Independent Review of the Federation

An Independent Review of British Transport Police Federation was announced in September 2021, to coincide with the organisations' one hundredth anniversary. The purpose of the review was to ensure the Federation is in the best possible shape for the future.

An independent panel, led by Peter Smyth, CEO of a police charity and a former Chair of the Met Police Federation, looked at several key aspects of the Federation including efficiency, accountability, and resources. Hundreds of Federation members took part in surveys created by the review team with some taking the opportunity to share their views directly with panel members. The panel also surveyed and interviewed Federation Reps.

The Independent Review resulted in 30 recommendations; you can read the full review report, including recommendations, here. Federation Reps and the Executive Team have worked together to prioritise the recommendations based on member needs, cost and availability of resources. The priorities for 2023 are listed below.

The remainder of the recommendations will be revisited after the priority actions have been addressed. Progress against all recommendations will be logged here for transparency.

Priority recommendations

(Listed in the order in which they appear in the report)





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5. A review of the website contract should be undertaken to see if the current arrangement is still suitable.

The review panel found that while there is a wealth of information on the Federation site, members don't visit the site regularly or in great numbers. A revised specification has been created with the aim of making the site more user-friendly and enabling it to link with the database.

The revised spec has been sent to three companies so quotes for the work can be obtained.

Feb 2023

Subject to the BTP Federation acquiring a new database:

12. All representatives are given "read only" access to the database.

13. That personal email addresses are added/updated to the database for existing and new members.

14. That Federation HQ staff liaise with the force to ensure the database is up to date regarding the members' rank and current posting.

15. The Review recommends a structure for the British Transport Police Federation HQ as follows:

  • Chair: Full-time role mainly based at West Dulwich

  • Deputy Chair: Part-time no change

  • General Secretary: Full time role at West Dulwich

  • Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer/ Welfare Lead: Full-time role at West Dulwich

  • Equality & Diversity Strategic Lead: Full-time role

  • Conduct and Performance Strategic Lead: Full-time Role

The conduct lead post has been filled on a part time basis.

1 Apr 2023

17. The BTP Federation must urgently introduce training in Equality and Diversity for all representatives.

ED&I training has been delivered by BTP's Head of Strategic Inclusion and Diversity.

Further training dates have been booked for Diversity and Inclusion and Neurodiversity inputs in Oct/Nov 2023.

15 Apr 2023

Feb 2023

22. The Federation introduce a system whereby reps notify the Executive of any case where an officer is served with a gross misconduct notice. These cases would be monitored by the Executive to ascertain the outcome.

This is now being captured via the work log (recommendation 26).

Jan 2023

26. A simple monthly proforma should be introduced to assist with monitoring the number of hours that federation work is completed on and off duty.

The proforma used by B Division (TFL) has been rolled out to all divisional committees.

Jan 2023

All other recommendations





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1. That membership of the Federation is automatic upon enrolment with a voluntary subscription to the legal fund.

Membership of the Federation will remain as an op-in rather than auto enrolment/opt-out. We believe it is important officers can choose whether to become members or not.

Item closed

2. Every representative is given the opportunity to attend one Management Board as a non-voting observer between elections.

3. That annually at least one member of the Executive should undertake a planned visit to each of the seven areas of the BTP to make themselves available to talk with local officers and keep in touch with current working practices and any problems that are emerging.

Informal meetings have begun with the Chair visiting Portsmouth / Bournemouth / Southampton, London Kings Cross / Euston / Paddington

Feb 2023

4. That the BTP Federation continue to utilise all methods of communication with their members.

The new database provides more options for a newsletter and improvements to the website are being scoped (see also recommendation 5).

Jan 2023

6. The executive, management board and area committees should look at how they could advertise good Federation work

We are cognisant of the need for anonymity, but the work logs (recommendation 26) will assist in identifying good work.

Jan 2023

7. That conference continues to be held each year at different geographical locations.

Conference 2023 was due to be held in Scotland, but accommodation availability is limited (due to events) and costs have increased significantly. Other venues and locations have been considered the most cost-effective option for this year's event is the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Feb 2023

8. That conference is scheduled for two days.

Agenda changed trialled in Sept 2022 have now been adopted for future events.

Sept 2022

9. That consideration is given to selecting guest speakers at conference who will be instructive and/or meet a training need.

Conference 2023 will feature a panel of people with lived experience of, for example, neurodiversity and issues affecting transgender people.

Jan 2023

10. That the awards dinner continues in its current form, but the awards are presented to the 7 most deserving cases rather than any geographical consideration.

This recommendation has been adopted into the awards shortlisting process.

Jan 2023

11. In order to give the Welfare Fund some future stability, the Review recommends that 25% of the commission earned on member services each financial year is paid into the Welfare Fund and only subject to variation by Management Board.

16. The Review also recommends the employment of:

  • A part-time bookkeeper

  • A full-time or part-time Personal Assistant/Secretary

18. The BTP Federation should open discussions with staff support associations to achieve a greater level of mutual understanding.

19. Staff support associations should be invited to attend Management Board on a periodic basis as non-voting guests.

20. The BTP Federation must continue to encourage and support officers from gender and diverse backgrounds to put themselves forward as representatives.

A meeting was held with the Head of Diversity and Inclusion on 2 May 2023. She is now working on a Positive Action Strategy with the Federation.

2 May 2023

21. The BTP Federation must continue to ensure that at least one representative from each area is trained to IOSH standard.

Every committee now has a NEBOSH qualified rep.

Oct 2022

23. That the BTP Federation enter into urgent negotiation with the force to try to ensure that there is more proportionality introduced into the misconduct process.

A meeting was held on 22 Mar 2023 with the DCC and Head of PSD attended by all reps. This will be a regular occurrence with the next meeting scheduled for December.

22 Mar 2023

24. The BTP Federation should revisit the Compendium of Regulations with the force, agree any interpretation of regulations and formalise that in writing.

Done. There are review periods built in.

Item closed

25. That all newly elected representatives are sent a welcome pack as soon as possible after confirmation of the election result.

All newly elected reps are contacted by General Secretary immediately after election. They are supplied with a Federation email address etc and placed on the next available Reps training course. The next course takes place on 4 July 2023

22 May 23

27. The Executive should liaise with the in-house lawyer to consider whether an expenditure on a CMS would result in efficiency savings.

The CMS has been purchased and is now up and running.

22 May 2023

28. The BTP Federation should form a review group to look at all aspects of mental health; the provision by the force to both reduce mental ill health and provide timely treatment.

29. That following any such review, the BTP Federation should engage with BTP management to see what can be done to improve the provision of Mental Health support.

30. The Federation must continue their work to support and signpost officers to support for their health. They must continue to lobby the force to explore any ways in which they can work together to reduce sickness levels and get officers fit to resume full duty where possible.