Glossary of RJ terms & acronyms


RJ (restorative justice)

RJC (Restorative Justice Council)

POM – Prison offender manager

COM – Community offender manager

VLO – Victim Liaison Officer

OIC – Officer in charge

WCO – Witness care officer

FLO – Family liaison officer

SIO – Senior investigation officer

SPO – Senior probation officer

WD – Wrongdoer

HP – Harmed person

Glossary of terms

Accredited practitioner – a practitioner who has undergone the RJC’s accreditation process by demonstrating that their knowledge and skills meet the four National Occupational Standards for Restorative Practice. RJC accreditation may be gained via completion of a recognised qualification or by undertaking the RJC’s own Direct Accreditation process. 

Case supervision – oversight on individual cases conducted by a restorative practitioner. A means of checking that appropriate and safe processes are being followed. Case supervision should take place at least once every three months and may take place in person or remotely.

Case supervisor – a trained practising restorative practitioner who supervises the work of a practitioner.

Complex case – any case involving:

  • harm caused over a substantial period of time (over three years)
  • more than three perpetrators and/or more than three victims
  • vulnerable participants (for example, vulnerable because of physical disability, age

or mental impairment)

  • risk of continuing harm or intention to cause further harm
  • multiple agencies

Conflict of interest – a situation in which someone who has to act or make a decision in an official capacity stands to gain or profit personally from the decision. In a restorative process context this may occur if a practitioner:

  • knows or has a social or family relationship with any of the participants
  • has previously been in dispute with any of the parties or relevant agencies

Continuing professional development (CPD) – learning which enables a professional to maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives. CPD may be undertaken in a variety of ways, including seminars, conferences, training courses, lectures, peer evaluation and private study of relevant materials such as academic journals and articles.

Co-working – where a practitioner works together with another person (usually another practitioner) to facilitate or run a restorative process.

Independent Complaints and Appeals Examiner (ICAE) – an independent person appointed by the RJC responsible for adjudicating on complaints against RJC practitioner, trainer and service provider members and appeals by members against RJC decisions. The ICAE is not a practitioner or a trainer. Information on the ICAE can be found on the RJC website.

Indirect restorative process – a restorative process where participants do not meet face to face. Indirect processes can include ‘shuttle’ restorative practice, video conferencing, telephone conferencing, audio or video recordings and written communication.

Offender – in a criminal justice context, the person who has caused harm (usually a criminal offence) to the victim or victims.

Outcome agreement – a (usually written) agreement setting out the restorative activity that is to be undertaken by participants following a restorative process. The terms of the agreement are usually agreed during the conference.

Participant – a person involved in a restorative process who is not the facilitator or a supporter.

Practitioner Register – the RJC register of practitioners who have undertaken facilitation training and have agreed to adhere to the RJC Practitioner Code of Practice. The register may be viewed on the RJC website.

Restorative circle – a circle of participants in a restorative process, brought together to share experiences and resolve issues.

Restorative conference – a restorative conference is a meeting (usually in person) between a participant (or participants) who has been harmed and a participant (or participants) who has caused the harm. The aim of the meeting is to ensure that all participants have an opportunity to express their feelings about what has happened and to facilitate (where possible) an outcome agreement.

Restorative practitioner – a trained restorative facilitator using restorative interventions, including formal and informal processes, and direct and indirect forms of restorative practice.

Restorative trainer – a person who delivers training in restorative practice.

Risk assessment – the process by which a person considers what the possible negative consequences of a course of action may be. This is usually followed by some consideration of mitigating activity to either reduce the risk or remove it entirely.

Sensitive case – any case involving:

  • actual, or threats of, serious or sexual violence
  • vulnerable participants (for example, vulnerable because of physical disability, age

or mental impairment)

  • domestic abuse
  • risk of continuing harm

Service provider – organisations which employ or contract with individuals to deliver restorative processes. Where an individual practitioner who provides restorative processes is self-employed or works on their own, they are also a service provider.

Trainers Register – the RJC register of training providers who have agreed to adhere to the RJC Code of Practice for Training Providers. The register may be viewed on the RJC website.

Training Provider Quality Mark – an RJC scheme which accredits restorative training providers that meet RJC standards and guidance. 

Victim – in a criminal justice context, the person who has been harmed (usually via the commission of a criminal offence) by an offender or offenders.