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APICS Membership Benefits

Raising awareness of chimney sweeping, carbon monoxide and fire safety. APICS are a HETAS, SFA, OFTEC and COCAA approved association working to raise industry standards.

Who can join APICS?

Anyone involved in the Chimney Sweep industry is welcome become a member or to attend our meetings.

Anyone can attend up to three meetings before we would expect you to join The Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps, or to stop attending.

Only full members can speak and vote at the APICS Annual General Meeting but all can contribute at the general meetings.

There are various routes to joining APICS as a member.

Training is available for those who have little or no sweeping experience – you can find details of our courses here.

What Qualifications are needed?

New to chimney sweeping

Whether you’ve already swept some chimneys or you’re brand new to the chimney sweeping industry, our training is geared to meet your needs.

The full course includes:

  • One day shadowing an experienced sweep (if required)
  • 3 days classroom based training
  • 4 days practical training (‘on the job’) in customers houses with an experienced chimney sweep/trainer
  • An assessment when you ‘feel ready’ for full membership
  • First year’s full membership fee is included
  • Membership certificate and ID Card
  • APICS Website page information and your ‘brush on the map’

This training is considered to be the pathway course for the NVQ in Chimney Sweeping – the only true qualification in chimney sweeping.

Experienced Chimney Sweeps

You may already have been sweeping for some time but never done any qualifications or joined an association. We welcome you to join the classroom part of our training, followed by assessment – no need for the practical training if you feel confident.

If you hold any other sweeping qualifications, such as the City & Guilds, and they are less than 5 years old, we can discuss the appropriate route to membership for you.

APICS are:

  • Member driven
  • Open to new ideas
  • Democratic
  • Friendly
  • Approachable

APICS welcome new members who:

  • Keep Safety as a priority for customers and their homes
  • Deliver great customer service
  • Are happy to be trained or have prior experience
  • Are willing to be assessed
  • Enjoy the friendship our association offers
  • Want to have an equal voice and be heard in their organisation
  • Appreciate professional advice
  • Have, or are happy to obtain, full professional kit
  • Will issue certificates of sweeping to every customer
  • Are willing to adhere to our code of conduct

Chimney Sweeps from other Associations

If you have already been assessed and accepted by another chimney sweep organisation such as The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps or National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) you can join APICS after assessment.

If you have completed the NVQ in Chimney Sweeping, within the last five years, you will qualify for membership without further assessment.

Other qualifications held will be considered to reduce training requirements but assessment will be required.

Path to Membership

We’re happy to discuss the best options for you and welcome a call to discuss your own situation.


You will be required to complete an application form.

After training, you will be asked to fill out a log book of sweeps completed. This will be reviewed with you during assessment, when you’ll be accompanied by an APICS assessor for a day in your local sweeping area. Any member who lives in close proximity (30 miles radius) to you will not be involved in the assessment without prior agreement by both parties.

During assessment, we’ll be checking your technical understanding, your sweeping standards and that you have sufficient equipment for the tasks that you undertake.

We’ll require a current DBS check (less than 6 months old) and a copy of your public liability insurance to complete the assessment for APICS Membership.

If you’re not found to be ready for membership after assessment, we’ll guide you on areas of improvement and arrange to reassess if required. This would be done by a second assessor.

APICS will review your qualifications, training and experience during the APICS Membership application process.

A certificate and annual photo ID card will be issued to you once you have been accepted into the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps.
Full membership of APICS includes automatic Solid Fuel Association (SFA) approval.

In the event of a complaint, accident or where APICS sees fit, we reserve the right to reassess any member at any time at the members own expense.

Code of Conduct

All members would be expected to adhere to the following code of conduct:

  • To hold adequate public liability insurance.
  • To give the public a reliable, efficient sweeping service.
  • To ensure that APICS standards are maintained.
  • To carry sufficient equipment at all times to complete the work they are employed to do.
  • To take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the customer and their premises.
  • To ensure that premises are kept clean by using suitable equipment and an adequate commercial vacuum.
  • To ensure that the chimney has had a suitable brush passed through the entire length of the chimney (cowl permitting) and that all resulting soot has been removed.
  • To fully inform the customer, in writing, of any problem that has been detected.
  • To advise the customer of the importance of having a chimney swept to the requirements of BS EN 15287-1:2007 including the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Members are encouraged to complete an NVQ Qualification in Chimney Sweeping or to register as an OFTEC approved sweep within 2 years of becoming full members.
  • Members are expected to maintain records of work they have carried out (for at least 12 months) in case of any subsequent investigation in which APICS may be expected or asked to participate in.
  • Members are required to undergo a criminal record check, renewable every three years.


Find an APICS Chimney Sweep in your area

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