crCSIA’s update of our Successful Chimney Sweep reference manual, an effort that will make our credentialed chimney sweeps and dryer exhaust technicians become better at their jobs — ultimately helping homeowners and businesses — is onto its next phase.

Sweeps and dryer exhaust experts should be on the lookout for an email or letter and be ready to participate in a computer-based survey, says Chuck Roydhouse, a 20-year CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who is leading the manual/review/exam upgrade as part of his board of director duties.

The SCS manual, which debuted in the 1980s, had its eighth edition in October 2011. “We’re currently ready to start our next update, which actually instead of an update is going to be a rewrite. We are going to create a new manual, and the reason for that is because, as with everything else like technology and training, our certification process has moved to a different level,” Roydhouse says.

“We are no longer just chimney sweeps; we are chimney sweep technicians. And there’s a lot of things that are going on with indoor air quality, how chimneys perform, how chimneys are healthy, that a technician needs to be aware of. And so we’re going to add some things dealing with that. We’re going to update the curriculum, update the testing, and make it more in line with what you’re going to find in today’s world, working in the chimney industry.”

MORE: CSIA Board Member Chuck Roydhouse explains the purpose of chatting with chimney sweeps. Watch the video.

The timeline for implementation is spring 2016.

“What you would want to do is continue your certification,” Roydhouse says. “Just because we are changing the manual would give you no reason to stop using traditional methods that we’re using now as far as certification. Keeping the certification is key; as the certification changes and evolves and other certifications are added, you’ll be grandfathered in. And there will be a way to pass over to the new certification. No one will be left behind, no one will be left out if their certification lapses because it’s the old one. We will have a way to bring everybody into the fold.”

Roydhouse, owner of Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County Chimney Service Inc., of Millersville, Maryland, is in charge of educational development and was appointed by CSIA President Mark A. Stoner to be chair of the committee that is working with an outside contractor — a test specialist known as a psychometrician.

Following meetings with special task forces that were asked to review current chimney sweep practices from all over the U.S.  the psychometrician will send out the email or mail letters to about 1,500 people asking them for their input The survey will be computer-based and help lead to comprehensive textbooks that will be “even more relevant,” Roydhouse said.

Students seeking certification will continue to use the current edition of the manual, along with the NFPA 211 (Inspection) and International Residential Code, according to CSIA Director of Education Ashley Eldridge.

“We are committed to ensuring that our Successful Chimney Sweeping manual, and all of our publications, reflect the most up-to-date content. Those in the chimney industry that are certified through CSIA can be confident of that,” Eldridge said.

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