimney sweep?
A. Chimney sweeping today is far more that just cleaning the flue in-fact a professional sweep can advise on the appliance installation, chimney fire safety, carbon monoxide issues as well as giving invaluable advice on things such as fuel types and burning cycles. Furthermore sweeping chimneys carries inherent health and safety risks. This alone requires extensive training to safeguard the sweep and the customers property. Chimney physics, combustion theory of hydrocarbon based fuels and fluid dynamics are also on the curriculum . This extra knowledge helps a good sweep understand why a chimney does or doesn`t work and inturn can undertake fault finding work in an expert manner.