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I've previously edited a payment method to only allow it to only be used in the back end admin order creation page visa copying a file to code/local/mage/payment/model/methiod and adding the following code to only allow it in back end.

protected $_canUseInternal = true;
protected $_canUseCheckout = false;

Is there a method for doing this with shipping methods as we need to take telephone orders and only allow a free shipping option for back end orders.

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unfortunately there is note 'code-related' way of enabling a specific method similar to the method applied for payment methods. Not that straight at least.
Here is what you can do:
Option 1 : No code approach
The Free shipping method can be enabled/disabled at website level.
So you can enable it on the the default config values and disable it for each website you have.
I'm not 100% sure this method works...

Option 2: Code required
each shipping method model has a method called collectRates that checks if the method is active.
For free shipping the verification is done like this:

    if (!$this->getConfigFlag('active')) {
        return false;
    }

You can make it not return false in case you are on the admin store view (creating an order from admin).

    if (!$this->getConfigFlag('active') && Mage::app()->getStore()->getId() != 0) {
        return false;
    }

Option 3: Long shot
You can enable the free shipping method but make it available only when the order subtotal is over an outrageous value like 9999999.
Then create a coupon code that only makes free shipping available.
Use that coupon when creating an order from the backend.

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