That's what I use and I always sift. Because we almost always weigh ingredients over here it doesn't matter whether we sift before or after.
As for flour, we don't have the equivalent of your AP flour so it's plain flour for pastry, self-raising for most cakes and strong flour for Bread. Very soft cake flour is a fairly recent addition over here and not widely used so far. Most varieties come in bleached or unbleached (unbleached is more expensive) and wholemeal flour
We also have specialist flours such as rye flour (mainly for bread making) available.