Upon earning the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential, your certification is valid for one year from your exam date. You will need to recertify annually by paying the annual certification fee. This fee will be invoiced annually prior to your expiration date. However, please note that your certification “credentials” (passing of the certification exam or submittal of a minimum of 48 CEUs in accordance with CSIA policy) only need to be presented to CSIA every three years.
What happens if I don’t pay the annual certification fee?
Please be aware that if your annual certification fee is not paid prior to your certification expiration date, all rights and privileges of the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential will be revoked. Upon revocation, the following terms will apply if reinstatement of the credential is desired:
If you do not pay your annual certification fee by your expiration date, the following timeline will begin:
- Within 90 days from the date of expiration, if you submit payment in full for the annual certification fee, your credential will be reinstated and you will be considered in good standing as a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, maintaining your original annual expiration date;
- If more than 90 days transpires beyond your expiration date, you will be required to test again and pay the current testing fee as well as the annual certification fee. Doing so will also effectively change your annual certification expiration date.
The annual certification fee is allocated toward administration of the program, marketing of the credential to the public and related industries, certification program development and enhancements and aggressive protection of the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® trademark.
What do I get for my Annual Certification Fee?
CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps enjoy national marketing on your behalf (and tools are provided to help you market more effectively locally); aggressive protection of the certification trademark (lawsuits, proactive publisher/editor notifications, quick and aggressive responses toward habitual violators, etc); certification program enhancements (more accessible and more affordable educational opportunities for all certified sweeps, online access to CEU status and information and recognition for completed education).
How does CSIA know that there is value in the program?
Sweeps have reported as much as $20,000 in referrals annually from the CSIA website. CSIA receives on average at least four trademark violation reports every week (over 500 staff hours were spent on trademark violations this past year alone); on a regular basis, sweeps perceive enough value in the trademark to steal it. A portion of your fee every year will be dedicated to protecting our trademark more aggressively than we have ever been able to do before
Does the Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician credential have an annual certification fee now too?
No, not at this time.
Do I have to pay the fee if I renew with CEUs?
Yes, the fee structure is currently the same whether you renew your certification with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or by testing.
Where does the money go?
$111 Annual administration of the program (base cost)
$38 Marketing of the certification program to the public and related industries
$5 Certification program development/enhancements
$5 Aggressive protection of the certification trademark
Can I make quarterly payments?
CSIA will now work with you to develop a customized payment plan. Contact Candice Bradbury at (317) 837-5362 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on setting up direct debit payments.
What happens if I pay my employee’s certification fee and she/he leaves before the annual maintenance fee is due?
All rights and responsibilities of the credential belong to the individual CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.
The employer should notify CSIA when the employee leaves. If the employer does not pay the fee, then the individual sweep is responsible for maintaining his/her credential. If the fee is not paid within 30 days of the due date, her/his certification will be considered expired. If the sweep no longer works for an NCSG member company, standard rates will apply. Remember that the certification credential is relative to the individual while NCSG membership applies to everyone in the NCSG member company.
Does this mean that if I don’t pay the certification fee I am no longer certified?
Yes, you must pay the annual certification fee each year to renew your credential.
What do you tell consumers when they inquire about my certification if the annual certification fee has not been paid?
If a Certified Chimney Sweep does not comply with the CSIA requirements of paying the annual certification fee their credential expires. Only current CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps appear online at www.CSIA.org.
How does CSIA support my credential?
- Referrals from the website
- Website (www.csia.org) with increasing traffic each year as more people looking online for a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
- Find a Professional Search Engine and the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Logo will appear with your certification number. The Certified Chimney Sweep credential logo also appears on the NCSG Find a Member Search Engine online when the primary contact for the company holds the credential.
- Creation of Online FAQs for homeowners
- Online seminar that you can present to Home Inspector groups in your area.
- CSIA has a Google AdWords grant to list CSIA within the sponsored links for chimney safety related searches
- Increased phone inquiries from Fire Departments, Home Inspectors, Insurance Companies, Building Inspectors, Architects, Engineers and Homeowners; Those who do not have access to the website are given a list of CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps in their area.
- Press releases available to distribute to media in your area during National Chimney Safety Week. These releases are also distributed to major media outlets nationwide through a variety of methods.
- Newsletter content on chimney safety is regularly provided to realtors, insurance companies, fire departments and consumer protection agencies
- CSIA’s Affiliated Trades Committee maintains relationships with these organizations: American Society of Home Inspectors, National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, National Association of Home Builders, Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association, Affordable Comfort (green builders), National Association of Oil Heating Service Managers, National Association of REALTORS, Indoor Air Quality Association
- CSIA has partnered with EPA on the Great American Woodstove Changeout and is working to take information about the program to CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps in areas with Changeout programs
- CSIA’s Accepted ProductProgram consistently places the Call a Certified Chimney Sweep message on accepted products. Current products include: Duraflame logs, Java-Log products and the Creosote Sweeping Log. CSL’s television commercials also include the CCS message.
- CSIA’s Chimney Safety Education Brochures – All of these brochures route the homeowner back to a CCS for expert advice. Each brochure has the www.csia.org website and a toll free number for referrals.
- All CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps also receive:
- Certified Chimney Sweep certificate
- Certified Chimney Sweep Trademark Vehicle Decal - 6” diameter
- Certified Chimney Sweep Trademark Uniform Patch – 4” diameter
- Call a Certified Chimney Sweep Brochure
- Press Release to use locally to announce CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credential
- CSIA Sweep Shop, NCSG Sweep Shop and CSIA Safety Brochures order forms.
- Blank record to keep track of CEUs for renewal
- CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Trademark Ad Slick
- Photo ID Card