accreditation restorative justice restorative practices practitioner group conference group conferencing group conference convenor group conferencing convenor group conference convener group conferencing convener convener

Group Conferencing Convenor Accreditation Scheme

The Group Conference Convenor accreditation scheme was developed by VARJ following industry and member consultation over several years commencing in 2009.  The accreditation is designed to maintain and improve group conferencing convenor skills and strengthen the growing network of practitioners around Australia. Supporting convenors working in established Group Conferencing programs as well as independent consultants who hope to benefit from collegiate support, the model is specifically designed to encourage the acquisition and consolidation of convenor skills, while allowing for creative experimentation in diverse applications of Group Conferencing.

Accreditation supports good professional practice among convenors, consistent with our Restorative Justice Best Practice Standards. It is a system of peer mentoring, supported by (i) specific guidelines on the content of key collegial conversations & (ii) external assessment of the written record of those conversations, with feedback from a senior convenor.

The guidelines guard against excessive “practice drift”, but still allow for flexibility of practice, and for creativity. External assessment provides the VARJ Accreditation Committee with an overview of the current range and quality of group conference convening, and provides convenors with tailored feedback.

The Convenor Accreditation scheme was piloted with senior convenors in Victoria’s Youth Justice Group Conferencing program and includes convenors providing Group Conferencing in the justice system, schools, workplaces, and residential communities, in addition to supporting effective case planning in health and human services.

Peer mentoring provides a framework for Group Conference convenors to learn effectively, efficiently and safely on-the-job, and consolidate lessons from basic training. The written application process includes four (4) written summaries of structured group conferencing conversations using the provided Feedback Templates [< Click here] to guide observation and discussion between peers.

As part of a comprehensive accreditation process the VARJ accreditation committee will also provide spoken &/or written feedback to applicants. Unsuccessful applicants may reapply after a period specified by the accreditation committee.

Note: the Group Conference Convenor Accreditation scheme is open to Australian and International practitioners.

For any questions about the scheme, please contact the accreditation committee:

Application Form

Group Conferencing Convenor Application form [< Click here]


What are the benefits of Accreditation for individual convenors?

Accreditation is a formal acknowledgement that a group conference convenor has attained a certain standard of professional practice. As part of the assessment process, a member of the VARJ Accreditation Committee will provide each convenor with feedback, suggestions and possibly professional connections to a broader network of colleagues, who can support ongoing skills development.

Accreditation provides formal recognition of skills, and makes those skills more portable from one program to another. Accredited convenors may choose to be listed in a directory on the VARJ website.

What do I need to provide to VARJ? 

  • Evidence of having completed appropriate Group Conference convenor training; 
  • A completed Application Form, including: 
  • Contact details for two referees; 
  •    Payment.

What will VARJ provide me? 

The VARJ Accreditation Sub-Committee will:

 Assess the documentation and provide a written response;

 Conduct a structured discussion (by phone/skype, or face to face) with the applicant, & provide feedback.

(The basic structure for this discussion is provided by Feedback Templates 3.)

The Committee will aim to complete these assessment tasks as soon as possible after receiving the completed application.

Victorian Association for Restorative Justice     Email:                                    Design by
PO Box 475, East Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3002
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software