Inspect and report on the condition of chimneys and appliances

Business Sectors (Suites): Chimney Occupations (Construction)
Developed by: Construction Skills
Approved on: 31 Dec 2022


​This standard is about the inspection and reporting of chimneys and solid fuel appliances, services and systems up to 50kW output that operate under negative flue pressure and those without internal electronic control systems. It covers the inspection of all flue systems that are not made from plastic
This will include the interpretation of documentation and specifications and adopting safe, healthy, and environmentally responsible work practices and outcomes. This will be done in accordance with organisational procedures which are equal to or exceed the current statutory and legislative documentation and specifications
This standard is for people working in the occupational area of Chimney Occupations and can be used by operatives, supervisors and managers
A description of terms in bold font in this National Occupational Standard can be found in the Glossary which should be used as a reference point

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

​Plan and prepare work activities
P1 identify, record, and agree the client’s job requirements in accordance with organisational procedures, documentation and specifications
P2 survey the work site and consult the documents and specifications for any key structural features and existing defects that could affect the safe use or performance of the installation and record them to allow all interested parties to be notified of these findings
P3 check that the condition, size, location and availability of all services and systems meet the documentation and specifications for the requirements of the installation
P4 work to a risk assessment and method statement and amend as needed, to include, but not limited to the following: 
•  working at height
•  slips, trips and falls
•  hit by falling or moving objects
•  manual handling
•  health issues
•  overhead hazards
•  power sources
•  hazardous substances
•  trapped by something collapsing or overturning
•  confined spaces
•  fire 
•  obstructions
•  moving vehicles
•  water
•  on-site security 
•  protection of client property
•  protection of the working area
•  other occupations and clients affected by the work
• welfare facilities
• 3rd party protection 
P5 protect the work site and the building fabric against possible damage being caused during the inspection
P6 check and confirm that all materials, tools and equipment that may be necessary for the agreed inspection are available as required, within calibration and in working order
P7 carry out the inspection minimising damage to the building and its surroundings
P8 check the positioning of the flue system and appliance to confirm that it meets the location and clearances required by the documentation and specifications
P9 check that the ventilation is adequate to ensure that sufficient combustion air is available to meet performance and environmental outcomes required by the documentation and specifications
P10 use the correct procedures to confirm that the integrity of the flue system and appliance meet the documentation and specifications
P11 carry out the following tests to ensure the performance of the flue system and appliance meet the current documentation and specifications
•  smoke test I
•  smoke test II
•  spillage test
•  internal flue inspection
•  external inspection
P12 check the compliance of the complete installation to the documentation and specifications and confirm that manufacturers’ written approvals have been given if needed
  P13 check that sufficient data is permanently available with the installation and that it is up to date and correctly located
P14 check that the flue system and appliance operate as intended in terms of combustion and environmental performance as required by the documentation and specifications P15 check that a means of detection of Carbon Monoxide (CO) release has been provided which meets the documentation and specifications including the following:•  location and expiry date•  test it to manufacturer’s instructions
Use and communicate data and information  P16 liaise with the property occupier and other parties who will be affected by the work during the planning and inspection processes
P17 use the documentation and specifications to ensure that the inspection is done to meet the contract requirements
P18 advise of any delays to the work, unsafe situations and required remedial actions to those who require the information
P19 complete all records and documentation to meet organisational requirements
P20 check if the installation has been correctly notified to the relevant registration body and if sufficient information is available on site about the flue system and appliance as required by the documentation and specifications
P21 produce a report to document the inspection process, the results of the inspection, tests and any recommendations for remedial work, to meet organisational procedures and the documentation and specifications

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

P1 Plan and prepare work activities
K1 the regulations and guidance governing health and safety in the workplace, environmental protection and the use of risk assessments
K2 how to access and correctly interpret the required information to ensure the inspection meets the requirements of the documentation and specifications
K3 the limits of your own autonomy, competency, and responsibility and when co-operation and liaison with others is required
K4 why it is important and how to inspect and test existing installations with reference to the work area, appliances and flue systems
K5 why it is important and how to include health, safety and environmental factors in the risk assessment and method statement for the inspection and reporting of flue systems and appliances
K6 the methods of working which protect the building décor, customer property and existing systems and components
K7 the tools and equipment necessary to provide safe access to work at heights, or in confined spaces
K8 the care and maintenance requirements of tools and equipment, and checks for safe condition
K9 the ordering, supplying, advising, checking and delivery procedures for the tools, equipment, materials and components required to perform the inspection
K10 how to access and interpret the documentation and specifications to ensure that the inspection is carried out to meet the following requirements:•  organisational •  company•  contract  K11 how to inspect, test and record the details of the installation to meet the documentation and specifications, particularly that the flue designations for the components used are correct for the application
K12 the importance of safe isolation methods, tests, and procedures to inspect the work area, appliances, systems or components
K13 why it is important and how to appropriately label defective installations or systems to raise awareness of their defects to potential users and responsible persons
P2 Use and communicate data and information
K14 the need to liaise with others whose activities or routines may be affected and where co-operation and other services, may be required 
K15 the industry practices and work standards for the inspection of and reporting on flue systems and appliances to the documentation and specifications
K16 the positioning and fixing requirements for flue systems and appliances to comply with the documentation and specifications
K17 the procedures and work methods to inspect and test flue systems and appliances against the documentation and specifications to check the following:•  ventilation can provide sufficient combustion air to the appliance•  efficient and effective combustion performance can be achieved•  adequate flue system performance to remove the products of             combustion•  spillage from a closed appliance when the door is open is not            excessive•  combustible material will not experience sufficient temperature           to produce deterioration•  effective alerts to the release of CO are correctly positioned and         function as intended•  installation documentation and adequate data relating to the             flue system and appliance are permanently available on site K18 the principles of chimney flue draft and design including but not limited to:•  mechanical ventilation•  natural flue draft•  forced flue draft •  adequate chimney draft to evacuate the products of combustion•  effective flue height•  effective flue area•  impact of bends and restrictions•  impact of flue outlet position•  interaction with the building envelope and topography•  meteorological effects K19 the principles of combustion including but not limited to:
•  adequate fuel quality
•  combustion temperature
•  sufficient combustion air
•  combustion performance effects on emissions


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Organisational procedures
Insurances – public, product and employers liability, professional indemnity
Company documents
contract for the work, safety management plan, Construction Design and Management regulations, environmental policy, complaints procedure, information privacy and security policy, management structure
Work area
The area where the equipment will be installed and all areas affected by the work extending to topographical features and meteorological conditions
Services and systems
Chimney and flue systems, appliances, ventilation systems and appropriate utilities
Documentation and specifications
Manufacturers’ instructions for all equipment that forms part of the work
architect’s plans and site-specific documentation
local building rules and regulations
Party Wall legislation
Clean Air Act
Environment Act
Smoke Control Zones
Permitted Development
Conservation Areas
Heritage status
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
specific requirements of insurance underwriters
Building regulations in England and Wales, particularly ADJ but also ADA, ADB, ADF, ADL and AD7
Building Standards Technical Handbook in Scotland
Technical Booklets in Northern Ireland, particularly B, D, E, F1, F2, K and L
BSEN’s particularly 8303, 15287, 1856, 16510, 1251, 3376, 4834, 12815, 13229, 13240, 15250
Note: Technical and BSEN documents may be withdrawn or superseded during review programmes, it is therefore important to check the currency and validity of all such documents to ensure the correct version is being referenced.
Solid fuel burning appliances up to 50kW output including but not limited to the following:
•  open fires
•  free standing room heaters
•  inset room heaters
•  free standing cookers
•  independent boilers
•  slow heat release stoves

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Dec 2027





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Construction and Building Trades nec

SOC Code



Chimney; Solid fuel; Appliance; Flue system