Core skills

In order for an RJ procedure to be effective, it is important that the process is led by a well-trained facilitator. Certain skills are important for an RJ practitioner to have. Please read the document below and ask yourself which skills you already have and which skills you need to develop.

Core skills for restorative practice
The Restorative Justice Council in the United Kingdom has provided a list of core skills for a facilitator of a restorative process. You’ll find the skills below.  

  1. Demonstrate effective and confident communication and personal skills, including:
  • an ability to inspire confidence
  • the ability to motivate and encourage
  • active listening
  • explaining so that others can understand, and checking for that understanding
  • an ability to promote dialogue and enable others to express themselves
  • awareness of and ability to read non-verbal signals
  • summarising and reflecting back
  • telephone and face-to-face communication skills
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • prompting dialogue constructively and positively
  • enabling participants to make their own choices
  1. Create a safe environment for participants, including:
  • building, and maintaining throughout the process,
  • trust and confidence of all participants
  • being non-judgemental
  • being sensitive to diversity and difference
  • demonstrating an ability to manage conflict and aggression, while remaining calm
  • assessing imbalances of power and acting to redress these
  • remaining neutral and demonstrating impartiality to all participants.
  1. Treat people fairly without discrimination on the basis of gender, age, ethnicity, ability/disability, sexuality, culture, faith or crime committed, including by:
  • ensuring equality of access to restorative process
  • showing respect for all participants, their opinions and views
  1. Record decisions and outcomes accurately, following agency guidelines
  2. Demonstrate that you can manage your work, including:
  • planning and evaluating your work
  • showing you are following a clear process with each particular case
  • problem-solving and handling complexity
  1. Maintain confidentiality, subject to the requirements of the law.
  2. Demonstrate self-awareness, including:
  • awareness of your own prejudices, and ability to set them aside
  • ability to acknowledge, in each specific case, the boundaries of your own knowledge and experience
  • recognition of when it is necessary to seek help
  1. Demonstrate the skills and ability to work effectively with others, including:
  • as a co-worker when appropriate
  • as a team member with colleagues in your service.