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Become a Transport Assessor

Transport for All

Mystery shoppers GfK are a market research company...

Mystery shoppers

GfK are a market research company who carry out mystery travelling surveys across the London Transport Network. They are currently looking to recruit people with visual, hearing and physical impairments within the Greater London area to conduct mystery shopping on the transport services (buses, taxis, Underground etc).

Survey Background

The survey has been running for some years and aims to monitor and assess the service offered to disabled people by transport services in London.

Assessors take pre-determined journeys on various modes of transport around London, including buses, taxis and London Underground. These may also include assessments of bus stations and ‘interchanges’; that is changing between various modes of transport, for example, taking a bus to an Underground station, then taking the Underground to another station and then taking a taxi home. There may be other areas also, for example assessments of the street environment and a pre-journey telephone call to ask for information.

Assessors pose as ordinary travelers and take specific journeys (instructions are given about what mode of transport to use, where to board and alight etc). They then answer a series of questions about their journey. Some interaction with staff is usually required; this may be a request for assistance or a question concerning some aspect of accessibility.

Becoming An Assessor

To become a member of GfK’s assessor panel, you would need to:-

  • Be eligible to work in the UK
  • Be either mobility or visually impaired, a wheelchair user or deaf or hard of hearing
  • Be currently using public transport in London, either alone or with someone travelling with you (an accompanier)
  • Be available for a few days each three-monthly quarter
  • Be able to complete written forms (or have these completed for you by your accompanier)
  • Be contactable by email or telephone
  • Complete and return various forms so that we can pay fees and expenses directly into a bank account

About The Survey

  • Assessments are grouped into ‘routes’. Routes are fixed and precise instructions are given for each part of the route
  • Routes are allocated to assessors over the telephone or preferably via email.
  • Assessors work on a casual, route by route basis and are not obliged to take a set number of routes per quarter
  • GfK cannot guarantee that an assessor would be offered work each quarter
  • All assessments are carried out covertly; you would act as an ordinary traveller taking a trip and should keep all paperwork out of sight of members of staff and other travellers.

A Few Points About Tax and National Insurance

If you become an assessor, and depending on your personal circumstances, you may need to pay tax on any fees paid to you. Before you agree to join the panel it is worth considering the following points.

  • Contact your local Department of Work and Pensions office to discuss how a change in circumstances will affect you.
  • Everyone is eligible to pay tax, it is the level of tax you pay that is circumstantial. If you have allowances or benefits that effect your tax coding, then the Inland Revenue must issue notification of this to the company via official documentation.
  • Similarly with NI; if you have allowances or benefits, the Inland Revenue should forward these documents to GfK so we can action these.
  • If you have a P45 from a previous job, please supply this with your other recruitment forms when you are asked to complete them. You will pay tax at the rate indicated by the tax code on the P45.
  • If you have no P45 you will need to complete and return the P46 which will be supplied as part of your recruitment pack. In this case, you will pay tax at the basic rate.

What Happens Next?

As part of the survey redevelopment GfK are looking to increase our panel size. However, we need to ensure that our panel includes members with a range of profiles in a spread of locations.

They will be reviewing the profiles of interested parties against our requirements and will invite those who fulfil our requirements to training. There may not be space on the panel for everyone initially, however they will be happy to retain the details of those not invited for training, in the event that their requirements change.

Training sessions will be in early October and you will be contacted over the next few weeks to let you know the details.

Get your applications in asap, as GfK are looking to confirm application by the last week of August.

If you have any questions concerning the survey, contact:
Tel: 01865 262 751 or

A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt. A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt.

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