The Integration of the British Transport Police in Scotland into Police Scotland - A Consultation

This consultation paper sets out proposed arrangements to integrate the British Transport Police in Scotland into Police Scotland. It invites views on how all those responsible can: ensure a smooth transition towards integration; ensure railway policing i

Chapter 4: The Btp Workforce

BTP Officers and Staff

63. BTP officers and staff are employees of the BTPA, with officers also being office holders accountable to the Chief Constable of BTP. Their terms and conditions are, for the most part, set out in a contract of employment and largely reflect the terms and conditions of officers and staff in police forces in England and Wales.

64. Those officers and staff within BTP in Scotland at the time of transfer will become officers and staff of Police Scotland and the SPA respectively, meaning that:

  • BTP officers would become office holders accountable to the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. As with other constables serving with Police Scotland, transferred BTP officers would not be employees.
  • BTP staff would become employees of the Scottish Police Authority ( SPA), under the direction and control of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland.

65. The Scottish Government recognises that the success of this integration will depend on the officers and staff of BTP transferring into Police Scotland and understands the importance of existing terms and conditions of employment to those officers and staff.

66. It is Government policy that staff transferring within the public sector should do so as far as possible without detriment. As well as engaging with BTPA, BTP, Police Scotland and the SPA, we will engage early with officer and staff associations and representatives in order to provide clarity and reassurance as to the implications of transfer for existing terms and conditions.

67. We consider there are two broad options for the process of transferring into Police Scotland. First, we may seek to negotiate and agree with transferring officers, staff and their representative associations the terms on which transfer will occur. Second, we may seek to transfer BTP officers and staff on their existing terms and conditions at the point of transfer with a view to harmonising these in due course. The latter is the more traditional route when integrating public bodies, but in this case we believe there are advantages to aiming at agreement beforehand in order to reduce uncertainty for officers and staff on their conditions following transfer.

68. Being part of the single service allows for greater flexibility for police officers and staff should they choose to move into other specialisms within Police Scotland.

69. Once the transfer is complete, police officers and staff joining the specialist railway policing function following integration, including those new to Police Scotland, would have the standard terms and conditions of Police Scotland officers or the Scottish Police Authority staff. [3]


Q6: What are your views regarding our proposals for BTP officers and staff transferring to Police Scotland? Do you have views on a preferred option for the timing of negotiating terms and conditions?

BTP Pensions

70. The Scottish Government aims to ensure that public sector pensions are affordable, sustainable and fair. Doing so will help ensure that railway policing officers and staff in Scotland remain well-skilled and well-motivated as they deliver an essential service across Scotland.

71. The Scottish Government recognises the importance of Terms and Conditions of Service to BTP officers and staff, and will make every effort to engage with officer and staff associations and representatives in order to provide early clarity and reassurance.

72. Scottish Government officials are actively considering the options available on the future of BTP pensions, both for officers and staff, taking into consideration past service and protections for existing members of the scheme. We will engage with all key stakeholders, including BTP officers and staff, on the future of BTP pensions as part of discussions on the terms of transfer.

73. The British Transport Police Force Superannuation Fund ( BTPFSF) and the British Transport Section of the Railways Pension Scheme ( RPS) are both defined benefit, funded pension schemes in which employee and employer contributions are invested in a fund towards meeting the scheme benefits.

74. With effect from 1 April 2015, new entrants to the BTPFSF have joined the new Career Average Revalued Earnings ( CARE) section which provides benefits which are broadly equivalent to those provided by the Home Office for new officers.

75. Although the Police Pension Scheme in Scotland (which includes the 1987, 2006 and 2015 sections) is also a defined benefit scheme it is by contrast an unfunded scheme (also known as a 'pay-as-you-go' pension scheme - no investment fund exists to cover future pension payments). Employers and members contribute as if the schemes were funded - the employer contributions are calculated through quadrennial scheme valuations and member and employer contributions are used to pay current pensioners and dependants.

76. Further details of pension benefits that are provided for Police Officers through the BTPFSF and staff in the RPS are shown in the online BTP annual statement of financial position.

77. We would like to hear your views on what options we should consider for BTPFSF and RPS scheme members on the integration of the BTP in Scotland into Police Scotland.


Q7: What are the main points to consider when discussing the future of pensions for BTP officers and staff?


Back to top