Protect every journey

Specials and Volunteers

About the role

It takes all kinds of people to protect every journey and help millions of passengers reach their destinations safely every day. Special Constables are volunteer Police Officers with the same powers as full-time Officers and play a vital part in helping to get the public home safe, secure and on time.

Working alongside full-time officers, you’ll experience the exciting and varied challenges of policing the railway. It’s a hugely diverse role, so you’ll need to be ready for anything - from patrolling on trains, by foot, or in a vehicle, through to providing a reassuring presence on trains or at stations. You’ll help at incidents including dealing with victims and criminals and supporting the most vulnerable in society.

You’ll be carrying out your duties whilst travelling on the rail network. And of course, you’ll come into contact with people from all walks of life, often at stressful or emotional times for them. One thing is certain - no two shifts will ever be the same.

To join us, you’ll need outstanding resilience and dedication. We’ll expect you to commit to a minimum of 16 hours per month.  The maximum number of hours you deliver is up to you. We’ll make sure you’re fully prepared and confident with unrivalled training and ongoing investment in your development.

In return for your hard, work you’ll:

  • Be a truly valued member of our Force
  • Have the same powers and uniform as full-time Police Officers
  • Develop new skills and talents for life- from leadership to responsiveness to help you develop in other areas of your life or career
  • Have the opportunity to make a difference to the community
  • Have paid expenses and travel benefits (dependent on location)
  • Have the opportunity of internal progression to become a regular full time Police Officer in due course if this is your career aim

Please note, we’re unable to accept applications from a select number of prohibited occupations; please click here for the full list.

We also welcome Transferee Specials. You’ll find these vacancies alongside others on our careers portal.

For more information on our Police Support Volunteers, please click here.

Positive action

At BTP we are proud guardians of the railway and it is crucial that we represent the diverse communities we serve and protect. As ‘One BTP’ across the UK, we know that diversity, inclusion and belonging help us improve our decision making, foster creativity and drive innovation so all our people can thrive.

Our vacancies are open to everyone and all appointments are made based on merit. So that we can become more diverse we encourage applications from candidates from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds, women, people who have a disability, those who are neurodiverse and persons who identify as LGBTQI+. We use positive action to encourage potential candidates from underrepresented groups through targeted workshops or advice sessions. If you have the skills, experience and values that here in BTP we pride ourselves on then we would welcome you to apply.

For more information on Positive Action please click here or email the team on



We’re passionate about recognising and rewarding those who help us protect every journey. It’s you who makes the difference, so our benefits are designed with you in mind. Take a look at what’s on offer:


Blue Light card

A Blue Light Card costs £4.99 for two years and gives you access to a range of discounts, both online and on the high street


Travel on duty

All Specials are entitled to free travel on all National Rail services when on duty, whether or not they are in uniform. Entitlement to travel is granted by the warrant card which must be shown on request, even if wearing BTP uniform.


Oyster cards

Issued to Special Constables for duty, travel to and from work and leisure.

Not valid on National Rail Services (TfL services only)
London Ferry Bus Service (Clipper services) and Emirates excluded.

Health and wellbeing benefits


Employee assistance

BTP’s employee assistance programme is a free, confidential service which supports our employees in resolving personal problems and improving their overall wellbeing.


Wellbeing hub

Internal knowledge hub containing news, information and resources on a variety of topics, wellbeing events and details of all our support services.


Membership of the Police Federation

We are grateful that Specials give up their time freely to serve the public. In return we offer free paid membership of the Police Federation. More information on the BTP Police Federation can be found here.


CSSC Sports and Leisure

A not-for-profit organisation positively promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace.



Preferential rates from Police Mutual available.


Armed Forces Covenant

We are silver accredited under the Armed Forces Covenant and we support Territorial forces reservists, including paid time off to participate in training.


We are a leading Force when it comes to Special Constable training.  Our new Special Constable Policing Education Qualifications Framework (SPC PEQF) course consists of 24 days initial training, which includes midweek, daytime and evening online learning sessions, supported by self-paced workbooks.  This allows our new recruits to progress at a more flexible pace and develop a greater depth and range of knowledge.

Following the initial training phase, our Special Constables will be accompanied by an experienced colleague and will work operationally with the same powers and uniform as a regular Police Officer.  Our Special Constables support frontline policing across the network.

Additional training then supports the officer through to ‘Qualified Special Constable status’.  We develop our Special Constables to a standard not previously seen within policing and provide them with the skills and confidence to work alongside regular colleagues.

The Application Process


Your application will initially be screened to ensure that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Once this has been satisfied, the information you have provided in the application form will be assessed.


A high standard of written communication skills are a requirement to working with us. If your application form contains an unreasonable number of spelling or grammatical errors, then your application will be unsuccessful.


We’re looking for evidence of the qualities you have to enable you to carry out your role. We’ll assess your application form answers against the Competency and values framework (CVF) If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to take online tests covering maths, word usage and verbal reasoning.

More information on the CVF can be found here.


Once you have successfully completed the online tests, you’ll be invited to attend an assessment centre. The day comprises of:

  • A one-hour competency-based interview and presentation
  • A Job-Related Fitness Test (JRFT) – a beep test to level 5.4
  • Uniform measurements

You’ll also have samples taken (mouth swab and fingerprints) for the purpose of biometric vetting.


You will go through the full vetting process once you have been given a conditional offer.  This will include et reference checks as well as our own baseline vetting. You’ll receive your offer letter once these security checks have been completed.


You’ll also be asked to attend a comprehensive medical assessment, which will be conducted by a doctor or registered nurse. The medical assessment is thorough and includes checks of your eyesight, hearing, blood pressure and body mass This will help us to determine whether or not you have the level of health that is required for the role. You will also be required to pass a drugs and alcohol test.



Before you make the decision to apply, you’ll need to make sure that you meet our eligibility criteria.


It’s important that our employees provide the best possible service with the full confidence of the public they serve. That’s why every potential employee goes through a thorough vetting check as part of the application process.

Right to work in the UK

To join us, you must have the permanent right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions.


As a minimum, all applicants must have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years. This is required to ensure we can conduct adequate vetting checks and this applies equally to all applicants, regardless of nationality.


You must be a minimum of 18 years old to start employment with us. 

Convictions and cautions

You will not be eligible to apply if you have ever received a prison sentence.

All other cautions, convictions and involvement with the police must be declared during the vetting process. This will not necessarily result in your application being withdrawn, as all applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Financial position

As part of your checks we will verify your financial position. Employees hold a privileged position and have access to a range of sensitive and valuable information. Potentially, this means employees are a heightened risk of being vulnerable to corruption. This means, applicants must to be free from the pressure of undischarged debts or liabilities and to be able to manage loans and debts sensibly.


Tattoos are not acceptable if:

  • They are on your face
  • Above the collar line on the front or side of your neck,
  • Are large on the back of your neck and cannot be easily covered
  • They could be considered in any way offensive, regardless of their location.

Visible tattoos are permissible on other areas of the body including hands, arms, legs, feet and on the back of the neck (providing the tattoo is discreet and behind the ear lobe).

Discreet tattoos on the ear are also considered acceptable. Consideration will be given to tattoos on the face that were necessary following medical procedures or for cosmetic procedures e.g. eyebrows.

You are encouraged to contact the recruitment team if you are at all unsure about your tattoos and we will advise you wherever possible.

You can do this by emailing us.

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Inappropriate associations

You have to be able to conduct your role and responsibilities impartially and effectively. This means if you are currently, or have even been, associated with any group, society or individuals that could reasonably represent a conflict of interest, then you will not be eligible to apply.

HM Forces

Due to the timescales of our recruitment process, applications from service personnel will only be accepted if you have 12 months or less to serve before being discharged. You will need to attach with your application confirmation of your projected date of discharge. (e.g. a letter from your Commanding officer).

Education and skills

If you hold Maths and English Level 2 qualifications, as a minimum; then you do not have to complete the tests stated below; but you will need to provide the certificates for the Recruitment team to review.

  • GCSE Grade C/Level 4 or above in Maths and English.
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Numeracy/Literacy
  • Scottish Qualifications accepted: SCQF Level 5, Intermediate 2 at level 5 or Standard Grade (with credit) – achieved at the correct grading in Maths and English.

Copies of relevant qualification certificates must be enclosed via the above link. Qualifications in other subjects are not accepted, irrespective of the level of qualification held.

If you have English and Maths at a higher qualification level those will also be accepted. You will be required to provide certification to evidence attainment of those qualifications to the required standard via the above link. A full list of qualifications accepted are available in the Apprenticeship Standards for English and Maths guidance on GOV.UK. You should specifically refer to ‘Level 3 Apprenticeships’ which covers the requirements for Level 3 apprenticeships/diplomas and above.

Business interests

You will need to declare any other employment or business interest you have and intend to maintain so that this can be reviewed to ensure no conflict of interest with the police.

You will not normally be eligible for appointment as a Police Officer or PCSO if you hold any office or employment for hire or gain, or if you carry on any business in addition to being a Police Officer or PCSO.

Health and medical

Our employees may encounter situations that can be stressful, traumatic and at times, physically confrontational. Our people can work long hours and cover rotating shifts, so the role can be physically and mentally demanding. Therefore, it is important our employees are in good health to be able to undertake their duties safely.

To ensure we can support our employees’ wellbeing, we’ll ask you to provide relevant details of your health and medical history in accordance with any questions we have to ask during the application process.

Application Requiring Reasonable Adjustments

British Transport Police is committed to improving inclusivity, accessibility and employment opportunities throughout our organisation. We welcome applicants to share any specific needs or requirements with us throughout both the recruitment process and in the workplace. We will make reasonable adjustments where possible if this highlighted within your application.

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