Law SchoolRestorative Justice & Practices: Essential Skills Course

Five-Day Course:  

Part One (learn together online) 1.30-4.30pm: Wednesday 13th September and then Tuesdays 19, 26 September and 3 October 2023. 

Part Two (three day in-person training at Strathclyde University) Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th October 9.30-4.30pm

Strathclyde University 

1. Why this Course?

There is increasing demand for restorative practices in a wide variety of contexts. The Scottish Government is committed to making restorative service widely available. Restorative Practices (including Restorative Justice) is a process that brings together those harmed  and those responsible for the harm to safely discuss the harm and how it might be set right. 

International research suggests RJ can help people to recover from harm, encourage those responsible to think again, and provide a more satisfying experience for all involved. It can be used both to respond to harmful acts and to prevent harm.

This Intensive Course offers participants the opportunity to come together to learn and develop the skills required to facilitate restorative conferences and circles. It includes training in the engagement and preparation of people who have been harmed and people responsible for harm, their supporters and the community.

The course will be led by Professor Tim Chapman (Strathclyde University) who is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading trainers and thinkers in restorative justice.  

The course will be led by Tim Chapman who is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading trainers and thinkers in restorative justice. Tim has been practising, researching, training restorative justice for over 25 years. 

He has trained serious politically motivated prisoners in restorative practices in order to move them away from violence, as well as hundreds of professionals, including youth justice workers, police officers, probation officers, social workers, community activists, and teachers. 

He is currently acting as a restorative consultant and practitioner in two major cases of multiple institutional sexual abuse and conducting research into the experience of participation in restorative justice by victims. 

The recent Chair of the European Forum on Restorative Justice, Tim has delivered restorative justice and practices training in many parts of the world and has conducted and published extensive research. 

Tim will be assisted by Tania Nascimento (Strathclyde University).  She has undertaken restorative justice practice training, including in sensitive and complex cases, and has conducted research for the Scottish Government (with Tim Chapman) into RJ training needs, as well as into practical issues in the delivery of RJ. Her doctoral research examines the daily delivery of RJ. She has also provided (on a voluntary basis) emotional, practical, and advocacy support to victims of crime.

The approach of this Essential Skills Course emerged from Northern Ireland’s successful and influential Youth Conference scheme and its strong community based restorative sector, which Tim Chapman has been instrumental in developing. The Balanced Model of Restorative Practices enables practitioners to engage people who have been affected by harm beyond the victim and perpetrator. The narrative dialogue method encourages practitioners to feel confident about engaging in difficult conversations with those affected by harm without the aid of a script.

“Tim’s style of teaching the material is very engaging; using real-life examples of how the theory behind restorative practice can be applied.  Tim provided the class with the opportunity to apply the knowledge we acquired via role-play which was challenging, enjoyable and extremely useful. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in restorative justice and wishes to get a better understanding of how to apply the what they learn in real-life.”

Ailbhe Griffith, Restorative Justice International Global Advisory Council. (Film: The Meeting).

"The course was great! I really enjoyed the creative culture of learning. It has been a really worthwhile experience and hopefully has helped me in developing our services to young people and their communities." Ella Brown, Criminal Justice Social Worker, North Lanarkshire

2. Who is the Course for?

The Intensive Course is for a very wide range of people in Scotland and across the globe, including for example:

  • lawyers
  • social workers
  • criminal justice workers, probation/corrections officers
  • teachers and those working in education
  • faith groups
  • youth and community workers
  • people working in prisons and custodial settings
  • members of the third sector
  • people working in education
  • recent graduates wishing to add distinctive skills to complement their academic repertoire.
The unique model and method employed in the course can be used within the justice system, in schools, in residential settings, and in neighbourhoods; wherever individuals or groups harm each other.
"This is, in my opinion, one of the best and most serious and comprehensive courses there is for RJ practitioners in Europe, if not the world, today." Dr Estelle Zinsstag, Senior researcher, University (K.U.) Leuven, Belgium

“Tim Chapman’s reflective activities encouraged collaboration with other attendees. Tim’s style of facilitation is comfortable, fun and inclusive thereby ensuring dynamic, rich and thought provoking discussion. This course is highly recommended.” Dr Taryn Moir, Acting Depute Principal Educational Psychologist. 


3. What Will You Gain from the Course?

By learning from the very best in the world, you will be able to develop the skills necessary to facilitate engagement in restorative processes. On completion of the course you will also gain a Certificate of Participation in Foundation Skills in Restorative Practices from the University of Strathclyde.

RJC Accreditation. This course is accredited by the Restorative Justice Council of England and Wales as a part qualification for accreditation as a practitioner. (There is not, as yet, separate practitioner accreditation in Scotland). However, the RJC standards are widely recognised and will be acknowledged in practice.

This course taught me a new way of thinking.  Under expert tuition, I was able to learn invaluable new skills and practices that I have been able to apply to my job. I cannot recommend this course enough.

Scot, Dignan, Lawyer

I recommend this excellent course to anyone interested in new approaches to justice. This innovative course enables you to learn from key figures in the RJ movement about how to facilitate RJ encounters.   

It also offers participants an opportunity to join the increasingly active movement developing RJ in Scotland.

Kate Graham, Scottish Women's Rights Centre 

4. Course Content

Learning objectives  

  • To understand and apply the values and principles of the Balanced Model of Restorative Justice in a range of contexts;
  • To be capable of using the skills and techniques of the narrative dialogue method to achieve a high level of engagement and face to face participation in restorative processes.
  • To understand and facilitate restorative conferences and circles according to high standards of practice;
Teaching & Learning Style.
The course is designed to engage students actively in understanding the values, knowledge and skills underpinning restorative practices. It will encourage you to engage in a critical enquiry into restorative practices and to embed what you find valuable in your daily practice.

The learning methods are experiential and participative and participants will learn together. Guided by theory and demonstrations by Tim, participants will work in small groups through each of the stages of the restorative process through scenarios set in different contexts (criminal justice, youth justice, schools, community, families and residential care) depending upon their interests.  

Each participants will be sent a workbook summarising the theoretical content, clearly describing the stages of the process specifying the skills required at each stage, outlining scenarios and learning exercises, providing references to further reading and spaces for notes.

The course contains four modules: two modules in Part One (online) and two modules in Part Two (in person).

Part one - Module 1 Introduction to course (Online)

  1. Who is present?
  2. What is Restorative Justice?
  3. What is the research evidence on restorative justice practices


  1. What do we mean by the harm that people do to each other?
  2. How do we understand the experience of harming another person?
  3. Relations of power and trauma.


Part one - Module 2 The Model of Practice (Online)

  1. What are the critical values supporting restorative justice practices?
  2. Applying restorative justice to harm: The Scaffolding Framework
  3. The Principles of restorative justice practices


  1. The Principle of inclusion: The concepts of authority, truth and narrative
  2. The Principle of participation: From immunity to community
  3. The Principle of restoration: The importance of dialogue


Part Two - Module 3 Developing Capability (In person)

Day 1

  1. Evidence based practice or practice based evidence?
  2. Scaffolding
  3. Questions of accessibility
  4. The Balanced Model of Restorative Justice
  5. How to Include and engage people in restorative justice: the Narrative Dialogue approach 

Day 2.

  1. How to prepare people to participate in restorative justice: Identifying risk and and co-designing safety

Day 3.

  1. How to facilitate a restorative meeting

Part two - Module 4

2. How to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of a restorative process



Standard rate: £490

Early Bird Discounted Rate: £460  (Completed applications and payment must be made before end of 12th August 2023). 

Cancellation Policy

If you clearly indicate that you wish to cancel then the following will apply:

Cancellation before12th August 2023: 75% refund

Cancellation between 13th August and 31st August : 50% refund

Cancellation after 31st August: 0% refund.  

There are no formal entry requirements, but students will be expected to have some awareness of the potential of restorative practices and how this approach might be applied.

[English language requirements for international applicants

The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes]

For further information please contact our Course Administrator Linda Nicolson or by phone 0141 548 5956.