Chimney sweep training and courses
Here is a list of all the training that is available at the moment in the UK
Firstly, I would recommend booking a HETAS solid fuel awareness course, this course doesn't teach you about chimney sweeping but it goes through all the regulations and some basic problem solving for using solid fuel, contact HETAS for details.
Secondly, The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps (GOMCS) runs a four/five day course. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps course is held at Sure Fire Technical Services in Ripley, Derbyshire. I have been on this course and as an experienced HETAS approved chimney sweep I could not stress enough how good the course turned out to be and any sweep would benefit from reading a copy of their unique training manual Masterful Sweeping. HETAS recognise the GOMCS. The cost of the course is currently £1320.00.
Thirdly, The National association of chimney sweeps (NACS) runs a four day training course (three days training in Staffordshire, plus one a day assessment with a NACS area assessment inspector which is booked locally). No chimney sweeping experience is necessary, but all candidates must have reached an acceptable understanding of literacy, numeracy and reading skills. Cost range depending on the time of year but the average cost today works out to be £1395.82.
Fourthly, we have The Institute of Chimney Sweeps (ICS) who run a two day chimney sweeping course plus a one day mentoring within your own area. The Institute of chimney sweeps is not currently HETAS recognised but they are working on it. The course cost £875.00.
Finally, we have The Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS). Although APICS do not run a training school, they do offer a mentoring scheme, and to join APICS you have to be assessed by three examiners. I am unclear of the cost of training for new sweeps, for existing sweeps it may be as low as £400 but please check the APICS website for more information.