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Restorative Justice guidance Best practice for practitioners, and their Case Supervisors and Line Managers

This guidance sets out the skills and knowledge that restorative practitioners need in order to practice safely and to a standard that participants should expect. This guidance is an updated and expanded version of that published in March 2004.

Title: Best practice guidance for restorative practitioners, and their Case Supervisors and Line Managers
Author: Training and Accreditation Policy Group
Date published: December 2004
Number of pages: 52
Availability: Download full guidance PDF 364Kb

The guidance is based on research evidence where it exists and draws on agreed principles and practitioner experience of what works. It builds on existing best practice, including the two existing National Occupational Standards in restorative justice. It is split into 6 sections:

Section A - Core restorative practice

All restorative practitioners and trainers should aim to work in accordance with this section of the guidance. Not all the skills will be required in every case and some may be used to different extents, but it is important that practitioners have all these skills available to them.

Section B - Sensitive and complex cases

This section lists skills and knowledge needed in cases where there is good reason to believe that either:

  • there is someone who has the motivation and ability to cause significant further harm, including emotional trauma, either during or outside the restorative process

  • there is someone who is particularly vulnerable to further harm, including vulnerability arising from the original incident.

All practitioners need to be able to recognise this kind of case. Practitioners identifying such cases who do not have the expertise needed should refer them to practitioners who do have the qualifications, or to other specialist agencies.

Section C - Family group conferencing and processes involving welfare planning

This section sets out some additional skills and knowledge that restorative practitioners need in order to run restorative family group conferences, and other restorative processes that also involve an element of welfare planning.

Section D - Co-working

This section sets out which kinds of cases might need to be co-worked, and guidance on co-working effectively. At least one co-worker in any case, though not necessarily both need to be fully competent practitioners as defined by Section A.

Section E - Case supervisors

This section covers the expertise needed to provide advice and oversight in individual cases, to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective, and to check that nothing is going seriously wrong. Case supervisors need to be fully competent restorative practitioners, as defined by the first section of this guidance. They do not need the competencies set out in Section B, unless they are supervising sensitive and complex cases and do not necessarily need to be senior to the practitioner they are supervising in an organisational hierarchy.

Section F - Line managers

This section sets out some "pointers" for those who need to ensure that the restorative practitioner has the support and resources to work effectively, but who do not get involved in how individual cases are worked. They do not need to be a restorative practitioner.

Download: Best practice guidance for restorative practitioners, and their Case Supervisors and Line Managers PDF 364Kb

Last update: Wednesday, September 17, 2008