Bruce Allen’s Insight | September 2020

No doubt many of you will be busy as the colder weather arrives and people’s thoughts turn to heating their homes. We have certainly seen a big increase in website traffic and calls into the office in recent weeks, we always hope that reflects in conversions to business for our registrants. From speaking to many of you, it certainly sounds like you are getting busier. 

The issue of coronavirus remains and it’s worth reminding everyone to ensure you are COVID-19 Secure when out and about working and visiting properties. Our inspection teams are doing exactly the same. Should you be due an inspection over the coming weeks and months, we do ask you to engage with our inspectors to arrange your inspection and ensure your ongoing registration with HETAS. There has been no movement from MHCLG when it comes to HETAS arranging inspections(and complying with the scheme requirements) and to ensure the ongoing competence of our registered installers, so we need to work with you to achieve this. We fully appreciate these are challenging times, but please do contact us directly in the office if circumstances are proving challenging, either for you or your nominated customer so we can move forward with a solution. Let’s work together on this to ensure your ongoing registration. 

For many years now HETAS has run an Approved Chimney Sweep Scheme, supporting the members of three (more recently four) associations/organisations who wanted to become approved with HETAS. In the past HETAS did not offer approval with HETAS except through an association. Last year we made a direct route through HETAS available for competent Chimney Sweeps. Joining HETAS directly requires an inspection to join the scheme, along with supporting evidence as part of an application and desktop audit prior to inspecting. Feedback on the initial launch was that price was an issue, so we listened to your feedback and made the scheme more accessible. We still want to maintain the high levels of chimney sweeping evidenced by association members whilst providing a robust and accessible scheme for all. Whilst qualifications are great, there is also a need to demonstrate ongoing competence, this can be achieved through scheme membership and routine inspections, something we will be undertaking at HETAS.

Along with an increase in consumer enquiries, our technical helpline remains popular. There is a wealth of experience on the helpline and we want you to make use of the helpline. As part of our annual UKAS audit, we are required to demonstrate that our frontline helpline staff and extended support team have the necessary training and experience to be offering such support. Get in touch on 01684 278194 or email technical@hetas.co.uk. You can also access technical support through the Technical Area of the website alongside notifying your installations. We’ve been listening to your feedback and working hard to continually upgrade the notification process. You can easily search your notifications, check your training records, and much more via the Technical Area. If you want to give online notifications a try, get in touch with our team and we can walk you through the process. 

In this month’s newsletter we look at the governments Kickstart scheme and seeking to gauge interest in those who might want to be part of the scheme, an inspections update, top tips from Upspark Digital to get the most from your online presence, and more. You can access our older newsletters via the Technical Area of the website.

As the weather now turns more autumnal, I wish you all the very best for the forthcoming heating season. Stay tuned to our newsletter and Technical Bulletin updates over the coming months and please get in touch with the team if you would like to discuss anything with us. Click here to contact us.