Can online practitioner training be effective?
There is no doubt that lockdown has had a huge impact on the restorative work being undertaken across the globe. It has meant that service providers and practitioners have had to adapt quickly; finding new ways to work within the new virtual world we find ourselves in. Additional guidance was quickly developed to support practitioners operating in this new landscape; the immediate priority being to ensure that where restorative work was being undertaken, it was safe and in line with the RJC’s Practice Guidance 2020.
We are now some 2 months into lockdown and as measures start to be eased, there is still uncertainty as to when we will be able to resume larger gatherings of individuals. This, of course, impacts greatly on those organisations and individuals who deliver restorative training. The RJC has received numerous enquiries regarding the delivery of online practitioner training and how this can be managed in accordance to our Practice Guidance 2020.
These questions were raised again during our recent RJC-Connect network events; whilst trainers were confident in delivering the theoretical elements of training, they were not so confident when it came to the practical elements of training. The RJC’s Practice Guidance 2020 states:
‘Facilitator and practitioner training should have a practical element, including at least one observed role play exercise demonstrating a restorative process. Participants should also actively practice and observe facilitation skills.’
It is this statement which has caused concern! How can you deliver the required practical elements remotely?
I am sure that most of us have now experienced online meetings; there are many platforms available, all of which have pros and cons. Most popular are ZOOM and Microsoft Teams, although more recently Google Meet and Facebook’s Messenger Rooms have launched. But which of these would best suit the delivery of online training?
Ultimately it will come down to personal preference, software limitations and cost effectiveness. It may be that trainers need to look at multiple platforms depending on which element of the course they are delivering.
As part of our ongoing standards work, we have launched a series of RJC-Connect Project Groups, one of these projects is focusing on developing additional practice guidance for delivering safe and effective restorative training in a virtual world. As part of this project we will consider the practicalities of delivering training remotely including how to effectively deliver practical elements of training online.
Find out more about RJC-Connect Projects
Interested in joining one of our RJC-Connect Project Groups?
Login to your RJC account and select RJC-Connect Project Application from the My account menu.
To support the work of our RJC-Connect Project Group we are interested in hearing from trainers who are already, or are planning to, deliver training online. We are particularly interested in finding out about:
- Which online platforms you are using?
- How are you delivering or planning to deliver practical elements of training?
- What has worked well when planning remote courses?
- What barriers or challenges you have faced?
Responses should be received no later than 31st July 2020.
You can join in the discussion by submitting your response using our ONLINE FORM, emailing us at Communications@restorativejustice.org.uk or by leaving a comment on this article by signing up for Disqus Account using the form be