The Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS) allows us to accredit employees of organisations involved in railway safety and security, which helps our officers to concentrate on their frontline duties.

Our accreditation scheme helps us to tackle low level crime and anti-social behaviour, improve intelligence and maximise public confidence.

Specifically, RSAS-accredited organisations and employees help us by:

  • Exercising limited powers that help us to tackle incivilities and anti social behaviour. 
  • Providing a high-visibility presence on the railway, reducing crime and reassuring passengers.
  • Addressing certain issues immediately, without involving a police officer.
  • Helping to solve local issues: accredited rail staff can help share information, allowing us to address and prioritise issues affecting local railway communities.

RSAS scheme members

Currently there are six train operating companies and multiple security companies that are accredited by our scheme:

  • Transport for London (TfL)
  • SouthEastern Trains
  • Southern/GTR
  • South West Trains
  • East Midlands Trains
  • Virgin Trains East Coast
  • STM Security
  • Carlisle Security
  • MAN Commercial Protection
  • Churchill Security
  • Ultimate Security
  • Land Sheriffs
  • Pro-Active Recruitment
  • Black Diamond Security.

Benefits of RSAS

Our Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS) helps us to build a safer and more secure rail network for both employees and passengers.

  • Recognition that companies involved in railway security meet standards of management, supervision and accountability.
  • Improved working relationships with all those involved in the provision of railway safety patrols, leading to the development of a more coordinated and effective service.
  • Accredited staff can address certain issues on the spot without BTP involvement.
  • The sharing of intelligence assist in all agencies working together to resolve localised problems and meet the needs of staff, officers and passengers.
  • Recognition of the aims of an organisation and the important role it plays in increasing passenger safety and reducing crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
  • Empowerment of employees, making it easier for them to do a good job and raising their profile within the railway community.
  • Increased confidence of employees, with high quality training including customer service, communication and conflict resolution techniques.
  • Recognition that the appearance, quality and training of employees meet a high standard.
  • Use of a nationally recognised insignia.
  • Improved career development for accredited persons with new skills and variety to their work.

Eligible companies

Any train operating company or organisation involved in railway security or safety in the UK.

The company applying to join RSAS needs to be recommended in a Police CPI Ltd report.

Security companies are required to have a contract with a train operator or future bids/proposals in place.

Requirements for accredited persons

Accredited persons need to be employed by a train operating or security company that is part of RSAS.  They  also  need  to  pass  vetting  checks  carried  out  by  BTP  as  well  as  the RSAS training course.

Accredited persons: powers

Powers need to be requested and vary from one company to another as they need to be appropriate to the job role that is performed. Becoming members of RSAS does not give a company an automatic right to use powers as these will need to be granted by the chief constable.

Accredited persons do not have specific powers of arrest but have the general citizen’s arrest power. However, there is no expectation that this power will be exercised as part of the scheme.

Member limits

There is no specific minimum requirement, nor is there a limit on the number of staff that can be accredited. Some companies accredit around six to ten staff and initially others have started with about 35 staff. Currently some companies are increasing their numbers to around 90 accredited persons.

Management

An authorised signatory will be the designated person for the company and will be in charge of signing relevant documents and liaising with us. There will also be an inspector on area who looks after the scheme on a day-to-day basis, as well as the Complementary Policing Department.

RSAS process

Applicants must go through various processes:

  • Company registers an interest in applying for RSAS.
  • Representatives from prospective companies will meet with the NP & RSAS coordinator to discuss the process.
  • The company applies and is reviewed by Police CPI Ltd. Police CPI Ltd sends a report with their recommendations to BTP’s chief constable. Police CPI Ltd review is completed after the first year and again every 3 years.
  • The company submit their application for powers to the NP & RSAS coordinator with supporting evidence to be submitted to the chief constable for approval.
  • If BTP’s  chief constable grants approval of the requested powers then vetting forms are completed for the relevant staff to become accredited. Vetting is NPPV Level 2 and processed by BTP’s Professional Standards Department (PSD). Individual vetting is valid for 5 years but an annual self-declaration form is required. 
  • If an individual fails their vetting a review can be requested. If the result is upheld then they cannot be accredited and if they were then their accreditation is withdrawn.
  • If individuals pass vetting, the company must then send them on RSAS training. A copy of their training certificate and passport photo for ID should then be sent to the NP & RSAS coordinator who will order the individuals ID cards and send them on to the company. Powers cards are also produced and ordered ready to issue to the accredited individuals.
  • Successful operation of the scheme. The NP & RSAS coordinator will meet regularly with the TOC/Security Company, to ensure the effective running of the scheme and close partnership working.