Since its launch on the 31st of March 2014 the National Forum of Restorative Practitioners has gone from strength to strength. To date over 170 practitioners have registered through the forum, joining the conversation and sharing best practice around Restorative Practices.
80 Restorative Practitioners have already either completed or are currently studying the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Practitioner Training in Restorative Approaches which forms part of the practitioner accreditation pathway.
The coalition government have openly supported the use of Restorative justice announcing in 2013 at least £29m being made available to Police & Crime Commissioners and charities to help deliver Restorative Justice over the coming three years.
Within the area of Restorative Approaches there has been a historic lack of consistency in how a practitioner may become qualified and how a person or organisation may find and make contact with qualified practitioner.
To help combat this inconsistency the National Forum of Restorative Practitioners was launched. Its aim is to set the benchmark of competence for restorative practitioners and improve the service to individuals harmed by crime or conflict.
The forum provides practitioners with a route to an accredited BTEC qualification, support and guidance from qualified case supervisors and a central point where organisations can find accredited practitioners.
The forum will boost the confidence stakeholders have that the person acting as their restorative practitioner is a qualified professional.
Speaking at the launch of the National Forum of Restorative Practitioners Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, the national lead for Restorative and Community Justice said:
“Restorative Justice is now consistently being used to deal with crime and disputes here in the UK as the evidence demonstrates that it is welcomed by victims seeking to understand why a crime happened to them.
As more and more people have access to Restorative Justice it is important that we secure victim confidence by ensuring that the RJ they experience is facilitated by quality practitioners.
This forum will give a platform for those practitioners to share their experiences and help to further develop their skills. I think that it is very important that those who facilitate Restorative Justice should be able to demonstrate that they can be trusted to help victims and offenders to gain maximum benefit from the process.
Along with others I am pleased to see that Restorative Solutions are encouraging and helping practitioners to achieve accreditation for their expertise.”
Sir Charles Pollard, Restorative Solutions CIC chairman said:
“Practitioners have not always been able previously to gain the recognition they deserved. Our new accreditation scheme will make sure that practitioners are supported in achieving accreditation. We are setting in place a benchmark of quality for restorative practice”