The Guild welcomes applications from existing sweeps. We have made it as simple as possible for a professional sweep to join us and share in the Benefits of Membership.
What does the Guild offer an experienced sweep? Why join us?
The Guild was founded over 25 years ago with training, standards and member co-operation at its heart and originally, every member held a City & Guilds qualification. It is a trade association, owned by its members and run by an elected board of directors. You can see more about this in the benefits below.
We want every member’s business to be as successful as possible and we believe our extensive membership benefits provide the tools and support you’ll need.
Perhaps the biggest single thing which sets the Guild apart is its organisational culture of co-operation, inclusivity and openness. When we talk about “The Guild” we are talking about a large group of well organised and motivated individual members. Many of them contribute directly to the benefit of the whole organisation. By helping us all, they help themselves. It’s taken many years to build this culture, but the investment has been well worth it.
The Guild runs an ongoing strategic programme to promote its members to consumers, official bodies and national organisations. We also organise our strategy to give the maximum political voice to the professional chimney sweeping industry. We have been instrumental in promoting the key issues of self governance, qualification, advocacy, and professionalisation in our industry. As these changes progress, we will continue to keep the interests of professional sweeps at the very centre of our work. To achieve all this we use a variety of media and methods to give our messages the broadest possible reach.
Every member is important. If you choose to join us you’ll be helping to build our industry for the benefit of all.
It is not easy to demonstrate all the benefits on offer so if you are serious about joining the Guild, we’d invite you do some research of your own. Please look over the information below and get a feel for some of our Membership Benefits.
We set high standards for our training and assessment programme for new sweeps and it is widely recognised as the best in the business. Guild members are rightly proud and protective of their expertise. They are very welcoming of experienced sweeps as new members as long as they hold an equivalent minimum level of training / expertise.
With this in mind, we accept applications sweeps who can demonstrate a minimum equivalent level of experience and expertise. This may take the form of qualification and experience, or, training and assessment via another provider. Industry certifications, number of years experience and any other relevant information will be considered in support of an application.
Please complete and submit your Application Form including all supporting information and documents.
If you apply as an experienced sweep but are unable to demonstrate sufficient equivalent expertise / experience, then the Guild offers additional training options to help you meet the requirement. For example, this could simply mean attending the excellent Guild Refresher Course. Or, if you have little in the way of formal training and experience, you will gain great benefit through attending the main Guild Training Course.
Our members can choose to be members of any other associations or groups they wish.
We have two websites. One targets consumers, the other is member and industry focused. Have a good look over them. How would you like these sites as your association’s “shop window”?
- The powerful Findachimneysweep customer website gives Guild members a valuable local profile, increasing customer enquiries and providing excellent third party confirmation of their professional services. The site has always performed very well, but last year we increased visitors traffic by an outstanding 35%. We have put significant resources into ensuring further growth in 2021. Findachimneysweep is also a great consumer information resource as well as a resource for members seeking articles and information to promote themselves. Please look at the extensive list of Latest updates in Tips and Advice on our Findachimneysweep website and see some of the ways we engage your potential customers.
- Look over the last 12 months or so of posts in the Latest News on the Guild trade website to get a snapshot of the work we do on behalf of members.
Even if you don’t use social media, many of your customers do, so we work hard to engage them on your behalf.
- If you use Facebook then please look over the last 12 months of posts to our consumer page – Find a Sweep UK and our industry page – The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. There are regular posts to engage the strong group of followers of the consumer page and for you to use in your own business. Good quality target articles send consumers to the findachimneysweep website and on to ….. you? The posts to our industry page help spread useful and important information about the Guild culture and ethos. This reflects well on our members.
- Similar posts are made to our Twitter channels.
- There is also a member’s only Facebook page – an invaluable educational resource and social hub. Got a problem – not any more!
A strong voice
As an industry we have a lot to say. Professional sweeps are the most important group when it comes to consumer safety and awareness on all aspects of domestic fires and fuels. Sweeps are the only group with regular, trusted access to the customer and their fire / fuel / chimney. The Guild has long recognised the need to promote this special role at every level. So we actively engage with many national and even international groups to highlight and promote the unique role of the professional sweep when it comes to consumer advice and awareness.
We actively engage with government, expert panels, local authorities, safety charities, health care groups, numerous industry bodies, technical groups, regulatory bodies, private companies, consumer campaigns and many more. We have been instrumental in ensuring the voice of sweeps is heard in government discussions on air quality issues. We have worked hard with other sweeping groups to help secure future governance for our industry through The Federation of British Chimney Sweeps. The Guild represents the UK industry at international level via The European Federation of Chimney Sweeps. The list goes on.
Keeping in touch
Members receive a copy of the acclaimed Sweep Stuff magazine every four months. This magazine covers all the important news and gives a great insight into Guild culture and what is happening in our vibrant nationwide community. View the magazine archive here.
Regular email updates keep you informed about important industry developments, business opportunities, items of interest, meetings, etc. The websites are constantly updated with useful and interesting information, keeping you in touch and helping your business.
Meetings, shows, trips and events
If you have attended a recent Guild Exhibition you will know how valuable it is. Dozens of suppliers and hundreds of sweeps under one roof for a unique weekend. The deals are great, the atmosphere is fantastic. Lots to learn and much fun to be had with your fellow sweeps. Great shows don’t just happen. Dinner, entertainment, seminars, competitions and awards – it all requires careful planning, attention and investment. We have invested much over the years to ensure it’s a great show for everybody.
Regional meetings and informal get-togethers are another useful and enjoyable aspect to Guild membership. Occasional educational / social trips to industry works and factories are much appreciated by those who attend.
As our organisation progresses we will continue to expand and evolve the more social aspects of our work. As a member, you can simply join in.
Continuing professional development
The Guild has developed several excellent one day courses open to anyone. Many members take full advantage of the additional educational opportunities and enjoy the additional business they generate.
We have an ambitious plan to co-operate with others in the industry to develop further short courses to better serve sweeps and continue to professionalise our trade.
Perhaps the greatest resource for continued learning is each other. Members are very active in this respect. The Guild will continue to develop tools and programmes which facilitate co-operation with one another allowing our organisational learning to flourish.
Accountability and responsibility
The Guild is a “not for profit” company owned and run by its members. This is basically the same as any standard limited company but there are no shareholders. A board of directors are elected by members to act in the interests of the company and its members. The board is governed by the Guild company articles and by company law.
It is very important that the association be as democratic as possible. Election and voting procedures are transparent and inclusive.
We look forward to receiving your application form along with your supporting documents. If you have additional questions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
All new members will be taken through an induction process to familiarise them with important aspects of membership and to help understand what is now available to them. This may happen in person, via video link or over the phone.