Well actually no you may have an apprentice work on your car and not know it, but there is ALWAYS somebody supervising them and signing off on their work.
Would you have an apprentice do a safety on your car? Well they can not sign off on the work, it takes a full mechanic.
Why do I ask? Well it is similar in many ways as having a Home Inspector do an inspection on your wood burning system. They are pretty much all SITE BASIC Inspectors who are able to perform a Level 1 Inspection ONLY. They are not supposed to use any tools or take anything apart during the inspection.
It takes a Chimney Sweep or Technician to perform more complex inspections that actually require tools.
Yes a Level 1 Inspection is good, for some situations. As per the NFPA 211 it is used where nothing has changed since the last inspection or where something has change but is identical to what was there before. Often performed as part of a Chimney Sweep. The NFPA 211 states however that a Level 2 should be performed for ALL Real Estate Transactions and Land Transfers. Why? Well a Level 2 goes deeper. You do not know if anything has been changed, when it was last inspected or even when it was last cleaned. A Level 1 really does nothing at all to check the chimney, other than some visual exterior components and clearances to combustible. That is why the Level 1 is called a Readily Accessible Inspection.
It is like asking somebody to check out a car you are looking to buy, would you rather have somebody who looks at the car, looks underneath it, and maybe opens the hood to look.. but nothing more.. Or would you rather have somebody who pulls the oil dipstick, takes the sparkplugs out and inspects, starts the engine up and listens to it.. That is essentially the comparison between the Level 1 and Level 2 inspections.
The NFPA 211 says if you are buying a home and need a WETT Inspection you need the 2nd one.. the Level 2. Which do you think you need?
Bottom line is some Home Inspectors recognize this and will ALWAYS refer you to a qualified Chimney Sweep or Technician to perform the WETT Inspection. Other unfortunately seem to put making a few extra dollars ahead of their clients well being.
Bruce Grant, a Master Home Inspector in the Orillia area states this well in an article he has posted.