Balancing stones

Law SchoolRestorative Justice & Practices: Essential Skills Course

5 Week Course (online): 3 hours per day (15.00 to 18.00) on Tuesdays and Thursdays: May 11, 13, 18, 20, 25,  27, and June 1, 3, 8 ,10 2021

Strathclyde University 

1. Why this Course?

There is increasing demand for restorative practices in a wide variety of contexts. 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 Online 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 Tim Chapman who is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading trainers and thinkers in restorative justice.  The 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.

The approach of this Intensive 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.

"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
  • those working in prisons and custodial settings
  • members of the third sector
  • 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.
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 teaching is designed to engage students in understanding the values, knowledge and skills underpinning restorative practices, to encourage them in a critical enquiry into restorative practices and to embed what they find valuable in their daily practice.

The learning methods are experiential and participative andpartcipants 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.


Introduction to the course

  • Learning restoratively
  • A brief dialogue on shame
  • Choosing immunity or community
  • An introduction to restorative circles
  • Building a learning community


  • Restorative justice and practices
  • Values
  • Research evidence
  • Principles and standards
  • Contexts and applications
  • Outcomes

The Balanced Model of Restorative Justice 

  • Balancing ethics of justice and ethics of care
  • The restorative process: inclusion, participation and transformation
  • When harm occurs who is affected?
  • Balancing needs: the victim, the perpetrator and society
  • Rights, power relations, and trauma

The Narrative Dialogue method

  • Single stories
  • Uncovering the truth
  • What does it mean to have justice restored?

A walk through the process in detail demonstrating

  • The skills of inclusion and how they relate to values
  • The skills of ‘thickening’ the narrative and discovering motivation

Inclusion 1

  • Levels of truth in the restorative process
  • Meeting the victim
  • Skilful engagement through exploring the harm
  • Skilful engagement through the narrative of suffering
  • Framing the invitation to participate

Inclusion 2

  • Meeting the perpetrator
  • Skilful engagement through exploring the harm
  • Skilful engagement through the narrative of suffering
  • Framing the invitation to participate
  • Who is the community?
  • How to engage and prepare the community?

Preparing the participants

  • Understanding the process and the practices
  • Addressing your concerns over the process
  • Thinking about support
  • Preparing what you want others to hear and what you want to hear
  • Preparing your questions and requests

Facilitating restorative processes

  • The role of the facilitator
  • Co-designing the process
  • The structure of the process
  • Ensuring understanding, responsibility and commitments
  • Restoring the future: apologies, promises and forgiveness
  • Preparing your process


  • Presenting your process
  • Debrief and learning review


  • Presenting your process
  • Debrief and learning review

Government policy and strategy

  • Future developments and opportunities

Course review and evaluation

Standard rate: £435

Early Bird Discounted Rate: £395 (completed applications and payment must be made before end of 12th April 2021).


Cancellation Policy

If you clearly indicate that you wish to cancel then the following will apply: 
Cancellation before end of 12th April 2021: 75% refund  
Cancellation between 12th April and 29th April 2021: 50% refund 
Cancellation after 29th April 2021: 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 that 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.

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