The Restorative Justice Council’s Competency Framework was developed for use by restorative practitioners and those working in the restorative practice field. It sets out practitioner behaviours and skills and is intended to raise standards of practice while supporting professional development. Standards and accreditation are core to ensuring a quality Restorative Service.
The Restorative Justice Council’s (RJC) principles of restorative practice is the overarching document setting out the core values that should be held by all practitioners in the field, which remain fixed. They cover six areas and should be applied in the course of restorative practice work by all RJC practitioner members.
Beneath the principles sits the Restorative Justice Councils Practitioner Competency Framework, launched on 1 April 2015. This document sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that enable practitioners to undertake restorative practice at all levels. The Framework covers all areas of restorative practice, from informal approaches to formal conferencing in complex and sensitive cases. The Staffordshire Victim Gateway and Restorative Justice service endeavor to follow all guidlines under the Restorative Justice Council.
The main principles of Restorative Practice:
- Restoration – the primary aim of restorative practice is to address participant’s needs and not cause further harm. The focus of any process must be on promoting restorative practice that is helpful, explores relationships and builds resilience.
- Voluntarism – participation in restorative practice is voluntary and based on open, informed and ongoing choice and consent. Everyone has the right to withdraw at any point.
- Impartiality – restorative practitioners must remain impartial and ensure their restorative practice is respectful, non-discriminatory and unbiased towards all participants. Practitioners must be able to recognise potential conflicts of interest which could affect their impartiality.
- Safety – processes and practice aim to ensure the safety of all participants and create a safe space for the expression of feelings and views which must result in no further harm being caused.
- Accessibility – restorative practice must be respectful and inclusive of any diversity needs such as mental health conditions, disability, cultural, religious, race, gender or sexual identity.
- Empowerment – restorative practice must support individuals to feel more confident in making their own informed choices to find solutions and ways forward which best meet their needs.
Research undertaken by Government demonstrated 85% of victims who take part in Restorative Justice find the process helpful.
Source: Restorative Justice Council